EMP Threat Not Just a Hollywood Trope

By Richard Sterk, Defense Electronics Analyst, Forecast International.

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP). Source: US Army

The post-apocalyptic effects of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) are no longer just a plot device in the latest Hollywood techno-thriller. The threat to the global grid is very real and very serious. EMP threats encompass not only weapons of mass destruction or threats from terrorist groups and criminal organizations, but also natural threats such as a geomagnetic storm on the sun that sends huge solar flares in the direction of Earth. Continue reading

With Rockwell Collins in the Mix, Can Brazilian Firms Penetrate the International Airborne Defense Electronics Market?

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

Brazilian companies Savis and Bradar announced the signing of a cooperation agreement to evaluate joint business development for defense applications at the LAAD Defense & Security 2017 conference.  Both companies are affiliated with Embraer Defense & Security and U.S.-based flight deck specialist Rockwell Collins. Continue reading

The ALQ-213 – A Key Component Protecting a Growing Variety of Aircraft

by Andrew Dardine, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

ALQ-213(V) electronic warfare management unit. Source: Terma

The ALQ-213 electronic warfare management system (EWMS) is a key self-protective component on increasing numbers of aircraft.  The system – which integrates and controls a wide variety of equipment, including warning systems, jammers, countermeasures dispensers, and missile warning systems – will be produced in steady numbers over the next several years for numerous aircraft applications.

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The ALQ-99, Nearly Finished in Production, Will Receive O&M Funding for Years to Come

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

The AN/ALQ-99 system on EA-6B Prowler Aircraft. EA-6B in foreground carries 3 under-wing jamming pods for transmitting and a single fixed pod on its tail for receiving.

Production of the airborne tactical jammer is expected to end in 2018, with a final 34 units produced from 2017 through 2018.  The ALQ-99 will be superseded by the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ), will start to enter service with the U.S. military in 2020.

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U.S. Defense Electronics Market to Top $135B in Next 10 Years

By Richard Sterk, Defense Electronics Analyst, Forecast International.

America’s political landscape experienced a tectonic shift with the November 8, 2016 election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.  Add to that phenomenon the Republican capture of a monopoly in the legislative branch.  The result is a configuration of power in Washington that will play a serious role in shaping the U.S. defense budget as well as the overall defense market. Continue reading

E-3 AWACS Block 40/45 Pushed Back Two Years

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

An E-3G Sentry (AWACS) patrols the skies over the U.S. on a recent homeland defense mission. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Production of the E-3 AWACS Block 40/45 aircraft, also known as the E-3G, will be delayed by another two years. The delay was announced in the U.S. Director, Operational Test and Evaluation report for FY16. The E-3G completed initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) in 2010. Continue reading

Poland’s Wisla Air Defense Competition Could Prove Lucrative for Embattled MEADS

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

MEADS air defense system

Until recently, Poland’s Wisla medium-range air defense contest appeared to be locked up, with the Raytheon Patriot and its re-engineered 360° AESA radar looking poised to win. Now, the competing MEADS team has been granted a renewed opportunity.  Poland recently invited the MEADS International consortium, of which Lockheed Martin is a member, to present an updated offer for the Wisla program. MEADS followed through with a presentation in the final week of January. Continue reading

Enhanced Polar System Should Avoid Ice Station Zebra Scenario

By Richard Sterk, C4I Analyst, Forecast International.

Enhanced Polar System (EPS).

In an attempt to prevent a real life Ice Station Zebra incident, the U.S. DoD has pumped money and technology into the Enhanced Polar System (EPS). The system’s mission – to provide around-the-clock protected communications in the polar north – is considered vital by the DoD.  Continue reading

Sale of PTDS Aerostat to Saudi Arabia Could Lead to Sales of ZPY-1 STARLite Radar

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

ZPY-1 STARLite Radar. Source: Northrop Grumman

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on January 23 that the State Department had approved a possible sale to Saudi Arabia of model 74K Persistent Threat Detection System (PTDS) aerostats and related equipment.  The contract would carry an estimated value of $525 million. 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