Slovakia’s FMS Request for F-16V Cleared by State Department

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

F-16V
Source: Lockheed Martin

The U.S. State Department has cleared a Slovak government request for the potential sale of 14 F-16 Block 70/72 V- configuration combat aircraft. A notification of the potential Foreign Military Sale (FMS) was delivered by the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) to Congress on April 3. The proposed package – including AESA radars, M61 A1 Vulcan 20mm guns, Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems, ALQ-213 electronic warfare management systems, guidance kits for Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) 500-pound guided bombs, etc. – comes with an estimated price tag of $2.91 billion (EUR2.37 billion). Continue reading

Shifts and Changes in Line-Up of T-X Contenders

by Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

US Air Force T-38 Talon Trainer

The U.S. Air Force’s T-X advanced trainer program is one of the biggest prizes in the military aircraft market in the near future.  This is due to the scale of the program itself:  under the program, the Air Force intends to buy 350 advanced jet trainers to replace its fleet of Northrop T-38Cs.  In addition, the winning T-X aircraft will be in a position to become perhaps the leading competitor in the future global market for advanced jet trainers. Continue reading

Jordan Fills the Gaps, Purchasing and Enhancing Venerable FPS-117 and TPS-77 Radars

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Lockheed Martin TPS-77 Radar.  Source: Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin TPS-77 Radar. Source: Lockheed Martin.

On behalf of Jordan, the U.S. Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin of Syracuse, New York, a not-to-exceed $41.7 million, firm-fixed-price, undefinitized FMS contract (FA8730-17-C-0005) to procure, deliver, and install the “gap filler radar.” Under the terms of the contract, Lockheed Martin will provide two long-range radars, plus three upgrades to existing long-range radars.  Additionally, the company will integrate the new and upgraded radar into Jordan’s overall command, control and communications system. Continue reading

USAF Postpones T-X RFP

by Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

Lockheed Martin/Korea Aerospace Industries T-50A. Source: Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin/Korea Aerospace Industries T-50A is being offered for the T-X competition.  Source: Lockheed Martin

The U.S. Air Force Program Executive Officer for Mobility has delayed issuance of the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the T-X advanced pilot training program by three months.  The program office now expects the RFP to be released in late December 2016.   The postponement follows completion of an internal review regarding the program’s remaining tasks, and is intended to ensure the release of a well-defined RFP. Continue reading

Lockheed Martin Goes All In on Defense

by Richard Pettibone, Aerospace & Defense Companies Analyst, Forecast International.

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

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

As it deals with a global defense downturn and the possible return of sequestration in the U.S., Lockheed Martin has decided to double down on this core market. With the acquisition of Sikorsky and the planned divestment of its services operations, the company has made it clear that it will focus on what it does best, defense contracting.

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Lockheed Sharpens Focus on Defense Platforms with Sikorsky Acquisition

By Richard Pettibone, Aerospace & Defense Companies Analyst, Forecast International.

Sikorsky Combat Rescue Helicopter

Sikorsky Combat Rescue Helicopter

With a protracted downturn anticipated in defense, Sikorsky was put on the block in early 2015 as its parent company, United Technologies, looked to focus on higher-margin commercial markets. After several months of negotiations with various suitors, Lockheed Martin emerged as the victor with a $9 billion offer. Continue reading

MDA Tops List of Commercial Communications Satellite Manufacturers

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

An artist's rendition of the Optus 10 satellite. Based on the Space Systems/Loral (SSL) LS-1300 platform.

An artist’s rendition of the Optus 10 satellite. Based on the Space Systems/Loral (SSL) LS-1300 platform.

Over the next 10 years, the top five commercial communications satellite manufacturers will be MDA, Airbus Defence and Space, Boeing, Thales, and Lockheed Martin. The companies are ranked based on forecast value of production of their satellite products between 2015 and 2024. Although it is recognized that other companies act as subcontractors, this list is determined by estimating revenues of the prime contractors in the commercial communications satellite industry. Continue reading

UTC Moves Ahead With Sikorsky Divestiture

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

Sikorksy Combat Rescue Helicopter

Sikorsky Combat Rescue Helicopter

 

On the opening day of the Paris Air Show, United Technologies Corp (UTC) revealed that it has decided to proceed with a sale or spinoff of its Stratford, Connecticut-based Sikorsky Aircraft subsidiary.  Earlier this year, UTC had announced that it was reviewing strategic alternatives regarding Sikorsky’s future within the UTC corporate portfolio.

At the time, Forecast International wrote that Sikorsky had a bright future with or without UTC.  We pointed to such factors as Sikorsky’s continuing leadership in the military rotorcraft market among Western manufacturers, underscored by robust U.S. Army procurement of Black Hawk helicopters as well as key wins in such contests as the U.S. Air Force combat rescue helicopter and U.S. Navy VXX presidential helicopter programs.  Added to this are Sikorsky’s smaller but growing presence in the civil rotorcraft market and the bright outlook for the firm in the increasingly important helicopter aftermarket.
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Fifth and Sixth SBIRS Satellites Get an Update

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS)

Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS)

The U.S. Air Force’s fifth and sixth Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) reconnaissance satellites will be based on updated versions of Lockheed Martin’s A2100 platform. The contract modification was signed on June 9 following negotiations between the USAF Space and Missile Systems Center and Lockheed Martin Space Systems. The effort will modernize the geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) spacecraft for the fifth and sixth satellites at no additional cost to the $1 billion bulk-purchase contract originally awarded in June 2014.
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The Canadian FWSAR Program and Its Diverse Surface-Search Radar Candidates

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Alenia Aermacchi's C-27J Fixed Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) Contender

Alenia Aermacchi’s C-27J Fixed Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) Contender

Although the Canadian Forces’ efforts to replace their aging Fixed Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) aircraft were formalized in 2004, advancements were stymied repeatedly. On March 31, this changed when Canada released a new Request for Proposals (RFP); the due date is September 2015. The all-new aircraft will feature a new electronics suite with new radars and new electro-optics, making for a lucrative prospect for airborne electronics manufacturers.
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