U.S. Air Force Awards Hypersonic Weapon Contract as Pentagon Continues Broader Development Efforts

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

High-Temperature Structures Concept Image
Source: Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract worth up to $480 million for the conduct of a Critical Design Review and to provide test and production readiness support for the U.S. Air Force’s Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW, pronounced “Arrow”), one of the service’s ongoing hypersonic weapon development efforts.  The Air Force is obligating $5 million at time of award.  Contract work will be performed in Orlando, Florida, and is expected to be completed by November 30, 2021.     Continue reading

Strong Forecast for New-Build Submarines Drives Sales of Advanced Periscope System

by Andrew Dardine, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Virginia class, North Carolina (SSN 777)

The U.S. Navy has recently awarded $20 million in contracts to L3 KEO for production and support of non-penetrating periscopes (NPPs).  Work on the first NPPs will be performed in Bologna, Italy and Northampton, Massachusetts, and is expected to be completed by April 2020. Continue reading

Boeing Increases Production and Insourcing Efforts as Backlog Rises

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

Boeing 737 MAX 7 First Flight. Source: Boeing

The market for large commercial transports continues to rise following a brief downtick in 2015-2016.  At the 2018 Farnborough Airshow, both Airbus and Boeing generated an impressive number of orders and commitments. All told, the over 1,400 aircraft orders placed was the biggest total since 2013, with Airbus garnering 431 orders and Boeing “winning” the show with 676. Continue reading

After Counterinsurgency Victory, Syria Looks to Rearm

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

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, and Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov in November 2017. Source: Russian Presidency website

More than seven years after domestic protests broke out against the Syrian government and President Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian military, with Iranian and Russian backing, has achieved victory over insurgent forces. Pockets of anti-government forces certainly remain, including in the southwest and southeast of Syria, as well as the province of Idlib in the northwest, and a large question mark hangs over the future of the Syrian government’s relations with the U.S.-protected People’s Protection Units (known by the Kurdish acronym YPG) and of portions of rebel territory where Turkey has deployed troops. Nevertheless, the war for the ouster of President Assad is at its conclusion. Continue reading

Airbus Rebrands CSeries as A220 Family

by Douglas Royce, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

Airbus A220-300 is the newest member of the Airbus single-aisle family. Photo: Airbus

Airbus rebadged the Bombardier CSeries jet as the Airbus A220 after taking control of the program on July 1 under a new joint venture between the two manufacturers. The two new models in Airbus’ lineup, the A220-100 and A220-300, were formerly known as the CS100 and CS300, respectively. Continue reading

Yahsat to Acquire Thuraya, Making Satellite Investment More Likely

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Yahsat Ground Station or Teleport. Source – Yahsat

 

Yahsat has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Thuraya. Both companies are based in the United Arab Emirates. Yahsat primarily provides fixed satellite services (FSS), while Thuraya chiefly provides mobile satellite services (MSS). Continue reading

Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee Cranks Up Pressure on USAF over JSTARS Recap

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

Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System Recapitalization (JSTARS Recap) program underway.

Can the U.S. Congress force the Air Force into reinstating the JSTARS Recapitalization program? According to the HASC’s Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee’s markup of the FY19 National Defense Authorization Bill, there is a good possibility that it can. Continue reading

BAE Systems’ Semi-Autonomous Software Speeds Combat Decisions in Contested Environments

by Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Analyst, Forecast International.

Distributed Battle Management System. Photo: DARPA

BAE Systems recently announced the development of semi-autonomous software under the Distributed Battle Management program.  The DBM program of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency provides timely and relevant information to operators and pilots when communication is not assured so they can better manage and control air-to-air and air-to-ground combat in contested environments.  DBM technology enables pilots to continue operations when satellite communications and tactical datalinks are shut down – a likely scenario in the modern battlefield, and one that militaries are preparing for. Continue reading

COMAC Leading the Way for China’s Aerospace Ambitions

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

CR929 model. Source: COMACCOMAC, and its former parent, AVIC, have worked hand in glove on two of China’s premier aircraft programs, the C919 narrowbody airliner and the ARJ21 regional jet. More recently, COMAC partnered with Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) on a new airliner, the CR929. 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