Nexter and Krauss-Maffei to Create European Land Systems Giant

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

Leopard 2A6E

KMW Leopard 2A6E

It was a long time coming, but the Holy Grail of defense industry consolidation between France and Germany is about to be realized. As budget austerity grips Europe, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Nexter have finally – after years of on-again, off-again discussion – signed an agreement on a merger plan. Continue reading

Further Rafale Sales Good News for MBDA, Safran

by Larry Dickerson, Missile Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Dassault Rafale (Source: Rafale International)

Dassault Rafale (Source: Rafale International)

France is confident of winning two more foreign orders for its Rafale combat aircraft by the beginning of 2016, according to a report by Reuters News Agency.  Recently, France won orders from Egypt and Qatar for 24 Rafale fighters each. Continue reading

GKN to Acquire Fokker in Blockbuster Deal

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

brandGKN has agreed to acquire Fokker Technologies Group for EUR706 million ($780 million) from the London-based private equity firm Arle Capital Partners.  The blockbuster deal would bring together two of the world’s leading aerospace technology companies.  Both GKN and Fokker are major Tier 1 suppliers to platform manufacturers in the military, commercial, and business aviation sectors of the global aerospace industry.  The deal includes a EUR500 million cash consideration as well as the assumption of liabilities amounting to EUR206 million. Continue reading

AT&T’s $49 Billion Acquisition of DirecTV Won’t Hurt Satellite Production

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

DIRECTV 7S satellite (Credit: Space Systems/Loral)

DIRECTV 7S satellite (Credit: Space Systems/Loral)

AT&T Inc has completed its $49 billion acquisition of direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television provider DirecTV. DirecTV will be folded into AT&T’s Entertainment & Internet Services division, which also includes AT&T’s terrestrial TV and broadband Internet services.

The combined company will be the largest pay TV provider in the world when measured by subscribers. The company provides services to more than 26 million customers in the U.S. and more than 19 million customers in Latin America. Additionally, AT&T has more than 132 million wireless subscribers and connections in the U.S. and Mexico; offers 4G LTE mobile coverage to nearly 310 million people in the U.S.; covers 57 million U.S. customer locations with high-speed Internet; and has nearly 16 million subscribers to its high-speed Internet service. Continue reading

As China Worries Grow, Philippine Government Plans 48% Hike in Defense Budget for 2016

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast InternationalPhilippine FlagThe Philippine government of President Benigno Aquino is pushing a national budget for 2016 that includes a record PHP25 billion ($552 million) earmark for the country’s ongoing military modernization effort. The long-neglected modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has become of paramount concern to Manila in light of China’s ongoing military expansion and maritime ambitions in the South China Sea. Those ambitions continue to butt heads with the Philippines’ competing territorial claims over the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal. Continue reading

Raytheon Looking to Cybersecurity, International Markets for Growth

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

Raytheon and Websense will deliver defense-grade cybersecurity to commercial markets worldwide.

Raytheon and Websense will deliver defense-grade cybersecurity to commercial markets worldwide.

With defense spending in decline, Raytheon has been pursuing international sales, tightening its structure, and pushing into growth opportunities, such as cybersecurity.

As the U.S. begins to pull back from its military commitments in the Middle East, defense spending has slowed. Exacerbating the situation is Congress’s implementation and then temporary rescission of spending cuts under sequestration. Seeking to adapt to this “new normal,” the company restructured its operations from six to four groups in 2013 and has since then focused on cutting costs from its core product lines. Continue reading

Cyberspace Test Technology: $127 Million Project Keeps Cyberspace Warfighter Systems Current

By Greg Giaquinto, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

CyberForecast International projects that the U.S. Department of Defense will spend approximately $127 million on its Cyberspace Test Technology (CTT) project over the next 10 years. This project develops advanced technologies and methodologies for the testing and evaluation of DoD capabilities and information networks in order to conduct and defend full-spectrum military operations across cyberspace. Continue reading

Japan’s Lower House Passes Defense Bills Amidst Protest, Shifting Regional Security Environment

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

Japan FlagTwo security bills that passed in the lower house of Japan’s legislature, the National Diet, on July 16 elicited a strong public reaction. The bills involve the reinterpretation and revision of existing laws while expanding the range of allowable activities for the nation’s military, the Self-Defense Forces (SDF).

For a nation steeped in pacifism following its defeat and post-conflict occupation in World War II, any loosening of the constraints imposed on Japan’s military under Article 9 of its U.S.-influenced Constitution provokes alarm in large segments of the population. This was indeed the case when the security bills – championed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe – were approved by the Lower House’s Special Committee on Security Legislation on July 15, thus enabling them to be put to a vote in the lower chamber dominated by Abe’s conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The move created an uproar sparking large demonstrations by up to 100,000 protestors outside the Diet building and prompted the major opposition parties in the legislature to walk out in protest. Continue reading

New Quantum Satellite Bus Will Be the Focus of New Technology Development

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Quantum new-generation satellite (Credit: Airbus)

Quantum new-generation satellite (Credit: Airbus)

A partnership between ESA, Eutelsat, and Airbus Defence and Space has introduced a commercial communications services satellite platform that utilizes new technology. The Quantum satellite’s software-based design will give operators the ability to change a satellite’s operational parameters in orbit, enabling users to serve any region of the world and adjust to new business without needing to procure and launch an entirely new satellite. The satellite will feature phased-array antennas, flexible connectivity, and software-configurable payloads that can adapt to new demands in coverage, bandwidth, and frequency configurability. Continue reading

Will Iranian Nuclear Deal Mean the End of SM-3 Ashore?

by Larry Dickerson, Missile Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Lockheed Martin is working to develop a shored-based version of AEGIS for use with the SM-3 interceptor as part of a missile defense shield.

Lockheed Martin is working to develop a shored-based version of AEGIS for use with the SM-3 interceptor as part of a missile defense shield.

Russian officials are claiming the Iranian nuclear deal with the international community negates the need for U.S.-sponsored missile defenses in Europe.  The United States and its European allies are building a limited missile defense shield on the continent.  Russia is very opposed to this plan. Continue reading