Japan Upgrades Its E-767 AWACS

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

Japanese AWACS. Source Japanese Air Self Defense Force

Boeing was recently awarded a $60.9 million hybrid (fixed-price-incentive-firm, firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and cost-plus-incentive-fee) contract to perform the mission computing upgrade installation and checkout on four Japanese E-767 aircraft and associated ground systems. Work will be performed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; San Antonio, Texas; and Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be completed by December 31, 2022. Continue reading

A Microturbine for the Household?

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems SpecialistForecast International.

The core of the EnerTwin is a recuperated micro turbine. Photo: EnerTwin

Bigger is not always better, and for the employees at Micro Turbine Technology (MTT), small is in. While turbines generally evoke thoughts of aviation or power generation, microturbines fall under a niche category in which power generation is paramount and size is small. Whether the extreme heat these machines produce is utilized depends on their particular application, but what if a turbine’s primary purpose was to produce heat instead of generate power? Continue reading

Russian President Signs New State Armaments Program

by Derek Bisaccio, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (R) in 2015.  Source: Russian Ministry of Defense

The document detailing the new Russian State Armaments Program (SAP), covering the years 2018 to 2027, has been signed, according to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin, who spoke to Kommersant in an interview in late February. In this timeframe, Russia will spend over $300 billion on the procurement of new military hardware as part of an effort to equip its forces with modern systems. Continue reading

U.K. Royal Navy’s Successor Class SSBN(R) Likely To Be Equipped With Type 2076 Sonar

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

Successor Class SSBN. Source: U.K. MoD

The final shape of the U.K. Royal Navy’s Astute program is becoming clearer: three submarines are in service; three submarines are under construction; and one additional submarine is projected, though its future is uncertain. Additionally, items with long lead times have been ordered. Any hope that an eighth Astute class submarine would be ordered has vanished, and there are growing doubts that the seventh-of-class will be built. The current odds seem to favor the program being held at six submarines, with a new class being designed to make any required force structure enlargements. Continue reading

Medium/Heavy Military Rotorcraft Market Stabilizing

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace AnalystForecast International.

Boeing and Sikorsky’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) concept. Source: Boeing

Data from Forecast International’s unique Platinum Forecast System underscores the importance of the medium/heavy military rotorcraft segment to the world’s rotorcraft manufacturers.  Over the next 15 years, from 2018 to 2032, the medium/heavy military sector will be the largest segment of the world rotorcraft market in terms of monetary value, and second only to the light civil rotorcraft segment in terms of unit production. Continue reading

Taking Satellite Propulsion from Fabergé Eggs to Mass Production: Interview with Brad King of Orbion Space Technology

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Orbion Space Technology’s Hall effect thrusters.

Orbion Space Technology is developing the Aurora propulsion system to serve the growing small satellite market. Orbion is relying on tried-and-true Hall effect propulsion technology as the basis for its Aurora system. Instead of developing a system based on entirely new technology, Orbion is working to mass produce systems based on proven technology. Continue reading

Forecast Roundtable – The Global Defense Spending Environment: A Look Back, a Look Forward

By Matthew Beres and Dan Darling, Forecast International.


Welcome to the Forecast Roundtable Podcast. Forecast Roundtable brings together expert analysts, industry professionals, and government officials to discuss the latest issues in the aerospace and defense markets. Produced at the Forecast International headquarters, Forecast Roundtable offers unique and in depth insight and discussion on any range of topics from geopolitics to aerospace and defense markets.

This episode features Dan Darling, International Military Markets analyst, and Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit and Modernization analyst, as they discuss the global defense spending environment. Continue reading

Airbus, Boeing January Commercial Aircraft Orders and Deliveries & 2018 Forecast

Both Companies Report Weak Numbers As Expected Following Wild December Surge

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

On February 13, the Airbus A321LR marked a new milestone by completing a nonstop Paris-New York flight – demonstrating its ability to serve new markets and operate on North Atlantic routes. The A321LR has the longest range of any single-aisle commercial aircraft and is able to fly 4,600 miles nonstop. Photo Courtesy of Airbus SAS

Boeing and Airbus delivered 44 and 27 commercial jets in January 2018, respectively, compared to 44 and 25 deliveries during the same month last year. Following the traditional December deliveries surge, weak delivery figures were expected last month. In 2017, Boeing delivered 763 jets (748 in 2016), in line with company expectations, while Airbus surpassed its delivery target of 700 jets by handing over 718 aircraft during 2017 (688 in 2016). Continue reading

BAE Systems’ Semi-Autonomous Software Speeds Combat Decisions in Contested Environments

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

Distributed Battle Management System. Photo: DARPA

BAE Systems recently announced the development of semi-autonomous software under the Distributed Battle Management program.  The DBM program of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency provides timely and relevant information to operators and pilots when communication is not assured so they can better manage and control air-to-air and air-to-ground combat in contested environments.  DBM technology enables pilots to continue operations when satellite communications and tactical datalinks are shut down – a likely scenario in the modern battlefield, and one that militaries are preparing for. Continue reading

NASA Finally Sets a Direction Under President Trump, But Will Its Plans Make It Through Congress?

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

This artist rendering shows an aerial view of the liftoff of the 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity configuration SLS from the launchpad. Funding for the SLS will continue. Source: NASA

America’s preeminent space agency is proposing a major change in focus for FY19. Along with the rest of the federal government, NASA released its fiscal year 2019 budget request on February 13. While NASA’s budget faced few changes in President Donald Trump’s FY18 budget request, for FY19 NASA is looking to shift its priorities and thereby change how its funding is spent. Continue reading