EMP Threat Not Just a Hollywood Trope

By Richard Sterk, Defense Electronics Analyst, Forecast International.

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP). Source: US Army

The post-apocalyptic effects of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) are no longer just a plot device in the latest Hollywood techno-thriller. The threat to the global grid is very real and very serious. EMP threats encompass not only weapons of mass destruction or threats from terrorist groups and criminal organizations, but also natural threats such as a geomagnetic storm on the sun that sends huge solar flares in the direction of Earth. Continue reading

The Ongoing A-10 Replacement Saga

by Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

U.S. Air Force A-10 Warthog (Source: U.S. Air Force)

In early 2014, then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced plans to retire the U.S. Air Force A-10 fleet over a period of five years.  However, the proposal sparked considerable congressional opposition and, in FY15 and FY16 budgetary legislation, Congress blocked the Pentagon from retiring the attack aircraft. Continue reading

U.S. Army PROPHET: A $269 Million Signals Intelligence System for Brigade Commanders

by Andrew Dardine, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

PROPHET Enhanced tactical signals intelligence system

PROPHET Enhanced tactical signals intelligence system

The U.S. Army’s signals intelligence system equips HMMWVs, MRAPs and other vehicles, providing force protection and situational awareness support to U.S. Army Brigade Combat Team (BCT) and Expeditionary – Military Intelligence Brigade (E-MIB) commanders while enabling effective engagement of enemy forces. The Army will spend $269 million on program procurement and enhancements through 2021. Continue reading

It’s a MAD World in Anti-Submarine Warfare

By Richard Sterk, Senior Defense Electronics Analyst, Forecast International.

Boeing P-8A MMA

Boeing P-8A MMA

Consider by many to be “old school” technology, magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) remains a reliable tool in anti-submarine warfare. MAD systems have often been associated with submarine detection and overlooked as a possible solution for land-based surveillance and detection. Several conflicts around the globe have demonstrated the need for enhanced detection capabilities. Continue reading

Cyber Defense Analysis: $2.64M R&D Effort to Assess Information Disclosures to U.S. Adversaries

by Greg Giaquinto, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

CyberForecast International estimates that the U.S. Air Force will spend approximately $2.64 million on its Cyber Defense Analysis project over the next decade. The CDA project is a research and development endeavor that assesses non-secure telecommunications to determine the type and amount of sensitive and/or classified information that may have been disclosed to U.S. adversaries.

Continue reading

Forecast International Sees Growing Demand for Defense Electronics

By Richard Sterk, Senior Defense Electronics Analyst, Forecast International. Product _0021_electronic systems (Small)Forecast International reports that sales of its Electronics Forecast services have increased significantly over the past year. This suggests that there is a jolt of excitement energizing the worldwide defense electronics market as the wounds caused by the Great Recession finally stop hemorrhaging funding cuts.  Budgets remain tight, but there is a discernible drive to develop new groundbreaking electronic technologies and get them into markets as quickly as possible. Continue reading

Oshkosh Defense Decline Reverses with JLTV Win

by Dean Lockwood, Senior Weapons Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Oshkosh's Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV). Source: Oshkosh

Oshkosh Defense’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. Source: Oshkosh

On August 25, 2015, the U.S. Army awarded Oshkosh Defense a $114.7 million contract for low-rate initial production and full-rate production of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. The U.S. Department of Defense currently maintains a revised procurement objective of 54,599 JLTVs – 49,099 for the Army and 5,500 for the Marine Corps. The Government Accountability Office estimates that the DoD will spend more than $53.3 billion on the JLTV program – $1.082 billion for RDT&E and at least $52.3 billion for procurement. The Army expects the JLTV to achieve Initial Operational Capability in 2019. Continue reading

Is a New Dedicated Close Air Support Aircraft a Possibility for the U.S. Air Force?

By Shaun McDougall, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

A-10 Warthog (Small)

A-10 Warthog

The U.S. Air Force has recently appeared more open to the idea of developing a future close air support aircraft to replace the legacy A-10, despite ongoing efforts to retire that very aircraft to save money. Air Combat Command’s 2015 strategy document, unveiled this month, recommends keeping the door open for a new dedicated CAS aircraft. “We must also continue to develop a balanced close air support (CAS) capability across all [Global Precision Attack] platforms, explore opportunities for a future CAS platform, and enact specific initiatives to ensure we maintain a CAS culture throughout the [Combat Air Force],” the strategy document reads. Furthermore, when asked earlier this year about the possibility of eventually fielding a new dedicated CAS aircraft, ACC Commander Gen. Hawk Carlisle told reporters at the Air Force Association Air Warfare symposium, “We’re thinking about it.” Continue reading

Japan’s Defense Ministry Plans Record Budget Request

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

Japan FlagWith formulations being conducted for Japan’s fiscal year 2016 government budget, the country’s Defense Ministry is contemplating whether to request a record-high slice of the expenditure pie. Having secured three consecutive year-on-year nominal budgetary boosts since the return to power of conservative Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party in December 2012, it is quite clear that the area of defense is a priority for the government. Continue reading

Fear and Military Spending: Greek Financial Doom and the Fall of the Hellenic Military

By Matthew W. Beres, Forecast International.

HellenicWhile reviewing C-130 upgrades, I came upon something interesting – Spar’s 2005 $100 million contract to upgrade Hellenic C-130s. I asked myself, “How can a 2005 government that witnessed a 3 percent annual deficit since 1999 contemplate $100 million in C-130 upgrades?”
Continue reading