Norwegian Frigate a Total Loss?

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

The Helge Ingstad shortly after being beached to prevent sinking and blocking the shipping lane.

The Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad has been beached and abandoned following a collision with an oil tanker in the Hjeltefjord near Bergen, Norway, in the early hours of Thursday, November 8.  The ship was severely damaged in the collision with the tanker Sola TS, suffering a massive gash along one side.  The torn area appears to extend a quarter of the ship’s length, leaving the machinery spaces open to the sea.  The severity of the damage was made clear when the crew of 137 was forced to abandon ship, and the ship was beached to prevent her sinking in the shipping lane and blocking access to Equinor’s Sture oil shipment terminal nearby.  The terminal has been closed as a precautionary measure. Continue reading

Bombardier to Layoff 5,000, Sells Q400 Turboprop Program

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

Bombardier’s Q400 program has been sold to of Longview Aviation Capital. Photo: Bombardier

As part of a broad strategy to streamline its operations, Bombardier announced that it would sell off a number of non-core assets valued at $900 million and cut employment by 5,000. These moves are aimed at focusing the company on in its Transportation, Business Aircraft and Aerostructures segments.

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Pentagon Budget Faces Increased Pressure After Elections

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

Rep. Adam Smith has balked at developing a low-yield nuclear warhead, which would be mounted on a Trident missile. Source: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ronald Gutridge

The Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following Tuesday’s midterm elections, setting the stage for what could be a prolonged battle over defense spending and policy.  The Pentagon’s topline was already facing cuts recently announced by the Trump administration, but the change in power in the House will give Democrats momentum as they push for increased domestic spending.

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Sierra Nevada to Modify Two King Air 350 ISR/SAR Platforms for Saudi Arabia

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Beechcraft King Air 350 EMARRS. Source: U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center

The U.S. Defense Department reports that Saudi Arabia has ordered the modification of two Beechcraft King Air 350 planes to fulfill an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance role through a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) action.  Under the $23.8 million award (FA8620-16-C-4003), Sierra Nevada of Hagerstown, Maryland, will act as the prime contractor. Continue reading

Type 26 Frigate – Emerging From the Shadows

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

Type 26 frigate. Source: BAE Systems

The decision by Canada to select the BAE Systems/Lockheed Martin bid for the Canadian Patrol frigate replacement has sent shock-waves through the naval community. Taken in combination with the June 28 announcement that the Australian Navy had selected the Type 26 frigate for its ANZAC replacement program, the position of the Type 26 has dramatically strengthened.  In less than a year, the Type 26 has vaulted from a small, also-ran program to the leading contender in the international surface combatants market.  With the Canadian order, assuming the present “preferred bidder” status is confirmed with a signed order, a total of 32 Type 26 frigates are to be built. Continue reading

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

NATO Military Mobility in Europe Remains Key Focus of Alliance

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

With deterrence against a Russian incursion along its Baltic flank a paramount strategic concern of NATO, military mobility has emerged as a key Alliance focus over the past several years. Issues related to rail and roadway sovereignty across national borders, diplomatic notices, environmental concerns, bridge and tunnel heights, railcar and custom regulations, plus others, all combine to slow down west-to-east military resupply and reinforcement capabilities.[i] Continue reading

Trump Opens the Door to Defense Spending Cuts as Sequestration Looms

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

An F-35 Flies Alongside an F-16. Source: U.S. Air Force

President Donald Trump has called on department secretaries to deliver 5 percent cuts for their upcoming FY20 budget requests, opening the door for a potential decline in defense spending.  At the same time, Trump said the defense budget would “probably” total $700 billion in FY20.  Initially, it was unclear if this $700 billion figure applied only to the Pentagon, or to the total national security budget, which also includes programs and agencies outside of the U.S. Department of Defense, such as nuclear programs within the Department of Energy.  Continue reading

USAF Awards $2.3 Billion to Develop New Launch Vehicles

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Blue Origin New Glenn 2.   Source: Blue Origin

The U.S. Air Force has awarded three companies a combined $2.3 billion in contracts to help fund the development of new launch vehicles under the Air Force’s Launch Service Agreement (LSA) program. Under contracts announced on October 10, United Launch Alliance was awarded $967 million to develop the Vulcan Centaur launch system, Northrop Grumman was awarded $791.6 million to develop the OmegA launch system, and Blue Origin was awarded $500 million to develop the New Glenn launch system. Continue reading

AUSA 2018 Wrap-Up

by Thomas Dolzall, Defense Analyst, Forecast International.

The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) opened its annual meeting in Washington, DC, on October 8. The three-day exposition brings together a host of U.S. and international military personnel, defense industry representatives, and journalists and provides them with a common space in which to discuss emerging challenges in the field of international security and to take stock of the latest doctrinal and technological developments put forward by the defense sector and military planners. Continue reading