WIN-T Brings a Pricey Mobility to Command Posts

By Richard Sterk, Defense Electronics Analyst.

mrap with win-t increment 2

WIN-T Increment 2 Testing (Source: U.S. Army)

After proving itself in operations in Afghanistan, the WIN-T is now set to begin full-rate production. Under a $219 million contract for WIN-T Increment 2 awarded by the U.S. Army to General Dynamics in June 2015, more than 300 vehicle-based network communication nodes will be produced, plus related equipment and materials. WIN-T Increment 2 (the system’s second installment) is the Army’s communications backbone, providing secure, on-the-move communications, mission command and situational awareness for commanders and their soldiers. The order allows the Army to continue fielding WIN-T Increment 2 to Army units currently scheduled to receive the system. Continue reading

Multiple Issues Lead to Last Zenit Launch

By Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Zenit launcher being transported by rail.

Zenit launcher being transported by rail.

A Zenit 2SB launch vehicle lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on December 12 carrying the Elektro-L2, a geosynchronous meteorological satellite, into orbit. The Zenit 2SB is also referred to as the Zenit 3SLBF by some sources. Continue reading

Challenges Face Upcoming Syria Negotiations

By Derek Bisaccio, Eurasia Analyst, Forecast International.

kataib thuwar al-sham tank

Kataib Thuwar al-Sham Tank Engaging IS Forces Near Talalin in Northern Aleppo, August 2015

On December 18, the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) – composed of top players with stakes in the Syrian conflict – will meet in New York City to discuss the war and efforts at peace negotiations. They are due to formally codify the framework reached in Vienna last month, which, among other provisions, “agreed on the need to convene Syrian government and opposition representatives in formal negotiations under UN auspices, as soon as possible, with a target date of January 1.”[i] Continue reading

Workhorse EW System Helps F/A-18s Fly Safe

Andrew Dardine, Electronics Analyst, Forecast International.

F/A-18 Equipped with ALQ-214.  Source: Harris/Exelis.

F/A-18 Equipped with ALQ-214. Source: Harris/Exelis.

Harris’s ALQ-214 Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (IDECM) radio frequency countermeasures (RFCM) system is in demand by the U.S. Navy. The Navy recently placed a $97 million order for 46 ALQ-214 units to equip its fleet of F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F/A-18C/D Hornet aircraft. The contract also includes the provision of spare weapons replaceable assemblies, plus field support and assembly repairs. Continue reading

The U.S. Army’s Next C4ISR Platform, the ARL-E, Becoming a Reality

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronics Analyst, Forecast International.

Airborne Reconnaissance Low-Enhanced (ARL-E). By Mark Harkin (N8200HUploaded by russavia) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Airborne Reconnaissance Low-Enhanced (ARL-E). By Mark Harkin (N8200HUploaded by russavia) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The next step in the saga that is the U.S. Army Airborne Reconnaissance Low program has unfolded. On November 5, the Army awarded Leidos a massive $661.84 million contract in support of Airborne Reconnaissance Low-Enhanced (ARL-E). The ARL-E project follows from the Army’s failed attempt to replace the ARL platform with the Aerial Common Sensor (ACS), which was canceled in 2006. Continue reading

Russia’s UAC Dreams of Civil, Banks on Military

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

Sukhoi Superjet 100

Sukhoi Superjet 100.  Source: Superjet International

United Aircraft Corporation is ever so slowly coming into its own.  Following its formation, the firm struggled to combine the disparate entities and Russia’s aerospace industry into a cohesive whole.  While the firm still has a way to go, it has made substantial progress.

With the conflict in Ukraine, UAC has pulled back on its international defense marketing to a degree – at least to new customers.  Instead, the company is focusing on its nascent commercial programs, the Sukhoi Superjet 100 and the under-development Irkut MC-21.

Continue reading

U.S. to Spend Big Bucks on Network-Centric Warfare Program to Secure Battlefield Advantage

By Greg Giaquinto, Electronics Analyst, Forecast International.

Network-Centric Warfare Technology

Network-Centric Warfare Technology

With the arrival of the Information Age came the theory of network-centric warfare, which refers to a fully networked military force that can share information across all of its service branches and systems. The idea is that this interoperability will result in superior situational awareness and the ability to make quick decisions, providing a competitive edge during battle. Continue reading

Airbus and Boeing Report November 2015 Commercial Aircraft Orders and Deliveries

By J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

Airbus Booked 135 Orders for the A320/A321neo in November. Photo Courtesy of Airbus S.A.S.

Airbus Booked 135 Orders for the A320/A321neo in November. Photo Courtesy of Airbus S.A.S.

Airbus A320 Family Orders Surge – Boeing on Track for New Delivery Record.

Boeing and Airbus delivered 71 and 61 commercial jets in November 2015, respectively, compared to 58 and 49 in October. In 2015 to date, Boeing has delivered 709 aircraft, ahead of Airbus’ 556. Boeing strengthened its lead in the 2015 delivery race to 153 units, compared to 143 units in October and 134 units in September. In 2014 and 2013, Boeing delivered a total of 723 and 648 jets, respectively, compared to Airbus’ 629 and 626. Boeing has been able to increase deliveries significantly in recent years, mainly due to the ramp-up in production of the 787 Dreamliner (126 delivered in 2015 so far). Airbus is slowly ramping up deliveries of its A350 XWB and this, combined with a higher A320 production rate of 46 per month from Q2 2016, means that the company will soon begin narrowing the gap in the deliveries race. In November, Airbus delivered one A350 and it has delivered 11 A350s to date (the first was delivered in December 2014). The company expects to deliver a total of 15 A350s in 2015 and more than 100 in 2018, when the production rate will hit 10 per month. Continue reading

Russia Can Breathe Easier with First Export Order for Irbis Radar and Su-35 Fighter

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronics Analyst, Forecast International.

Su-35 Fighter

Sukhoi Su-35 Fighter. Source: Sukhoi

With the announcement of the first export order for the Tikhomirov-NIIP Irbis multimission radar, Russian officials can now breathe a little easier. The deal is part of a larger, $2 billion contract with China for 24 Sukhoi Su-35 fighters and mission systems. Through economy of scale, this deal will lower the radar’s lifetime acquisition and fielding costs. Continue reading

Confronted by Submarine Deficiencies, Indian Navy Readies Plan for Additional Scorpene Purchase

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

Scorpene class submarine

Scorpene class submarine

Faced with a declining submarine inventory, the Indian Navy is hoping to augment its current Project 75 order for six French-designed Scorpene diesel-electric attack submarines. The subs are being built by Mumbai-based Mazagon Docks under license, and with technology transfer provided by DCNS. The Navy is seeking three additional Scorpene subs, and a tender for the requirement is expected to be issued in 2016. Continue reading