Forecast International Sees Growing Demand for Defense Electronics

By Richard Sterk, Senior Defense Electronics Analyst, Forecast International. Product _0021_electronic systems (Small)Forecast International reports that sales of its Electronics Forecast services have increased significantly over the past year. This suggests that there is a jolt of excitement energizing the worldwide defense electronics market as the wounds caused by the Great Recession finally stop hemorrhaging funding cuts.  Budgets remain tight, but there is a discernible drive to develop new groundbreaking electronic technologies and get them into markets as quickly as possible. Continue reading

Oshkosh Defense Decline Reverses with JLTV Win

by Dean Lockwood, Senior Weapons Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Oshkosh's Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV). Source: Oshkosh

Oshkosh Defense’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. Source: Oshkosh

On August 25, 2015, the U.S. Army awarded Oshkosh Defense a $114.7 million contract for low-rate initial production and full-rate production of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. The U.S. Department of Defense currently maintains a revised procurement objective of 54,599 JLTVs – 49,099 for the Army and 5,500 for the Marine Corps. The Government Accountability Office estimates that the DoD will spend more than $53.3 billion on the JLTV program – $1.082 billion for RDT&E and at least $52.3 billion for procurement. The Army expects the JLTV to achieve Initial Operational Capability in 2019. Continue reading

Is a New Dedicated Close Air Support Aircraft a Possibility for the U.S. Air Force?

By Shaun McDougall, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

A-10 Warthog (Small)

A-10 Warthog

The U.S. Air Force has recently appeared more open to the idea of developing a future close air support aircraft to replace the legacy A-10, despite ongoing efforts to retire that very aircraft to save money. Air Combat Command’s 2015 strategy document, unveiled this month, recommends keeping the door open for a new dedicated CAS aircraft. “We must also continue to develop a balanced close air support (CAS) capability across all [Global Precision Attack] platforms, explore opportunities for a future CAS platform, and enact specific initiatives to ensure we maintain a CAS culture throughout the [Combat Air Force],” the strategy document reads. Furthermore, when asked earlier this year about the possibility of eventually fielding a new dedicated CAS aircraft, ACC Commander Gen. Hawk Carlisle told reporters at the Air Force Association Air Warfare symposium, “We’re thinking about it.” Continue reading

Japan’s Defense Ministry Plans Record Budget Request

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

Japan FlagWith formulations being conducted for Japan’s fiscal year 2016 government budget, the country’s Defense Ministry is contemplating whether to request a record-high slice of the expenditure pie. Having secured three consecutive year-on-year nominal budgetary boosts since the return to power of conservative Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party in December 2012, it is quite clear that the area of defense is a priority for the government. Continue reading

Fear and Military Spending: Greek Financial Doom and the Fall of the Hellenic Military

By Matthew W. Beres, Forecast International.

HellenicWhile reviewing C-130 upgrades, I came upon something interesting – Spar’s 2005 $100 million contract to upgrade Hellenic C-130s. I asked myself, “How can a 2005 government that witnessed a 3 percent annual deficit since 1999 contemplate $100 million in C-130 upgrades?”
Continue reading

With Successful Rocket Motor Test, Long March 5 May Be Back on Track

By Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Long March 5 (CZ-5) model

Long March 5 (CZ-5) model

China has conducted a ground test of the Long March 5 (CZ-5) power system. The engines were fired for the final ground test before the first launch, expected next year. According to China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry, the test was a success.[i] Specifically, China tested the YF-75D cryogenic engine, which will be used in the second stage of the Long March 5B variant.[ii] Continue reading

Middle East Continues to Provide Opportunity for Key IR Missile Countermeasures System

by Andrew Dardine, Electronics Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

AAQ-24(V) DIRCM (Source: Northrop Grumman)

AAQ-24(V) DIRCM (Directional Infrared Countermeasure) Source: Northrop Grumman

With the recent approval by the U.S. State Department of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Arab Emirates of AAQ-24(V) Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) systems, the key airborne self-protection device has yet again secured a new customer in the Middle East. The State Department has previously approved sales of the system to Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. Continue reading

Information Management and Computational Technology: A $304 Million Program

by Greg Giaquinto, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

CyberForecast International is projecting that the U.S. Air Force will spend approximately $304 million on its Information Management and Computational Technology project over the next 10 years. The project’s ultimate goal is information superiority, achieved through the development of technologies that “discover, access, and share information.” To this end, the project develops, for example, “on-demand” computing technology for application by the USAF. Continue reading

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Russia to Demonstrate the T-14 Armata Tank at RAE 2015

By Derek Bisaccio, Forecast International.

Two Russian T-14 Armata main battle tanks drive through Moscow on May 9, 2015,  for Russia's Victory Day parade.  Source: Russian Ministry of Defense

Two Russian T-14 Armata main battle tanks drive through Moscow on May 9, 2015,
for Russia’s Victory Day parade.
Source: Russian Ministry of Defense

From September 9-12, Russia will host the 10th anniversary of its annual arms exhibition, called the Russia Arms Expo (RAE). The event, described on its website as “one of the biggest international exhibitions of Russian- and foreign-made armaments,” reportedly attracts over 20,000 visitors, among them important global defense contractors and representatives of militaries.[i] Many different weapons and weapons systems will be demonstrated over the four-day event, but one of the biggest sights to see will be Russia’s new T-14 Armata main battle tank, which was unveiled in May at Russia’s Victory Day parade. Continue reading

C-130s Soar Into the Future with Upgrades

By Matthew W. Beres, Forecast International.

C-130 Hercules' upgrades and modifications continue.

C-130 Hercules’ upgrades and modifications continue well into the future.

It’s been a busy year for the mighty Hercules. Despite the Air Force’s push for a toned-down Avionics Modernization Program (AMP), there have been a number of significant upgrades and modifications. In April 2015, a bill was introduced and referred to the Committee on Armed Services relating to the modernization of C-130 aircraft to meet applicable Federal Aviation Administration regulations. New upgrades will include 8.33-Khz radios, cockpit video recorders, flight visual recorders, Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), enhanced Mode S, and enhanced traffic alert and avoidance systems. Continue reading