Launch Vehicles: Year in Review 2016

Recent Decline Continued, but Stage Set for Renewed Activity in 2017

Atlas V Launch

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

The year 2016 saw 85 launches into Earth orbit  (this count excludes the Falcon 9 that exploded in September, since the explosion occurred during the pre-launch phase). Launches were carried out by nine countries, utilizing 22 different launch vehicle families, built by 13 different manufacturers or organizations. Continue reading

Kazakhstan Plays Mediator for Middle East Conflicts

 by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Russian President Vladimir Putin,
at a recent CSTO meeting in St. Petersburg.
Source: Russian Presidency website

Starting with the decision in the mid-1990s to relinquish its inherited nuclear arsenal, Kazakhstan has maneuvered itself on the international stage as a responsible global player. That decision, which saw Kazakhstan return Soviet nuclear weapons to Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, may have been made for a number of reasons, but Astana regularly points to it as an indicator of Kazakhstan being a positive international force. Continue reading

Sukhoi Builds on Initial Success

by Richard Pettibone, Aerospace & Defense Companies Analyst, Forecast International.

Sukhoi Superjet 100

As the primary foundation upon which Russia’s United Aircraft Corp has been built, Sukhoi remains the strongest of the Russian manufacturers.  The company’s success is due to two programs: one civil aircraft, the Sukhoi Superjet 100; and one military, the Su-35 fighter. Continue reading

Estonia Earmarks 2.2 Percent of GDP for Defense under 2017 Budget

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Flag of Estonia

Under the Estonian government’s 2017 budget, recently has passed by the Parliament, topline defense spending will reach a record high. The FY17 state budget will see government expenditures climb by 7.6 percent year-on-year, with defense receiving a 5.8 percent boost to bring military spending up to EUR477 million ($498 million). More importantly, the uptick in military-related spending will increase the defense budget to 2.2 percent of GDP – above the symbolic 2 percent of GDP minimum threshold required of its members by the NATO Alliance.  Continue reading

Operation Tomodachi Underscores Need for a New Surface Warship Radiation Detector

by Richard Sterk, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

radiation

Operation Tomodachi, the U.S. mission that provided disaster relief to Japan following the earthquake and tsunami in 2011, attached newfound significance to the need to update the radiation detection devices that equip surface warships.

Continue reading

Brazil’s Budget Spending Limit Amendment to Cut into Defense Spending

by Bill Ostrove, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

brazil-flag-small

On December 13, Brazil’s Senate approved a constitutional amendment, effective December 15, 2016, that will cap growth of government spending. This law will have a direct effect on defense spending, limiting it for at least the next 10 years.  However, with Brazil’s large defense budget (number 10 in the world), the market in that country will continue to be strong. Continue reading

Solar Turbines – A Top I&M Market Performer

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems Specialist, Forecast International.

Source: Solar Turbines

Source: Solar Turbines

From its beginnings in pre-Depression America, Solar Turbines –  a Caterpillar company based in San Diego – has grown to command a top spot in the gas and steam turbines market.  Whether for industrial or marine applications, gas and steam turbines occupy a vast market, but just four manufacturers will account for more than 75 percent of the I&M market in the coming fifteen year period (2016-2030). The situation is different in terms of unit production –  where turbine size is a major factor in the number of units produced. Continue reading

U.S. Defense Authorization Bill Prioritizes Halting End Strength Reductions

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

Source: U.S. Army

Source: U.S. Army

The U.S. House and Senate have signed off on an FY17 defense policy bill that would halt ongoing end strength reductions, but the legislation does not include a House proposal to shift billions of dollars to bolster procurement programs.  The bill, which cleared the House on December 2 (375-34) and the Senate on December 8 (92-7), authorizes $543.4 billion in base spending for the Department of Defense and nuclear functions within the Department of Energy, plus $67.8 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations.  The latter includes $8.3 billion set aside for base budget requirements, comprising $5.1 billion requested by the administration and $3.2 billion added by lawmakers for additional troops.  The bill also includes funding to pay for a November 2016 supplemental budget request submitted by the White House that contained $5.8 billion for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Europe.  The supplemental contained $529.9 million in additional acquisition funding. Continue reading

AVIC Leads China’s Drive to Become an Aerospace Powerhouse

by Richard Pettibone, Aerospace & Defense Companies Analyst, Forecast International.

China's Comac rolled-out its new C919 airliner on November 2. [Photo: Comac]

China’s Comac rolled-out its new C919 airliner on November 2. [Photo: Comac]

As China continues to refine its aviation dreams, Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) remains at the forefront.  The company leads that nation’s drive to become a major aerospace power. As such, it has been subject to numerous changes throughout the years.  Most recently, the government has borrowed a page from Western corporate practices and begun to focus the firm on its core operations in airframe manufacturing. Continue reading

Airbus, Boeing – November a Weak Month in Orders Race

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

airbus-small

Airbus needs to deliver 16 A350-900 jets in December to reach the 2016 target of 50 jets – an impossible feat unless the company has a long line of almost-finished jets stacked up at the final assembly line. Photo Courtesy Airbus SAS

Boeing and Airbus delivered 64 and 61 commercial jets in November 2016, respectively, compared to 71 and 61 during the same month last year. As of November 30, 2016, Boeing is trailing last year’s delivery figures with 681 commercial jets delivered (709 in 2015), which is in line with company expectations. Airbus has delivered 577 jets to date and is 21 deliveries ahead of November of last year.

Continue reading