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.

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UAE’s Potential Mirage 2000-9 Upgrade Expected to Include RDY-3 Radar and TALIOS Pod

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

A Mirage 2000 fighter from the United Arab Emirates. Source: USAF

During Dubai Airshow 2017, held from November 12-16, Thales and the UAE armed forces announced their intention to sign a contract to modernize the UAE Air Force’s Dassault Mirage 2000-9 fighter jets.  Under the potential contract, Thales would upgrade the Mirages’ complete electronics package, including mission computers; fire control radars; electronic warfare suites; optronics systems; communications, navigation, and identification systems; cockpit displays; and helmet-mounted displays. Continue reading

S-Cube the Sonar of Choice for New Submarines

By Richard Sterk, Defense Electronics Analyst, Forecast International.

S-Cube Submarine Sonar System. Source: Thales

The older generation Eledone (technology- based) sonars such as the TSM-2233 are being phased out by newer sonars like the S-Cube and the UMS-3000.  (The UMS-3000 appears to be the designation for the system intended for the Barracuda class SSNs and Le Triomphant class SSBNs.)  Forecast International’s market forecasts for the UMS-3000 and S-Cube systems are based upon the procurement of submarines (platforms) that host these sonars, such as the Scorpène class subs under construction for Brazil, India, and Spain.  They are also based on expected retrofits and upgrades to various Type 209 submarines. Continue reading

UTC Aerospace Systems Even More Formidable With Rockwell Collins

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

Rockwell Collins MFD-268C4 Displays in a UH-60M helicopter

While new aircraft orders have slowed lately, the production of commercial aircraft is exceptionally vibrant.  Airbus and Boeing are maintaining tremendous backlogs, and both manufacturers are ramping up production of their new fuel-efficient aircraft designs.  This robust market is one that UTC Aerospace Systems is especially well positioned to capture.  The combined entity offers a vast amount of product content – one-stop shopping – for commercial aircraft primes.  The combination should also offer economies of scale, making product costs lower and even more attractive. Continue reading

Forecast International Launches Improved U.S. Defense Budget Database

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

Source: Forecast International’s U.S. Defense Budget Forecast

Forecast International is pleased to announce the launch of a newly enhanced U.S. Defense Budget Forecast database, now featuring the ability to track major program spending and identify winners and losers within every Pentagon budget request.  FI’s budget database provides quick access to DoD request and forecast budget data, justification documents, congressional markups, and more.  The Pentagon’s massive weapons spending plan can be sorted by value, with options for filtering programs by appropriation title (R1/P1), service, and appropriation account.       Continue reading

Production of ALQ-99 Jammer Wrapping Up, but Sizable O&M Support Expected

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

E/A-18G Growler with ALQ-99 on outboard stations.

Production of Harris Corp’s ALQ-99 airborne tactical jammer is expected to end in 2018, following the production of 34 units from 2017 through 2018.  The ALQ-99 will be superseded by the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ), which will enter U.S. service in 2020.  Continue reading

Australia’s G550 AISREW Program Will Require a World’s Worth of Electronics, But So Far, None from Australia

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

Australia’s new AISREW platform based on the Gulfstream G550, will likely resemble this artist impression. (Image: Gulfstream)

The U.S. State Department recently approved a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Australia of five Gulfstream G550 Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare (AISREW) aircraft, worth an estimated $1.3 billion. Continue reading

Raytheon’s Multispectral Targeting System in High Demand

by Andrew Dardine, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

The Multi-Spectral Targeting System is a turreted electro-optical and infrared sensor used in maritime and overland intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. (Raytheon photo illustration created by Grant Parsley)

Variants of Raytheon’s Multispectral Targeting System are expected to be produced in steady numbers over the next several years for the U.S. and its trusted allies. The MTS is a key component of unmanned air vehicles such as the MQ-9 Predator and the Reaper.  The system is also in use aboard U.S. military MH-60 Sierra multimission combat helicopters and AC-130U Spectre gunships. Continue reading

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