Emirati Regional Military Footprint Continues to Grow

by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Emirati BMP-3 during Joint U.S.-UAE Military Exercise in Kuwait in September 2016
Source: U.S. Army

“The Federation preserves our identity and enhances our capabilities.  It is a strong shield for protecting the security and stability of the Arabian Gulf Region.” – Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Emir of Abu Dhabi

Amid the instability in the Middle East that followed the 2010 and 2011 protest movements, as well as a perceived vacuum as the United States asserts a desire to extricate itself from Middle Eastern conflicts, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has seen a growing need to put its military to use securing regional interests. Continue reading

Gulf Allies See Friend in Trump Administration

by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud walk along the West Colonnade of the White House in March 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

U.S. President Donald Trump’s first 100 days saw a flurry of activity on both the domestic and foreign fronts as the new president seeks to address what he sees as the policy shortcomings of his predecessor and enact the pledges he made on the campaign trail. These efforts have at times prompted bipartisan support while at other times drawn fierce condemnation from the opposition Democratic Party and even his own Republican Party. Continue reading

International Air Forces Relying on F-5 Fleets to Maintain Battle Readiness

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

Iranian F-5 Saeqeh. Source – Shahram Sharifi

The past year has seen a significant surge worldwide to upgrade legacy fighters. Despite a rapidly aging worldwide fleet with an average of more than 50 years in service, international F-5 fleets are no exception. Even aircraft with more than 40 years of service are receiving upgrades. The 575 aircraft with an on average of between 30-40 years of service, therefore, may provide ample opportunities for retrofit programs. We’ve highlighted two such programs in this article. Continue reading

Airbus, Boeing Report December and Full-Year 2016 Aircraft Orders and Deliveries

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

Airbus Delivers 111 Jets in Wild Year-End Rally, Logs 321 Net Orders

Airbus delivered 111 jets in just one month in December in an impressive year-end surge, and also logged 321 net orders, including the long-awaited Iran Air order for 98 jets.
Photo Courtesy Airbus SAS

Boeing and Airbus delivered 67 and 111 commercial jets in December 2016, respectively, compared to 53 and 79 during the same month last year. For Airbus, this marks an unprecedented dash to the year-end finish line, having been held back by A320neo and A350 supply chain issues. For the full year of 2016, Boeing delivered 748 jets (762 in 2015), in line with company expectations, while Airbus surpassed its delivery target of 650-670 jets by handing over 688 jets during the year (635 in 2015). In 2015, Boeing delivered 762 aircraft, ahead of Airbus’ 635. In 2014 and 2013, Boeing delivered a total of 723 and 648 jets, respectively, compared to Airbus’ 629 and 626. Continue reading

Incoming Trump Administration Will Consider Its Options on Iran Deal

 by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

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Outgoing President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office on November 10, 2016.

On November 8, the United States went to the polls to elect a successor to President Barack Obama, whose second term ends in January. Voters delivered a victory to businessman Donald Trump, who was able to secure victories in a sufficient number of crucial swing states to achieve the 270 electoral votes needed to win. Continue reading

Russia Deploys Bombers to Iranian Air Base

by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Russian Su-34 jet. Source: Russian Ministry of Defense

Russian Su-34 jet. Source: Russian Ministry of Defense

In a significant development for the conflict in Syria and for the Middle East generally, Russia has deployed a number of bombers to an air base in western Iran. The bombers – Tu-22M3s and Su-34s – will conduct airstrikes from the Hamedan air base against militant groups in Syria, in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. Continue reading

Forecast Roundtable, #3

Featuring Forecast International analysts Doug Royce, Derek Bisaccio and Daniel Darling. Edited by Matthew Beres.

2podcast logoWelcome to the third episode of the Forecast Roundtable podcast. Each podcast features several analysts discussing various aerospace and defense-related issues.

This week Doug Royce continues the interviews of Derek Bisaccio and Daniel Darling regarding Middle East defense cooperation and military acquisition. Matthew Beres edited.

Click the button below to download the podcast.

PodcastButton100:50 – What’s happening with defense budgets in the region now that oil prices are going down?

02:25 – How does Israel feel about the defense buildup that’s happening in the GCC?

04:27 – F-35 comments

04:32 – Israel and Turkey’s Relationship

10:22 – Defense trade between the Arab world and China. Will China be a future competitor for the U.S. and European companies?

12:05 – Will the future see greater reliance on China as an arms supplier to GCC countries?



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Forecast Roundtable, Podcast Episode 2

By Matthew Beres and Bill Ostrove, Forecast International.

2podcast logo

Welcome to Forecast International’s second episode of the Forecast Roundtable podcast. Each podcast features several analysts discussing various aerospace and defense-related issues. Continue reading

Iran Considering Domestic Manufacture of T-90S Tank

By Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

T-90S main battle tank, the export version of the Russian T-90. Source: Rosoboronexport

With sanctions on Iran coming to a close thanks to the agreement between Tehran and the “P5+1” countries, international businesses are lining up to enter the Iranian market. President Hassan Rouhani’s recent visit to Europe – where he reached a number of high-profile agreements, including an order for 118 Airbus jetliners[i] – has been the subject of much fanfare, but Tehran is also seeking to build up its military capabilities. Continue reading

Russia Reportedly Upgrading S-300 Defense Missiles for Iran

By Nicole Auger, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

S-300 air defense missile system

S-300 air defense missile system

Shortly after the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, and France – plus Germany) was announced, reports regarding the ongoing S-300 air defense system sale between Iran and Russia were put into question. Continue reading