Northrop Grumman Acquisition of Orbital ATK Strengthens Diverse Space Offerings

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, and Richard Pettibone, Aerospace & Defense Companies Analyst, Forecast International.

Antares launch. Source: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Behind all the sound and fury surrounding the recent UTC/Rockwell deal, Northrop Grumman quietly moved in earlier this week and scooped up rocket and missile maker Orbital ATK in a deal valued at $9.2 billion.  Under the agreement Northrop Grumman will acquire Orbital ATK for approximately $7.8 billion in cash, plus the assumption of $1.4 billion in net debt. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2018 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory and Orbital ATK shareholder approval. 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

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

In the Future, the MQ-4C Triton Will Use Radar to Autonomously Avoid Crashing

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

MQ-4C Triton (Source: U.S. Navy)

MQ-4C Triton (Source: U.S. Navy)

Under the terms of a $39.1 million modification to a pre-existing contract, Northrop Grumman will continue the process of remedying the MQ-4C Triton’s troubled sense-and-avoid, air-to-air radar subsystem.  The radar, once operable, will allow the unmanned aerial vehicle to autonomously sense and avoid other aerial objects, giving the platform true “drone” capabilities. Continue reading

U.S. Navy to Spend over $2 Billion on Naval Electronic Warfare Program

By Andrew Dardine, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

on board a US DDG-70 vessel

SLQ-32 EW system on board a US DDG-70 vessel

Based on a projection in the FY16 defense budget, the U.S. Navy will spend more than $2.3 billion over the next several years developing and purchasing upgrades for the SLQ-32 EW system. Through the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP), the U.S. Navy is enhancing the capability of its SLQ-32 to counter evolving threats. All U.S. aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, and other warships use the SLQ-32 EW system. In addition, the Navy intends to equip future warships, including the DDG-1000, with the SLQ-32.

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Military Drone Market Slows, but Value Not Dropping

by Larry Dickerson, Unmanned Vehicles Analyst, Forecast International.

RQ-4B Block 30 Global Hawk (Source: Northrop Grumman)

RQ-4B Block 30 Global Hawk (Source: Northrop Grumman)

Despite all the talk about commercial unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) market remains dominated by military customers.  Although overall production is falling, the value of this market continues to grow.

The UAS market has seen a remarkable transformation over the last 12 years.  This radical change occurred in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the subsequent global war on terror launched by the United States and its allies.

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