Cayman ARV Procurement Reflects Belarus’s Pursuit of Strategic Autonomy, Part I

by Thomas Dolzall, Defense Analyst, Forecast International.

Cayman armored reconnaissance vehicle. Photo: Vitaly V. Kuzmin

The adoption by the Belarusian armed forces in early 2017 of the Cayman armored reconnaissance vehicle, which had recently entered serial production, represents a modest but significant step in the maturation of the Belarusian defense industry, and serves as one of several prominent indicators of an emerging trend in Belarusian military procurement patterns toward the acquisition of indigenously developed hardware in response to the country’s subtly shifting strategic demands. Continue reading

Pentagon Budget Faces Increased Pressure After Elections

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

Rep. Adam Smith has balked at developing a low-yield nuclear warhead, which would be mounted on a Trident missile. Source: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ronald Gutridge

The Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following Tuesday’s midterm elections, setting the stage for what could be a prolonged battle over defense spending and policy.  The Pentagon’s topline was already facing cuts recently announced by the Trump administration, but the change in power in the House will give Democrats momentum as they push for increased domestic spending.

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Type 26 Frigate – Emerging From the Shadows

by Stuart Slade, Senior Naval & Marine Power Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Type 26 frigate. Source: BAE Systems

The decision by Canada to select the BAE Systems/Lockheed Martin bid for the Canadian Patrol frigate replacement has sent shock-waves through the naval community. Taken in combination with the June 28 announcement that the Australian Navy had selected the Type 26 frigate for its ANZAC replacement program, the position of the Type 26 has dramatically strengthened.  In less than a year, the Type 26 has vaulted from a small, also-ran program to the leading contender in the international surface combatants market.  With the Canadian order, assuming the present “preferred bidder” status is confirmed with a signed order, a total of 32 Type 26 frigates are to be built. Continue reading

Jair Bolsonaro Will Be Brazil’s Next President

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

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro. Source: Wikipedia/ Antonio Cruz/Agência Brasil

Brazilian right-wing congressman Jair Bolsonaro has won a runoff election to become Brazil’s next president. Bolsonaro defeated opponent Fernando Haddad with 55.1 percent of the vote. The two men, on opposite sides of the political spectrum, faced each other after they were the two top vote-getters in the first round of elections on October 7. Since no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote in those earlier elections, a runoff was required. Continue reading

NATO Military Mobility in Europe Remains Key Focus of Alliance

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

With deterrence against a Russian incursion along its Baltic flank a paramount strategic concern of NATO, military mobility has emerged as a key Alliance focus over the past several years. Issues related to rail and roadway sovereignty across national borders, diplomatic notices, environmental concerns, bridge and tunnel heights, railcar and custom regulations, plus others, all combine to slow down west-to-east military resupply and reinforcement capabilities.[i] Continue reading

Forecast Roundtable – The Khashoggi Murder and its Effects on Saudi-U.S.-Turkey Relations

 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 Daniel Darling, Jim Head, and Derek Bisaccio on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and how his death impacts Saudi Arabia’s arms imports. Continue reading

Trump Opens the Door to Defense Spending Cuts as Sequestration Looms

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

An F-35 Flies Alongside an F-16. Source: U.S. Air Force

President Donald Trump has called on department secretaries to deliver 5 percent cuts for their upcoming FY20 budget requests, opening the door for a potential decline in defense spending.  At the same time, Trump said the defense budget would “probably” total $700 billion in FY20.  Initially, it was unclear if this $700 billion figure applied only to the Pentagon, or to the total national security budget, which also includes programs and agencies outside of the U.S. Department of Defense, such as nuclear programs within the Department of Energy.  Continue reading

Examining U.S. Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

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

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo departs from King Salman Air Base on October 17. He is accompanied by the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., Prince Khalid bin Salman. Photo: Ron Przysucha / U.S. Department of State

The news of the disappearance and killing of The Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi has put a spotlight on the United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia, especially the close security ties between the two countries. President Donald Trump remains reluctant to address arms sales in response to the crisis. He has contended that terminating those sales would hurt the U.S. economy.[i] Congress, however, is not buying the president’s argument and may seek to force his hand, if nothing else by seeking to delay or slow down the approval process for weapons.[ii] Continue reading

AUSA 2018 Wrap-Up

by Thomas Dolzall, Defense Analyst, Forecast International.

The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) opened its annual meeting in Washington, DC, on October 8. The three-day exposition brings together a host of U.S. and international military personnel, defense industry representatives, and journalists and provides them with a common space in which to discuss emerging challenges in the field of international security and to take stock of the latest doctrinal and technological developments put forward by the defense sector and military planners. Continue reading

Elbit Systems Gains Critical Mass with New Acquisitions

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

Condor 2 – EO/IR Long Range Oblique Photography (LOROP) system. Source: Elbit Systems

Ongoing conflicts and terrorism have increased the focus on defense systems for low-intensity conflicts, homeland security and cyber warfare – areas in which Elbit Systems is firmly established. Continue reading