Trump Calls for Space Force

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

In a move designed to disrupt the military space establishment, President Donald Trump called for the creation of the Space Force as a “separate but equal” branch of the U.S. military. While Trump has mentioned the creation of a Space Force previously, the June 18, 2018, announcement came as a surprise. The Department of Defense and the White House both opposed earlier congressional plans to separate space operations from the rest of the Air Force. Continue reading

Historic Summit Has Major Implications for U.S. Military

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The historic meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim
Jong-un in Singapore resulted in the signing of a joint statement that carries significant implications for relations between the two countries, and for U.S. military relations in the region.  The statement is big on ambition but short on details.  Most significantly, Kim “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” the statement reads.  The two leaders also committed to establishing new diplomatic relations, while Trump committed to providing security guarantees to North Korea.        Continue reading

U.S. House Passes FY19 Defense Authorization Bill

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

E-8C JSTARS Radar aircraft

The House Armed Services Committee wants the Air Force to restart the E-8C JSTARS Recapitalization program.
Source: U.S. Air Force

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed its version of the FY19 defense authorization bill by a vote of 351-66.  The bill supports a Pentagon base budget of $639.1 billion, which complies with the two-year budget deal agreed upon earlier this year that amended national security spending caps in FY18 and FY19.  This base spending includes $617.1 billion for the Pentagon, $21.8 billion for nuclear programs in the Department of Energy, and $214 million for other defense-related activities.  The bill recommends $69 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), matching the request, for a total of $708.1 billion in discretionary defense spending in FY19.  Continue reading

Venezuela’s Maduro Wins Second Term in Disputed Election

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

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro . Source: Wikipedia/Valter Campanato/ABr.

Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro will serve a second term in office after winning the presidential election on May 20.  With 92 percent of voting centers reporting, Maduro has won 68 percent of the vote. His closest competitor, Henri Falcón, won only 21 percent. Continue reading

Merkel’s Comments Bring Germany’s Defense Budget Clash Under the Microscope

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

Following the move by U.S. President Donald Trump on May 8 to declare that the United States would withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Iran nuclear deal, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated – for the second time in a year – that Europe can no longer count on the United States for its protection.  Continue reading

Latest Report Reaffirms Germany’s Lack of Military Readiness

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

Eurofighter Typhoon

Typhoon Fitted with Brimstone
Source: Eurofighter GmbH

For a country seeking to address its operational readiness issues and enhance the service availability of existing hardware, Germany faces a high hurdle in the airpower domain. Continue reading

President Trump Nears Decision on Iran Nuclear Deal

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

White House briefing on situation in Syria in April 2018, ahead of President Trump’s decision to conduct missile strikes on Syrian government positions. Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead.

Toward the end of April, French President Emmanuel Macron made a three-day state visit to the United States to meet with his American counterpart, President Donald Trump, to discuss in particular the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal. The French president, who enjoys a productive relationship with President Trump, sought to urge his American counterpart to remain in the deal. Continue reading

Denel’s New Board of Directors Facing Herculean Task

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

Denel’s G6 155mm Self-propelled Artillery System. Photo: Denel

Denel is currently a mess.

It appears that the company may have been overzealous in some of its recent expansion efforts.  Some of its more recent moves, such as the acquisition of BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa (LSSA) and the formation of Denel Asia, are drawing fire from the South African government. Continue reading

India Shelves FGFA Project – Where to Now?

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

Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA)

After years of stalled negotiations with Russia, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is pulling the plug on an 11-year collaborative effort to develop and produce a fifth-generation fighter that would be used by both countries. The IAF opted to walk away from the project due to lingering differences over developmental costs, technology capabilities, and other points of contention – particularly what it feels is a lack of sufficient stealth for a fifth-generation aircraft. Continue reading

Leonardo Launches New Growth Plan

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

Leonardo and its U.S. subsidiary DRS Technologies are offering the T-100, a variant of the M-346 Master, for the USAF T-X trainer program. (Photo: Leonardo)

Following a difficult year into the company’s rebranding, Leonardo’s management has launched another industrial plan, dubbed Leonardo 2.0, that aims to achieve double-digit profitability over the next five years, tighten project cost control, and invest some EUR500 million ($624 million) in core technologies. This move follows lackluster results for 2017, which saw sales drop 4 percent – from EUR12.0 billion in 2016 to EUR11.5 billion in 2017. The company reported net income of EUR274 million for the year, compared to EUR507 million for 2016. Continue reading