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

Bulgaria’s Ever-Elusive Fighter Acquisition Reaches Crunch Time

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

Bulgarian MiG-29s are slated for phase out.

Bulgarian MiG-29s are slated for phase out.

Bulgaria’s Defense Ministry continues to press for new combat aircraft to replace the Bulgarian Air Force’s Soviet-vintage MiG-29 Fulcrum fleet. Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev told local media on January 13 that if a contract is signed by year-end 2016, the new fighter fleet could be brought into service within a three-and-a-half-year timeframe. Continue reading

Workhorse EW System Helps F/A-18s Fly Safe

Andrew Dardine, Electronics Analyst, Forecast International.

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

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

Harris’s ALQ-214 Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (IDECM) radio frequency countermeasures (RFCM) system is in demand by the U.S. Navy. The Navy recently placed a $97 million order for 46 ALQ-214 units to equip its fleet of F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F/A-18C/D Hornet aircraft. The contract also includes the provision of spare weapons replaceable assemblies, plus field support and assembly repairs. 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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