Romania to Seek Another Batch of F-16s in 2017

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

F-16 Fighting Falcon

F-16 Fighting Falcon

In an ongoing quest to replace its badly aging fleet of Warsaw Pact-era MiG-21 Lancer fighter aircraft, Romania continues to scour the secondhand market for an additional batch of F-16s with which to bolster its incoming stock of ex-Portuguese fighters. Continue reading

Raytheon Brings Finmeccanica Back into T-X Jet Trainer Fray

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

Two T-100's in formation flight (PRNewsFoto/Raytheon Company)

Two T-100’s in formation flight (PRNewsFoto/Raytheon Company)

Raytheon has officially jumped into the U.S. Air Force’s T-X competition as a prime contractor with its offering of the T-100, an advanced variant of the Aermacchi M-346. Principal partners on the team include Finmeccanica, CAE USA, and Honeywell Aerospace.

The U.S. Air Force Advanced Pilot Training program, also known as the T-X program, aims to replace the aging fleet of T-38 jet trainers currently in service.  The Air Force is planning to acquire 350 aircraft beginning around 2023 or 2024.  Continue reading

Airbus, Boeing Report January 2016 Commercial Aircraft Orders and Deliveries

By J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

Airbus delivered the first A320neo to Lufthansa on January 20, 2016. Photo Courtesy: Airbus SAS

Airbus delivered the first A320neo to Lufthansa on January 20, 2016. Photo Courtesy: Airbus SAS

Boeing and Airbus delivered 49 and 22 commercial jets in January 2016, down from 50 and 36 in January 2015, respectively. While Airbus traditionally delivers relatively few aircraft during the month of January, deliveries were unusually low this year.

In 2015, Boeing delivered 762 aircraft, ahead of Airbus’ 635, and both companies beat their 2015 delivery targets of 750-755 and ~630 aircraft, respectively. In 2014 and 2013, Boeing delivered a total of 723 and 648 jets, respectively, compared to Airbus’ 629 and 626. Continue reading

Is the Rafale Coming to the Indian Navy?

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

Dassault Rafale (Source: Rafale International)

Dassault Rafale (Source: Rafale International)

As India embarks on its quest to fast-track construction of a second indigenous aircraft carrier, the question in Indian Navy circles becomes how best to fill out the necessary combat aircraft component to be featured on the new ship. At a projected 65,000 tons, the future INS Vishal will be much larger than its 40,000-ton predecessor, INS Vikrant, and, per Indian Navy planners’ projections, will require that the service procure as many as 54 additional aircraft. Continue reading

Another Endorsement for Raytheon’s Versatile APY-10 Radar

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

Boeing P-8A MMA

Boeing P-8A MMA

Raytheon’s APY-10 maritime, littoral, and overland surveillance radar has received another endorsement through an award for its sole platform, the Boeing P-8 aircraft. On January 28, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that the Navy awarded Boeing a $2.47 billion modification to a previous fixed-price-incentive-firm contract in order to exercise an option for additional P-8A aircraft. Continue reading

NSF’s Gravitational Wave Detection Could Encourage Adoption of $1.4 Billion NGO Mission

By Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Gravitational waves. Source - NASA

Gravitational waves. Source – NASA

For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of space-time called gravitational waves. The detection was made on September 14, 2015, by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). LIGO encompasses a pair of ground-based observatories in Hanford, Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana – both of which are funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The discovery was confirmed on February 11, 2016. Continue reading

Steep Angle of Climb for Aerospace 3-D Printing

By Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Analyst, Forecast International.

GEnx jet engine model

GEnx jet engine model created with 3d printing.  Source: GE

These days you couldn’t swing a dead cat in a community college or magnet school without hitting a 3-D printer. Certainly this isn’t a new technology, but its use in manufacturing is rapidly gaining momentum. 3-D printing, or additive manufacturing, has the potential to significantly improve the process of product design and manufacturing. Continue reading

Iran Considering Domestic Manufacture of T-90S Tank

By Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

T-90S main battle tank, the export version of the Russian T-90. Source: Rosoboronexport

With sanctions on Iran coming to a close thanks to the agreement between Tehran and the “P5+1” countries, international businesses are lining up to enter the Iranian market. President Hassan Rouhani’s recent visit to Europe – where he reached a number of high-profile agreements, including an order for 118 Airbus jetliners[i] – has been the subject of much fanfare, but Tehran is also seeking to build up its military capabilities. Continue reading

Poland’s PiS-Led Government Scraps $3 Billion Utility Helicopter Deal

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

Airbus Helicopters H225M

Airbus Helicopters H225M. Source – Airbus Helicopters.

In an about-face, Poland will scrap its planned $3 billion procurement of 50 helicopters from Airbus, according to a report published in local daily Rzeczpospolita on February 4.

The decision came quickly.

Continue reading

U.S. Army Commission Recommends Apache Compromise

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

AH-64E Apache. Source : US Army

AH-64E Apache. Source : US Army

The U.S. Army wants to transfer the National Guard’s fleet of 192 AH-64 Apaches to the active component, but a new report from the National Commission on the Future Structure of the Army recommends leaving in place four Guard battalions. The proposed transfer is part of the service’s Aviation Restructure Initiative (ARI), which involves retiring the OH-58 Kiowa and using the Apache as an interim scout helicopter. Under the original plan, the Army would have 20 battalions with 690 Apaches. The Guard would receive 111 UH-60L Black Hawks from the active force to partially offset the lost Apaches. Continue reading