GE F404/414 Engine Will Prosper in Super Hornet’s Absence

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems Specialist, Forecast International.

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The F-18 powered by GE F404/414 engines.

As production of the Boeing F-18E/F Super Hornet winds down in the coming years, one would assume production of its F404/414 engine would fall off as well; however, this is not the case, as Saab has recently reminded us. The future will indeed be bright, as the new Gripen E derives its impressive performance from the latest GE powerplants.  The GE F404/414 engine equips not only the Gripen but other international aircraft as well, including the KAI T-50 and HAL Tejas LCA. Although it has been used primarily on the U.S. Navy’s F-18, it is these other aircraft that will keep the production lines running. Indeed, Forecast International expects some 450 GE F404/414 engines worth about $2.2 billion to be produced over the next 10 years. Continue reading

Alliances Gradually Appearing in Low-Fare Carrier Sector

by Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

LAX International Line-up. Photo: Alan Wilson, wikipedia

LAX International Line-up.  Photo: Alan Wilson, Wikipedia

Marketing alliances based on extensive code-share agreements among member carriers have been a pervasive presence within the airline industry for many years.  Participation in an alliance enables an airline to realize the operating efficiency and cost-reduction benefits of working in concert with other airlines to increase profitability and market share. Continue reading

White House Announces Full Lifting of Arms Embargo on Vietnam

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

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During his visit to Hanoi on May 23, President Barack Obama announced the full lifting of a long-standing U.S. ban on weapons sales to Vietnam. The move comes as the militaries of both nations push for closer relations, with the U.S. Navy in particular hoping to see an increase in port visits to Vietnam and access to port facilities in Vietnam’s Cam Ranh Bay. Continue reading

World Powers Move to Support Libyan Unity Government against Terror Groups

by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

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Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj (left) meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (right) in Vienna in May 2016

In a decision representative both of the growing threat of terror groups and progress in local political reconciliation, world powers have affirmed their commitment to providing support, including arms, for the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya as it combats terror groups. Continue reading

We Should Never Have . . .

by Stuart Slade, Senior Naval Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

CVN-78 aircraft carrier

USS Gerald R Ford is the latest U.S. aircraft carrier Source: U.S. Navy

Sea-Air-Space Symposium, Washington One of the topics that invariably comes up at a meeting of naval-oriented people concerns the iniquities of the past wherein ships that were supposedly the perfect solutions to the requirements of the time were scrapped, allegedly to “save money.”  Those of the aviation persuasion add in their pleas on behalf of aircraft that were once in service but are now relegated to museums.  So, why were these alleged paragons of virtue removed from service and scrapped? Continue reading

Airbus Order Drought Ends With 82 Net Orders in April, Ahead of Boeing’s 34

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

On April 29, Delta placed an order for 37 Airbus A321ceos. Photo - Airbus

On April 29, Delta placed an order for 37 Airbus A321ceos. Photo – Airbus

Boeing and Airbus delivered 54 and 52 commercial jets in April 2016, compared to 66 and 62 in the same month last year, respectively. In 2016 to date, Boeing and Airbus are still trailing last year’s delivery figures and had delivered 230 (250 in 2015) and 177 (196 in 2015) commercial jets, respectively, as of April 30. Continue reading

Production, Enhancements Continue for Bowman Radio Program

by Andrew Dardine, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Bowman in service

Bowman in service. Source – General Dynamics UK

Production of communications systems to fulfill the Bowman tactical radio requirement for the United Kingdom should continue over the next several years, led primarily by the need for software upgrades and enhancements. Production will also continue for exports sales, especially to Middle Eastern countries. Continue reading

New Rolls-Royce CEO Deftly Steers Company through Troubled Waters

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

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It has been a rough couple of years for Rolls-Royce.  Sales are declining, and a new management team has been put in place as the company rides out the current storm. Continue reading

Using Technology to Sort Through All the Garbage in Space

by Richard Sterk, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Space Debris

Space Debris

The U.S. Air Force’s Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Systems program (formerly known as SPADATS) tracks and logs satellites and various orbital space debris.  (Due to the amount of space junk up there – old satellites, spent rocket stages, etc., the orbits of the various pieces of debris must be taken into consideration prior to any space launch.)  As an umbrella effort, this program has hosted a number of surveillance programs and projects that have been absorbed and discarded over the years. One such program is the SPACETRACK effort. The reborn SPACETRACK/SSA Systems program is virtually the heart and soul of the overall Space Situational Awareness Systems program.  Continue reading

Forecast Roundtable – F-22 production resumption?

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Welcome to the fourth episode of the Forecast Roundtable podcast. Each podcast features several analysts discussing various aerospace and defense-related issues.

This week Doug Royce and Matthew Beres discuss the possible resumption of the F-22 production line. Continue reading