Fuel Efficiency a Driver of Retrofits for Airliners and Military Transports

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

Airbus A319. Source: Airbus

CTT Systems recently received an order from Eurowings to retrofit its Zonal Drying System on 25 A319 aircraft.  The retrofit’s big draw is that it reduces an aircraft’s weight by preventing water accumulation in the fuselage. The weight of just one B737/A320 can be reduced by up to 200-300 kilograms. Continue reading

U.S. Scrambles to Address Naval Aviation Readiness Issues

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

F/A-18 Equipped with ALQ-214. Source: Harris/Exelis.

Commander of U.S. Naval Air Forces Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker spoke about naval aircraft readiness at the 61st annual Tailhook Convention in Reno, Nevada, in September. He stated that international commitments and budget constraints are making it difficult to meet aviation readiness standards. He added, however, that the FY17 U.S. defense budget has $1 billion earmarked for naval aviation readiness – part of a slow push in the right direction. 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

U.S. Approves Canadian Super Hornet Deal that May Never Happen

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

A U.S. F-18 Refuels from a KC-10 Tanker
Source: U.S. Air Force

The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of 18 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and associated equipment to Canada as part of a potential deal worth $5.23 billion, according to a September 12 announcement from the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).  The announcement outlines the potential sale of 10 F/A-18Es, eight F/A-18Fs, eight F414-GE-400 engine spares, APG-79 radars, 100 AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II missiles, 30 AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II Captive Air Training Missiles, and eight AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II Special Air Training Missiles, as well as additional avionics and electronics.  Continue reading

Major Expansion of U.S. Navy Amphibious Warfare Fleet?

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

LPD-17 – Source, US Navy

The decision to use the LPD-17 design as the baseline for the LX(R) has opened up a major discussion on the future size and composition of the U.S. Navy amphibious warfare fleet.  This decision resulted from the Navy’s determination that the Ingalls Shipbuilding production line for LPD-17s is now working so efficiently that another ship could be ordered to bridge the gap between LPD-17 construction and the start of the LX(R) program. As a result, lawmakers provided $1.8 billion for LPD-29, the 13th ship in the class, in the fiscal year 2017 spending plan.

Continue reading

A Positive Half-Measure: Taiwan’s Proposed 2018 Defense Budget

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

Taiwan’s ruling cabinet announced on August 17 that it has approved a fiscal year 2018 budget proposal that favors the Ministry of National Defense over all other government departments.

The FY18 budget calls for an allocation of TWD331.8 billion ($10.95 billion) toward defense, which would make this area the largest of all government expenditures at 16.7 percent of the total national budget. Continue reading

With Latest Funding Agreement, Sweden Awakens from Its Defense Slumber

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

Sweden’s Stridsfordon 90 CV9040. Source: Wikipedia

Sweden’s minority government and political opposition Alliance bloc have agreed to a new defense deal that will provide SEK8.1 billion ($1 billion) in additional funding for the country’s broad security needs over the upcoming three-year period through 2020. The agreement bolsters spending on the Swedish military (which will receive SEK6.8 billion – or $841 million – worth of the additional funding) and civil defense (SEK1.3 billion, or $160 million). Continue reading

Forecast International Launches Improved U.S. Defense Budget Database

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

Source: Forecast International’s U.S. Defense Budget Forecast

Forecast International is pleased to announce the launch of a newly enhanced U.S. Defense Budget Forecast database, now featuring the ability to track major program spending and identify winners and losers within every Pentagon budget request.  FI’s budget database provides quick access to DoD request and forecast budget data, justification documents, congressional markups, and more.  The Pentagon’s massive weapons spending plan can be sorted by value, with options for filtering programs by appropriation title (R1/P1), service, and appropriation account.       Continue reading

Boeing on a Roll; Both Civil and Military Markets Remain Strong

by Edward Nebinger, Forecast International.

Boeing’s KC-46 Pegasus tanker program will be a key revenue driver for the firm. Image: Boeing

Recent reports of significant layoffs by Boeing have proven to be of little concern to Wall Street investors, who shrugged those actions off as an efficiency move. Not only that, Boeing stock rose dramatically to a new high last week, and during a two-day period jumped 28 points, sending the Dow Jones Average to a new all-time high. 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