Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Highlights – 7/3/17 Edition

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

This blog post briefly highlights recent Airborne Retrofit & Modernization news. More in-depth news can be found in Forecast’s E-Market Alerts. Sign up here to receive our World Aerospace and Defense Intelligence Newsletter. To the minute R&M news can also be found via the Forecast R&M twitter account, @MBeresFI. Continue reading

Greece Aims for F-16 Upgrade, but F-35 Plans Remain a Pipe Dream

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

F-16V
Source: Lockheed Martin

The Hellenic Defense Ministry announced on February 7 that Greece intends to move forward on an upgrade to its large inventory of F-16C/D combat aircraft and begin exploring a future purchase of the new-generation F-35 from the U.S.

The first project represents a much-needed focus on deteriorating Greek military capabilities in the air-sea domain, while the second remains an over-the-horizon dream nowhere remotely near Athens’ current fiscal reality. Continue reading

Weather Fails to Dampen Excitement of Farnborough 2016

By Bill Ostrove, Space Systems and Military Markets Analyst, and Raymond Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

F-35 Hovering Demo. Photo: Bill Ostrove

F-35 hovering against cloud skies at Farnborough. Photo: Bill Ostrove

Although weather caused the 2016 Farnborough Air Show to get off to an inauspicious start, the excitement picked up later in the week. Continue reading

Norway’s New Long-Term Defense Plan Focuses on Military Readiness with One Eye on Russia

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

F-35A Weapons Carriage (Lockheed Martin Photo by Matt Short)

Norway will purchase 52 F-35A’s (Lockheed Martin Photo by Matt Short)

Norway’s center-right, government-led Ministry of Defense unveiled the country’s latest long-term defense plan (titled “Capable and Sustainable”) on June 17.  The new LTDP follows the previous iteration published in 2012 by the former Red-Green (center-left) government of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, which drafted the plan during a period when the greater European security environment had yet to be upset by Russia’s annexation of Crimea and further destabilization activities in eastern Ukraine. Continue reading

Forecast Roundtable – F-22 production resumption?

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Welcome to the fourth episode of the Forecast Roundtable podcast. Each podcast features several analysts discussing various aerospace and defense-related issues.

This week Doug Royce and Matthew Beres discuss the possible resumption of the F-22 production line. Continue reading

Denmark’s Fighter Selection Date Faces Yet Another Delay as Replacement Program Struggles to Lift Off

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

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

Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighters. Source: U.S. Air Force

Denmark’s headline military procurement project – the replacement of the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) fleet of F-16s – faces a potential delay in the selection timeline laid out by the country’s minority government.  The Danish Ministry of Defense is currently examining a short list of future fighter alternatives that include the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II, the Eurofighter Typhoon, and the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet. Continue reading

EA-18G and F-35 Drive Demand for Key Electronic Warfare Simulator Program

By Andrew Dardine, Electronic Systems 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

The U.S. Navy’s EW Simulator Development program will receive steady funding over the next several years. For 2016, $30.6 million will be spent on the effort that advances training technologies for the EA-18G Growler and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. For 2017, $25.5 million has been allocated for the program.

The EA-18G and F-35 will be produced in growing numbers over the next several years. These platforms will require constant testing and evaluation to ensure that their electronic warfare systems will be able to protect the aircraft from both current and future threats.

The EW Simulator Development program develops simulation facilities and approaches that will allow planners to evaluate the effectiveness of EW systems in real-world engagement situations and to introduce modern, effective systems into naval aviation.

Current and emerging EW systems that directly benefit from the EW Simulator Development effort include the ALR-67 radar warning receiver, the ALQ-214 Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures suite, and the Next Generation Jammer, among many others.

Based on an estimated projection of the FY16 U.S. defense budget, $209 million will likely be spent on the program through 2025.


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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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Paris Air Show Promises to be Biggest Ever, and Heralds a Return of the U.S. Military

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

bi_d_m-300x215The Paris Air Show is the world’s largest aerospace trade show, and organizers say that the 2015 event will host 2,260 exhibitors from 47 countries, surpassing the record 2,215 exhibitors hosted in 2013.

One of the highlights of the 2015 exhibition will be the return of the U.S. military, which skipped the 2013 Paris show due to sequestration-related budgetary issues.  A large static display of several U.S. military aircraft and rotorcraft is planned for the 2015 show, including a possible last hurrah at Paris for the A-10 close air support aircraft, which the U.S. Air Force has been trying to retire against the wishes of Congress.  One notable absence will be the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is not scheduled to make the trip to Paris.  None of the U.S. military aircraft are slated to perform in the show’s daily flying display. Continue reading

U.S. Navy the Clear Winner in Senate Armed Services Committee Markup

by Shaun McDougall, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

CVN 73 Carrier Strike Group (Source: US Navy)

CVN 73 Carrier Strike Group (Source: US Navy)

The U.S. Navy came out as the clear winner in the Senate Armed Services Committee’s markup of the FY16 defense authorization bill, receiving funding for additional aircraft, ships, and weapons. The results were more mixed for the Air Force and Army. The legislation, approved by the SASC on May 14 by a vote of 22 to four, supports the president’s budget request level of $612 billion for the Department of Defense and security programs in the Department of Energy. That level exceeds current defense budget caps, so the committee provides an additional $38 billion in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account, which is not subject to spending limits. This move mirrors the GOP budget resolution, as well as the House’s version of the FY16 defense policy bill.

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