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

Forecast Roundtable – The Global Defense Spending Environment: A Look Back, a Look Forward, Part 4

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.

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Recapping Global Defense Spending for 2017, Eyeing Future Growth

by FI’s International Military Markets Group.

The first annual Global Defense Snapshot by Forecast International’s International Military Market (IMM) group indicates continued growth in the worldwide market following relatively flat investment over the course of the 2015-2016 periods. An increasingly multi-polar global security environment buffeted by healthy economies and ongoing military modernization cycles contributed to a 3.3 percent year-on-year rise in consolidated worldwide defense spending for 2017. Continue reading

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

Turkmenistan Wary of Afghan Border

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

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov steps out of a truck and, after posing for pictures, takes aim at several targets, first with a rifle, then a handgun, and lastly throwing knives. He then calls in helicopter strikes during the military exercise. The video, which first aired on Turkmen State TV, gained prominence after the Chronicles of Turkmenistan, a dissident website, satirized the original by editing in clips of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando, a 1985 movie. Continue reading

Dolphins in Trouble

by Stuart Slade, Senior Naval Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Dolphin-Class Submarine. Source: IDF Navy

With the original group of Dolphin-class submarines designed to have a hull life of 30 years and a design initiation-to-commissioning cycle of at least 10-15 years, attention turned to designing replacements for the first three submarines in 2015.  At first, Israeli ambitions seemed somewhat excessive, with references to “an entirely different submarine from the Dolphin or the Dolphin AIP.” Reality appears to have set in, however, with attention now focused on an upgraded version of the Flight II Dolphin class that includes “some room for growth, with new materials, better sonar … but pretty much the same design.” Continue reading

Gulf Dispute Reaches Boiling Point

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

U.S. President Donald Trump attends meeting with Gulf Cooperation Council leaders on May 21, 2017.
Source: White House

Early on June 5, a number of Arab countries announced in concert their decision to sever ties with Gulf State Qatar. The move by the four countries – Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – came just days after a hacker group announced it would release a trove of emails purportedly belonging to the Emirati Ambassador to the United States. Continue reading

Emirati Regional Military Footprint Continues to Grow

by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Emirati BMP-3 during Joint U.S.-UAE Military Exercise in Kuwait in September 2016
Source: U.S. Army

“The Federation preserves our identity and enhances our capabilities.  It is a strong shield for protecting the security and stability of the Arabian Gulf Region.” – Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Emir of Abu Dhabi

Amid the instability in the Middle East that followed the 2010 and 2011 protest movements, as well as a perceived vacuum as the United States asserts a desire to extricate itself from Middle Eastern conflicts, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has seen a growing need to put its military to use securing regional interests. Continue reading

Denel Taps New Markets, Seeks New Partners at Home and Abroad

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

Denel’s Rooivalk Attack Helicopter. Source: Denel

Despite some recent management troubles, Denel remains stable.  The company plays a key role in the self-sufficiency of South Africa’s defense industry, and the government will continue to support the firm with work. That said, government work has been declining of late due to tight budgets, forcing Denel to adapt. Continue reading