Major Electronics Upgrades a Key Part of the Netherlands’ AH-64D to AH-64E Remanufacture

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

APG-78 Longbow Radar Sits Atop AH-64 Apache. Photo: Northrop Grumman

The Netherlands has received approval from the U.S. State Department for the upgrade and remanufacture of its AH-64D Block II Apache attack helicopters to the AH-64E configuration. While the contract would largely entail work on the helicopter itself, it would also include the replacement of many of the helicopters’ primary electronics systems. The overall deal carries an estimated value of $1.191 billion. Continue reading

U.S. Cyber Command Broadens Its Missions

By Richard Sterk, Defense Electronics Analyst, Forecast International.

The U.S. Cyber Command’s (USCYBERCOM) mission is to deter or defeat strategic threats to U.S. interests and infrastructure, provide mission assurance for the operations and defense of the Department of Defense information environment, and support the achievement of Joint Force Commander objectives.

USCYBERCOM, in conjunction with the Services and Defense Agencies, is working to develop and expand infrastructure architectures and capabilities/tools to support Cyber Mission Forces (CMF). Continue reading

Military Increases ADS-B Out Upgrades

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

Boeing C-17 heavy lift transport aircraft (Source: Boeing)

Raytheon was recently awarded a $30 million ceiling increase modification to a previously awarded contract for T-38A/B, C-17, C-5, and A-10 Automatic Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B Out) upgrades. 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

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

JSTARS Replacement Program Canceled Yet Again

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

Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System Recapitalization (JSTARS Recap) program funding dropped in FY19.

It’s official.  The U.S. Air Force has taken formal steps to implement its stated intention to abandon the JSTARS Recap program. In the Department of Defense’s recently released forecast year 2019 budget documents, all requests for funding related to JSTARS Recap research, development, testing, and evaluation were dropped, with FY18’s budget of $417.2 million reduced to nothing. Continue reading

General Dynamics Expands IT Offerings with $9.6 billion CSRA Buy

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

In a move aimed at gaining even more critical mass in its information technology services, General Dynamics has agreed to acquire CSRA in a deal valued at $9.6 billion, including the assumption of $2.8 billion in CSRA debt.  Continue reading

Electronic Warfare Simulation: Making Today’s Fighter Jets Ready for Real World Engagement

by Andrew Dardine, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

EA-18G Growler

Like a prizefighter needing a sparring partner between bouts, next-generation fighter aircraft and their operators require constant testing and training.  They simply cannot wait until they face a real air-to-air engagement to find out if critical self-defense systems actually work.  This is especially true for the many advanced electronic warfare systems being installed on the latest aircraft.  Accurate simulation is the only way to provide that much-needed sparring partner.    Continue reading

Turkey’s Aselsan to Develop National Long-Range Defense System

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

Aselsan’s short- to medium-range KALKAN air defense radar. Source – Aselsan

Aselsan, one of Turkey’s largest defense electronics companies, has formed a business partnership with Rocketsan and defense industry research development institute TUBITAK SAGE to develop a national long-range defense system for Turkey. The news was delivered on Tuesday, January 16 to Turkey’s Borsa Istanbul (BIST) stock exchange.  Aselsan said that under the agreement, its share of the contracts would be TRY869 million ($227 million) and EUR279.3 million ($342 million), and that deliveries would be completed in 2021. Continue reading

Recent Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Retrofits

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

Special Mission King Air 350ER. Source: Textron Aviation

GDC Middle East was recently awarded a contract by Sierra Nevada Corporation to upgrade two King Air 350 aircraft to Special Mission (ISR) aircraft. The two King Air 350s will receive radar, secure communications, datalinks, and optical sensors as part of the upgrade. Further modifications will be made to the aircrafts’ cabins, wiring harnesses, and cockpits.

Continue reading