Serbia’s Soviet-Legacy Military Rearmament Project Gets New Supplier

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

MiG-29

In an interesting twist to the long-expected Serbian acquisition of a batch of MiG-29 combat aircraft and Russian-designed missile systems, Serbia’s defense minister, Zoran Djordjevic, has announced that both military platforms will be donated from Belarus. Continue reading

Industrial Gas Turbines – Bragging Rights Center on Efficiency

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems Specialist, Forecast International.

Siemens SGT5-8000H gas turbine. Photo – Siemens

Since the turn of the last century, natural gas has been growing in popularity across the board as a fuel for power generation. Power from natural gas has traditionally been a relatively clean way to augment other sources of power, including renewables such as solar and wind. More recently, owing to lower prices and an increasing aversion to energy sources such as coal, methane-based gas has also been growing in appeal for baseload operations. Continue reading

Thailand-Russia Relations Warm as Defense Industrial Collaboration Agreement Nears Finalization

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

Mi-8MTV-5 (export variant: Mi-17V-5) is a medium-lift military helicopter. Photo – Russian Нelicopters, JSC.

Ties between Russia and Thailand appear to be heating up on the defense front following a meeting in Bangkok on January 16 between Russian defense officials and military leadership of the Royal Thai Armed Forces. According to reports, the meeting involved discussions of a potential government-to-government accord aimed at military-technical cooperation. The agreement outline in question would extend Thailand partnership status on a jointly run production and maintenance facility for the Mil Mi-17V-5 transport helicopter export variant. Continue reading

Upgrade of Taiwan’s F-16s with APG-83 SABR Begins, while Raytheon’s RACR Looks Down for the Count

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

F-16 over Iraq in 2008.   Photo – United States Air Force (via wikipedia)

Sources in Taiwan report that the first four of the Air Force’s F-16A/Bs that will undergo an upgrade arrived at a plant in Taichung on January 16.  The aircraft will be upgraded and overhauled to the F-16V configuration.  As part of the estimated $3.47 billion upgrade, the F-16 fighters will be equipped with Northrop Grumman’s APG-83 SABR active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. Continue reading

North Sea S-92 Accident Report Released by AAIB

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

Elgin Field located in U.K. sector of North Sea
Source: Total Energy

The United Kingdom’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has released a Special Bulletin regarding an S-92 accident on December 28, 2016, at the North Sea’s West Franklin wellhead platform. Continue reading

Crime and Internal Strife Remain Greatest Drivers of Military Spending in Latin America

by Bill Ostrove, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Georgia Army National Guard provides CQB/MOUT [close quarters combat and military operations on urbanized terrain] weapons handling instruction with two soldiers from the Guatemalan Interagency Task Force.  Photo: Georgia National Guard

The greatest threat to most Latin American governments is internal.  Even though transitioning to a democracy and using effective counterinsurgency strategies have successfully defeated – or at least defused  – several insurgencies, the risk of guerrilla activity remains.  This is especially true in Colombia and, to a lesser extent, Peru.  In Mexico and Central America, violent gangs have forced a military response. Continue reading

India Launches Second Scorpene Submarine, but Capacity Pressures Still Haunt Navy

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

Scorpene class submarine

With India’s submarine capacity dwindling, small rays of sunshine are beginning to appear in the distance. The launching on January 12 of the second in a six-boat class of French-designed Project 75 Scorpene attack submarines (SSKs) marks another small, slow step in building up a capable submarine arm that has dangerously atrophied over the years. During the 1980s, the Indian Navy submarine inventory numbered 21 vessels, while today it features just 13 conventional submarines, plus one indigenous nuclear-powered ballistic missile (SSBN) submarine, the Arihant. Another boat, the Russian Akula-class Chakra, is leased and used only for training purposes. Continue reading

Safran Helicopter Engines Hovers Above the Turboshaft Pack

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems Specialist, Forecast International.

Assembly work at Safran Helicopter Engines ~ (c) Cyril Abad / CAPA Pictures / Safran

Helicopters – Unequalled maneuverability; life-saving capability; powerful and indispensable. The helicopter’s value is undisputed and its utility second to none.  Companies  like Cierva, Breguet, and Sikorski did the pioneering work that resulted in the helicopters we now depend on. Today, the V-22 and AW609 are revolutionizing the field with their tilt-rotor technology, while utilizing capabilities that would astound those early developers. Continue reading

Safran Expands with $9.1 Billion Zodiac Aerospace Buy

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

Zodiac Seats

Safran has announced that it will acquire seats manufacturer Zodiac Aerospace for approximately EUR8.5 billion ($9.1 billion).

The new entity will combine Safran’s capabilities in landing gear, wheels and brakes, nacelles, power systems, actuation systems and avionics with Zodiac Aerospace’s positions in seats; cabin interiors; power distribution; lighting; fuel, oxygen and fluid systems; and safety equipment. Zodiac Aerospace’s electrical systems assets will reinforce Safran’s portfolio of technologies and position the group ideally for future developments toward the “more electrical aircraft.”

Continue reading

Poland’s Legislature Backs 2017 Defense Earmark

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

Flag of Poland

Poland’s defense allocation for fiscal year 2017 received approval from the country’s highest legislative body on January 4. The defense oversight element, the Senate National Defense Commission, remarked positively on the planned PLN37.152 billion ($9 billion) military budget, which represents a 3.4 percent year-on-year nominal increase from 2016. Continue reading