On November 27, 2018, Defence Blog reported that the Iranian Air Force is considering the procurement of the joint Pakistan-China fighter jet JF-17.[i] The report noted that importing new fighter jets would allow the Air Force to replace aging jets currently in service. The report referenced several videos released by Pakistani analyst Muzammil Hatami, in which Iranian Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari can be seen at the IDEAS 2018 exhibition in Karachi examining a JF-17 Block II fighter jet as well as a Super Mushshak trainer aircraft. Rear Admiral Sayyari formerly served as the Navy’s commander but now is the Deputy Coordinator of the Iranian Army. Iranian media noted that Rear Admiral Sayyari headed a military delegation to the Pakistani expo.[ii]
As the Japanese government sets out its new National Defense Program Guidelines defense capability target policy that will guide the upcoming Medium-Term Defense Program (Japan’s military acquisition plan), two major considerations are in play that are intended to complement each other. Continue reading
Having long been a conglomerate, UTC has decided that its operations would be better off as three independent companies. With the completion of its $30 billion acquisition of Rockwell Collins, the company has announced plans to split into three operations: aerospace, including Pratt & Whitney and the new Collins Aerospace Systems; Otis Elevator; and UTC Climate, Controls & Security, which will operate under the Carrier name. The purchase price implies a total equity value of $23 billion and a total transaction value of $30 billion, including Rockwell Collins’ net debt.
The U.S. Defense Department reports that Saudi Arabia has ordered the modification of two Beechcraft King Air 350 planes to fulfill an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance role through a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) action. Under the $23.8 million award (FA8620-16-C-4003), Sierra Nevada of Hagerstown, Maryland, will act as the prime contractor. Continue reading
The British Ministry of Defence has launched exclusive negotiations with Boeing regarding a potential buy of Wedgetail E-7 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed on October 2 that discussions with the U.S. manufacturer are underway, though exactly how many aircraft and at what cost are still yet to be outlined. Continue reading
Aircraft programs won big in the FY19 defense appropriations bill, which was released by Congress in September. Lawmakers bolstered the major service aircraft accounts by a combined $2.5 billion in the bill, which includes an additional $1.2 billion for the Navy, $841.8 million for the Air Force, and $500.6 million for the Army. Most of the major changes made to the aircraft coffers stemmed from the House Appropriations Committee markup, which originally called for an additional $2.4 billion in aircraft funding. The Senate markup added $1.7 billion for aircraft, but the Army would have actually lost nearly half a billion dollars under the Senate bill.
On September 27, Boeing and Saab emerged as the winning team in the U.S. Air Force’s T-X advanced jet trainer contest. The Air Force chose the team’s all-new, clean-sheet aircraft to replace its fleet of some 444 Northrop T-38Cs. The service awarded Boeing an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract, worth up to $9.2 billion, for the program. The contract includes an initial delivery order, valued at $813.4 million, for five engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) aircraft and seven simulators. Continue reading
The U.S. Air Force is finally getting a new helicopter to replace its aging UH-1N Huey fleet. The venerable Huey will be replaced by the MH-139, a militarized version of the AW139, being built by a team of Boeing and Leonardo. The UH-1Ns primarily provide ballistic missile base security but also perform VIP transport and search-and-rescue operations. Continue reading
The market for large commercial transports continues to rise following a brief downtick in 2015-2016. At the 2018 Farnborough Airshow, both Airbus and Boeing generated an impressive number of orders and commitments. All told, the over 1,400 aircraft orders placed was the biggest total since 2013, with Airbus garnering 431 orders and Boeing “winning” the show with 676. Continue reading
As usual, the order contest between Airbus and Boeing will take center stage at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow in the U.K. Through the end of June 2018, orders for the two giant manufacturers were somewhat ahead of the pace set in the first six months of 2017. With few or no signs evident of an immediate sales slowdown, the stage is set for another big order haul at the show for Airbus and Boeing. It should be kept in mind, though, that the Farnborough show tends to generate a lower number of order announcements than does the rival Paris Air Show. Continue reading