Boeing/Leonardo MH-139 Wins Air Force Huey Replacement Program

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

MH-139. Source: Boeing

The U.S. Air Force is finally getting a new helicopter to replace its aging UH-1N Huey fleet.  The venerable Huey will be replaced by the MH-139, a militarized version of the AW139, being built by a team of Boeing and Leonardo.  The UH-1Ns primarily provide ballistic missile base security but also perform VIP transport and search-and-rescue operations.  Continue reading

Spain Halts, Renews Saudi Arms Deal

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

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (then the Deputy Crown Prince) in a 2016 meeting in Riyadh with then-U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. Source: U.S. Department of Defense.

Earlier in September, a curious development took place in Spanish-Saudi bilateral relations. On September 4, Spain announced that it had terminated the sale of 400 precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia and would return a $10.6 million payment to the Gulf nation.[i] The announcement won praise from human rights agencies, but prompted head-scratching even within the Spanish government. Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat the day after the report emerged, the Spanish Consul to Saudi Arabia, Pablo Perez, said, “The Spanish embassy was surprised by these claims,” noting that “our ties with Saudi Arabia are fraternal and friendly.”[ii] Around a week later, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell announced a reversal, saying that the Spanish government “found no reason not to carry” the munition sale out.[iii] Continue reading

Elon Musk Reveals Identity of Passenger to the Moon and Updates BFR Progress

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

BFS Around the Moon, credit: SpaceX

In a live-streamed presentation, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be the first paying passenger aboard the company’s developmental Big Falcon Rocket (BFR). Maezawa plans to fly aboard the BFR on a week-long mission that will orbit the moon in 2023. Maezawa reserved an entire rocket so that he could take along artists who will use the experience to inspire their work. Continue reading

Congress Pushes Development of Space-Based and Boost Phase Missile Defense Capabilities

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

North Korea Missile Launch. Source: Korean News Agency via Reuters

The U.S. Congress continues to push the Department of Defense to develop new missile defense technologies, but it remains to be seen if some of these efforts will come to fruition.  In particular, the FY19 defense authorization bill recently signed into law calls for developing a new space-based missile defense layer and a boost phase intercept capability.  Last year’s FY18 defense authorization bill also included provisions for space-based and boost phase missile defense, if consistent with the Ballistic Missile Defense Review.  The new FY19 authorization bill essentially reworks those original provisions, and calls for the development of these technologies subject to the availability of appropriations.  Continue reading

Airbus and Boeing Report August 2018 Commercial Aircraft Orders and Deliveries

Boeing Reaffirms Full-Year Delivery Target, Makes Good Progress toward Fixing Delays

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

In August 2018, Boeing booked orders for a total of 90 737 MAX narrowbodies, 30 of which will go to Air Lease Corporation. The ALC order was originally announced at the Farnborough International Airshow in July, along with an order for three 787-9 Dreamliners. Source: The Boeing Company

Boeing and Airbus delivered 64 and 54 commercial jets in August 2018, respectively, compared to 66 and 46 deliveries during the same month last year. August is traditionally an average month for deliveries. With only 39 deliveries in July as a result of 737 delays due to late deliveries of fuselages and engines from suppliers, Boeing made a strong comeback. While the company’s supply chain woes have not disappeared, the company has taken steps to mitigate the problem and has stated that it is making good progress toward fixing the logjam by year end. The company has also reaffirmed its full-year delivery target. In 2017, Boeing delivered 763 jets (748 in 2016), in line with company expectations, while Airbus surpassed its delivery target of 700 jets by handing over 718 aircraft during 2017 (688 in 2016). Continue reading

Bombardier Looks to Future After CSeries

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

Bombardier CRJ1000

After years of difficulty, Bombardier has made some bold moves under its five-year restructuring plan, begun in 2015.

The most dramatic of these steps has been the formation of a joint venture, majority led by Airbus, to take over the CSeries program.  This effort, begun in late 2017, became official in July 2018 when Airbus assumed a 50.01 percent controlling stake in the program. The CSeries was quickly rebranded as the Airbus A220 after the joint venture took control of the program. The two new models in Airbus’ lineup, the A220-100 and A220-300, were formerly known as the CS100 and CS300, respectively. Continue reading

Emergency Medical Services Helping Drive Civil Helicopter Market

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace AnalystForecast International.

H135 Helicopter Emergency Medical Service rescue action in Brodnica, Poland . Source: Wikimedia Commons

The helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) sector has been one of the bright spots for civil rotorcraft manufacturers at a time when the industry has tended to struggle due to very low demand from the key offshore oil and gas sector.  Solid demand for new rotorcraft from emergency medical services (EMS) operators has helped to soften somewhat the steep decline in the civil turbine helicopter market experienced since 2013, and is now helping to kickstart recovery in the market. Continue reading

Boeing MQ-25 Stingray Procurement Could Reach Over 150

by Larry Dickerson, Unmanned Vehicles Analyst, Forecast International.

Boeing MQ-25 Stingray. Source: Boeing

The United States has selected Boeing as its contractor for the MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aerial tanker.  Boeing won an $805 million engineering and manufacturing development contract to provide four aircraft.  The MQ-25 Stingray will allow for better use of combat strike fighters by extending the range of deployed naval combat aircraft, according to the U.S. Navy. Continue reading

New Industrial & Marine Turbine Market Research Tool Available

by Stuart Slade, Senior Naval & Marine Power Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Click the image to download a high-resolution PDF.

Forecast International has introduced a critical new upgrade to the Industrial & Marine Turbine Forecast module of its Platinum Forecast System.  With this latest update, the Platinum Forecast System, Version 4.0, now provides forecasts of total additional annual installed capacity.  Now, users can see three vital statistics projections for the industrial and marine turbines market – unit production, value of production, and total capacity of production – over the next 15 years, plus historical data stretching back 10 years.  Continue reading

World General Aviation Aircraft Shipments Up 7% in Second Quarter 2018

U.S. Manufacturers Deliver 413 Aircraft in Second Quarter – Up 34 Units from Q2 2017

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

On July 20, during the Farnborough International Airshow, the Gulfstream G500 received both its type certification and production certificate from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  Source: Gulfstream Aerospace

According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), in the second quarter of 2018, manufacturers reported higher deliveries on lower revenues. Fixed-wing general aviation aircraft manufacturers delivered 607 aircraft worldwide in Q2 18, up 7.2 percent from 566 in Q2 17. At the same time, revenues decreased 10.8 percent to $4.7 billion, the result of lower revenues reported by business jet makers Gulfstream, Bombardier, Embraer and Dassault. The increase in deliveries was attributable to higher piston-engine and turboprop aircraft shipments. Continue reading