U.S. Scrambles to Address Naval Aviation Readiness Issues

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

F/A-18 Equipped with ALQ-214. Source: Harris/Exelis.

Commander of U.S. Naval Air Forces Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker spoke about naval aircraft readiness at the 61st annual Tailhook Convention in Reno, Nevada, in September. He stated that international commitments and budget constraints are making it difficult to meet aviation readiness standards. He added, however, that the FY17 U.S. defense budget has $1 billion earmarked for naval aviation readiness – part of a slow push in the right direction. Continue reading

The Doklam Plateau and Indian Air Superiority

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

Historical Map of Sikkim. Source: Wikimedia

The standoff between China and India on the Doklam plateau hasn’t quite exploded onto the international headlines, but the situation nevertheless has great implications.  These are the largest nations in Asia, and the two countries have growing – and competing – economies. Aside from Russia, India is the last remaining Asian deterrent against Chinese territorial expansion in Asia. Continue reading

Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Highlights – 8/14/17 Edition

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

KC-10 Refueling Mission
Source: U.S. Navy

This blog post briefly highlights recent Airborne Retrofit & Modernization news.  The Retrofit and Modernization market forecast provides comprehensive coverage of major airframe, propulsion, electronics, and armament programs for military, commercial, and civil aircraft markets. These programs are broken down into their major component categories, including a detailed quantitative data set, buttressed by greater qualitative economic updates and analyses.  More in-depth news can be found in Forecast’s E-Market Alert. To the minute R&M news can also be found via the Forecast R&M twitter account, @MBeresFI. Continue reading

Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Highlights – 7/3/17 Edition

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

This blog post briefly highlights recent Airborne Retrofit & Modernization news. More in-depth news can be found in Forecast’s E-Market Alerts. Sign up here to receive our World Aerospace and Defense Intelligence Newsletter. To the minute R&M news can also be found via the Forecast R&M twitter account, @MBeresFI. Continue reading

Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Highlights

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

This blog post briefly highlights Airborne Retrofit & Modernization news from the past week. More in-depth news can be found in Forecast’s E-Market Alert. To the minute R&M news can also be found via the Forecast R&M twitter account, @MBeresFI.

Continue reading

International Air Forces Relying on F-5 Fleets to Maintain Battle Readiness

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

Iranian F-5 Saeqeh. Source – Shahram Sharifi

The past year has seen a significant surge worldwide to upgrade legacy fighters. Despite a rapidly aging worldwide fleet with an average of more than 50 years in service, international F-5 fleets are no exception. Even aircraft with more than 40 years of service are receiving upgrades. The 575 aircraft with an on average of between 30-40 years of service, therefore, may provide ample opportunities for retrofit programs. We’ve highlighted two such programs in this article. 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

Keeping Legacy Aircraft Current

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

Brazilian Air Force AMXA1 Source: Brazilian Air Force

Brazilian Air Force AMXA1
Source: Brazilian Air Force

As deliveries of new aircraft such as the Gripen and F-35 begin to ramp up, operators must transition their air forces to the new fighter era. In order to do so, legacy aircraft must be equipped with at least minimal fifth-generation capabilities while maintaining an acceptable and safe level of structural integrity. Continue reading

QTA Receives STC for PW304 Engine Inlet Upgrade Program

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

PW300 Engine Source: Pratt & Whitney Canada

PW300 Engine
Source: Pratt & Whitney Canada

Quiet Technology Aerospace (QTA) recently received STC approval for its third PW305 carbon-graphite engine inlet upgrade program. The carbon-graphite inlet mitigates aluminum inner barrel inlet corrosion and acoustic screen degradation through replacement with the new carbon-graphite barrel. The lighter weight alternative looks identical to the original aluminum barrel. Continue reading

Adieu to Super Etendard

by Carter Palmer, Military Aircraft Inventories Specialist, Forecast International.

Super Etendard. Source: wikipedia

Super Etendard. Source: wikipedia

The French Navy’s sleek Super Etendard strike aircraft catapulted into the air for the last time on March 16. The SEM model launched represents the last incarnation of a long line of Etendards (the aircraft was developed as a light strike fighter in the 1950s). The fighter is perhaps best remembered for the role it played in a war over a distant British outpost. The Falkland Islands, seized by Argentine forces in 1982, proved difficult to recapture both on land and sea. Continue reading