Jair Bolsonaro Will Be Brazil’s Next President

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

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro. Source: Wikipedia/ Antonio Cruz/Agência Brasil

Brazilian right-wing congressman Jair Bolsonaro has won a runoff election to become Brazil’s next president. Bolsonaro defeated opponent Fernando Haddad with 55.1 percent of the vote. The two men, on opposite sides of the political spectrum, faced each other after they were the two top vote-getters in the first round of elections on October 7. Since no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote in those earlier elections, a runoff was required. 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

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

In Controversial Move, Mexican Senate Approves Military Operations Against Criminals

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

Mexico Army paratroopers

In a 71 to 34 vote, the Mexican Senate approved the Internal Security Law, which gives the Mexican armed forces a legal framework to conduct internal security operations. Proponents of the law say it will give the military the ability to support police in combating criminal networks that have hurt Mexico, while opponents believe it will lead to increased human rights abuses. Continue reading

End of an Epoch

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

Decommissioning of the Almirante Grau
Source: Peruvian Navy

Five hundred years of naval history ended in late September when the world’s last armored, gun-armed cruiser was decommissioned by the Peruvian Navy.  The Navy’s long-time flagship BAP (Buque Armada Peruana) Almirante Grau lowered her flag for the last time after 45 years of service.  With her departure, the world’s last warship designed primarily as a platform for her guns is gone and a line of development stretching back to the 15th century has ended.  The BAP Almirante Grau was replaced as fleet flagship by BAP Montero, a Carvajal class frigate built by Servicios Industriales de la Marina (SIMA) and commissioned into the Navy in 1984. Continue reading

Three New Embraer Aircraft to Make Paris Air Show Debut

KC-390 Take Off. Source: Embraer

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

Embraer plans to conduct a flight display of three new aircraft at this year’s Paris Air Show. The Brazilian aerospace company will display its commercial E195-E2 airliner, Legacy 450 business jet, and KC-390 military multirole transport. Continue reading

Headwinds are Building Against Future Growth in Mexican Defense Spending

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

Mexico Army paratroopers. Image: Wikipedia.

The fight against drug cartels and organized crime remains the primary driver of defense spending by Mexico. Since 2006, the nation’s military has worked closely with national and local police to combat trafficking networks and organized criminal groups.  As Mexico’s economy has improved and operations against drug cartels have continued, defense spending has steadily increased. Continue reading

No, Argentina Will Not Be Spending $2 Billion on Military Equipment

by William Ostrove and Shaun McDougall, Forecast International Military Market Analysts 

F-16 Fighting Falcon is on the wish list

Recent reports in the Argentine press indicate that the country has plans to purchase over $2 billion worth of military equipment over the next few years. In a letter leaked to El Destape, Argentine ambassador to the U.S., Martin Lousteau, listed equipment needed by the Argentine Army and Air Force to conduct peacekeeping missions, combat terrorism, and counter illegal trafficking. The list, which would be the envy of even the best-equipped militaries, included F-16 fighter jets, Stryker armored vehicles, air surveillance radar systems, AH-1 Cobra Helicopters, UH-60 and CH-47 transport helicopters, and anti-tank weaponry. Continue reading

Top Eight Countries Dominate Defense Spending in Latin America

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

Defense spending in Latin America will remain strong between 2017 and 2021. While allocations will not be as high as in other regions, economies are expected to slowly improve after years of commodity price declines, giving governments more resources for defense. At the same time, governments will continue to battle violent gangs and illegal trafficking. Continue reading

In a Sensible Move, Argentina’s Defense Minister Decides Not to Purchase Supersonic Jets

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

Argentina IA-58 Pucara. Source: Wikipedia/Rob Schleiffert

Argentine Minister of Defense Julio Martinez has ruled out the purchase of supersonic fighter jets for the Argentine Air Force. The defense minister made his announcement on February 1 during an interview with Argentina’s Radio El Mundo.

Argentina has been searching for new supersonic fighter jets since it retired its Mirage IIIs in November 2015. The search has been wide-ranging, with Buenos Aires searching the world for both new and secondhand fighters. Continue reading