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

President Trump Touts an Air Traffic Control System that Is Similar to Canada’s

by Greg Giaquinto, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Air Traffic Control Radar. Source: Pixnio

U.S. President Donald Trump wants to relinquish America’s air traffic control (ATC) system to a private, nonprofit entity with its own board comprising airlines, unions, airports, and federal officials, according to Wired.  In essence, Mr. Trump wants to privatize ATC to look something like a corporation.  This would be similar to Canada’s ATC system.  Continue reading

Embraer and Boeing Merger Would Round Out Aircraft Offerings

By Richard Pettibone and Ray Jaworowski, Analysts, Forecast International.

Embraer E190-E2

Boeing and Embraer have confirmed that the two companies are engaged in discussions regarding a potential combination, the basis of which remains under discussion.  While an outright acquisition is unlikely due to Brazilian government fears of outright foreign ownership, some form of joint venture is likely. 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

U.S. Commerce Department Sides with Boeing on Bombardier Subsidy Fight

by Douglas Royce, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

CSeries 100 is at the center of the dispute. Photo: Bombardier

Earlier this week, the U.S. Commerce Department took Boeing’s side in an ongoing dispute with Canada’s Bombardier after Boeing claimed that an April 2016 order for 75 CSeries jets by Delta Air Lines was unfairly subsidized by the Canadian government.

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Canadian Defense Budget Resorts to Old Tricks Amidst Acquisition Delays

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

 Halifax class frigates HMCS Charlottetown (left) and HMCS Montréal (right) Source: Cpl Johanie Maheu, Formation Imaging Services, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Halifax class frigates HMCS Charlottetown (left) and HMCS Montréal (right)
Source: Cpl Johanie Maheu, Formation Imaging Services, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Canada’s new Liberal government released its first defense budget in March, and the spending plan portends a continued struggle for the military’s troubled acquisition system.  The budget plan estimates that defense spending will total CAD18.6 billion in the 2016/17 fiscal year (April 1 to March 31), which is about CAD578 million less than projected under the previous Conservative government’s 2015 budget plan.  Planned spending of CAD19.5 billion in 2017/18 would actually be higher than the CAD18.7 billion figure contained in last year’s budget, but that increase hides a more alarming issue.  Namely, the 2016 budget takes some CAD3.7 billion worth of procurement funding allocated for large-scale projects in the 2015/16 to 2020/21 timeframe, and defers it to beyond 2020.    Continue reading

Will Saudi Executions Affect LAV Purchase?

By Derek Bisaccio, Middle East Analyst, Forecast International.

Canadian LAV IIIs on Patrol in Afghanistan. Source: Canadian Forces

Canadian LAV IIIs on Patrol in Afghanistan. Source: Canadian Forces

On January 2, Saudi Arabia carried out the execution of 47 people on terrorism charges. Among those executed was Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent figure in anti-government protests. Al-Nimr was convicted in October 2014 for sedition and illegal possession of weapons. He denied having advocated for violence and rejected that he had any weapons, but even so, a Saudi court upheld his death sentence. Continue reading

Canada’s New Leader Vows to Drop F-35 as Priorities Shift to Homeland Defense

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

A Pair of U.S. Air Force F-35A Joint Strike Fighters. Source: U.S. Air Force

A Pair of U.S. Air Force F-35A Joint Strike Fighters. Source: U.S. Air Force

Canada’s Liberal Party has ended nearly a decade of rule under Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservatives, a change that does not bode well for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Liberals, led by Justin Trudeau, won a majority government with 184 seats in Parliament, meaning they will not have to form a coalition with the leftist New Democratic Party, which won 44 seats. The Conservatives held on to 99 seats, while the Bloc Quebecois took 10 seats and the Green Party just one. In the previous election in 2011, when the Conservatives formed a majority, the NDP actually beat out the Liberals to become the official opposition party for the first time ever. The latest election represents a shift to the center, carrying with it a number of significant defense policy changes.

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Canada Refutes Media Claims About Future Surface Combatant

By Shaun McDougall, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

HMCS Athabaskan Source: Royal Canadian Navy

HMCS Athabaskan. Source: Royal Canadian Navy

The Canadian Department of National Defence has responded to media claims that the future Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) program is in trouble, but the government’s effort to assuage concerns is of little consolation. The CSC is a planned class of ships that will replace Canada’s Halifax class frigates and Iroquois class destroyers. CTV News recently obtained internal planning documents that said the CSC is at “very high risk” of running over budget and behind schedule and of lacking skilled manpower. It also said that there is a high risk the CSC will fail to provide the necessary capabilities. The document warned that the program “may be unable to deliver the optimal number of ships with the capabilities necessary to meet operational requirements.” Statements like these are a significant concern for a costly project to replace the bulk of the Royal Canadian Navy’s might.       Continue reading

Canada’s Supply Ship Problem

By Shaun McDougall, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

HMCS Preserver. Source, Dept of National Defense

HMCS Preserver. Source, Dept of National Defense

The Royal Canadian Navy recently hired a barge to transport fuel into the Arctic for two of its maritime coastal defense vessels on patrol in the northern waters. The barge was also used to resupply the ships, according to service officials. The Navy has also been utilizing a Chilean Navy supply ship to resupply its west coast fleet, spending CAD6 million for 40 days of access to Chile’s Almirante Montt over the summer. Canada is working on a similar agreement with Spain to support the east coast fleet later in the year. Why is Canada going through all of this effort to utilize outside resources to supply its own fleet? The answer is simple – Canada no longer has supply ships to do the job. Continue reading