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

NASA Finally Sets a Direction Under President Trump, But Will Its Plans Make It Through Congress?

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

This artist rendering shows an aerial view of the liftoff of the 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity configuration SLS from the launchpad. Funding for the SLS will continue. Source: NASA

America’s preeminent space agency is proposing a major change in focus for FY19. Along with the rest of the federal government, NASA released its fiscal year 2019 budget request on February 13. While NASA’s budget faced few changes in President Donald Trump’s FY18 budget request, for FY19 NASA is looking to shift its priorities and thereby change how its funding is spent. 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

Pentagon Faces Yet Another Continuing Resolution

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle is among the programs impacted by a continuing resolution. Source: U.S. Army

President Trump and congressional leaders reached an agreement that will keep the U.S. government operating at FY17 funding levels through mid-December. The continuing resolution (CR), part of a broader legislative package that also included a three-month increase to the debt ceiling and nearly $8 billion in hurricane relief funding, was signed into law on September 8.  Republicans had been pushing for a longer extension  to the debt ceiling, but the agreement sets up critical votes on both the budget and the debt ceiling in December. Continue reading

Top Contractors Hold Their Positions as Defense Spending Begins to Rise

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

F-35A Weapons Carriage (Lockheed Martin Photo by Matt Short)

As defense markets continue to adapt to dynamic economic and political forces, the major players continue to hold their entrenched positions.

Regional turmoil in parts of the Middle East, Europe and Asia continue to drive the need for more spending. Further, international sales for many firms are set to expand, driven by fear over the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), a more bellicose Russia, and regional pressures from China and North Korea. Continue reading

NASA’s FY18 Budget Allotment Offers a Few Surprises, Though Agency is Largely Unscathed

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

NASA’s Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV)

President Donald Trump’s Fiscal Year 18 federal budget proposal – released on May 23 –  includes a few surprises for NASA.  While much has been made of the many cuts to social programs in the president’s budget, NASA’s funding remains largely unchanged – with a few notable exceptions. Continue reading

Acquisition Programs Dominate Pentagon’s FY17 Spending Increase

 by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

The defense bill added a dozen Super Hornets for the U.S. Navy.
Source: U.S. Navy

The Pentagon’s FY17 budget was signed into law on May 5, more than halfway through the fiscal year.  The legislation couldn’t come soon enough, as the military has been operating under a series of three continuing resolutions that funded the department at FY16 levels.  CRs bring with them a host of difficulties, including restrictions on launching new programs, and leave many existing programs overfunded or unfunded.  The Pentagon has become quite adept at navigating CRs, which have sadly become the norm in Washington.  However, this year’s scenario was particularly troubling, as CRs in recent years haven’t lasted more than a few months. 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

U.S. President Trump Orders Tomahawk Strikes on Syrian Airbase

by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Tomahawk missile launch

The guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a Tomahawk missile (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/Released)

Early on April 7, 2017, the United States Navy conducted Tomahawk missile strikes on al-Shayrat airbase in Homs, Syria, in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack earlier in the week on Khan Sheikhoun, in opposition-controlled Idlib. The strikes mark the first time the United States has deliberately targeted the Syrian military since an uprising began in 2011. Continue reading

Higher Defense Budgets Likely to Give Medium/Heavy Military Rotorcraft Market a Lift

by Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

V-280 Concept for Future Vertical Lift (FVL). Source: Bell Helicopter

Forecast International’s Platinum Forecast System 3.1 indicates that a total of 6,175  medium/heavy military rotorcraft will be produced during the 15-year period from 2017 through 2031.  The value of this production is estimated at $158.4 billion (in FY17 dollars).  We define a medium/heavy military rotorcraft as one having a gross weight of at least 6,804 kilograms (15,000 lb). Continue reading