International Apache Contracts Abound

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

AH-64 Apache. Source : US Army

Multiple companies have recently been awarded contracts for international AH-64 retrofit programs. As one of the world’s premier attack helicopters, the Apache is well funded, and is upgraded regularly with new and improved technologies. Continue reading

Leonardo Launches New Growth Plan

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

Leonardo and its U.S. subsidiary DRS Technologies are offering the T-100, a variant of the M-346 Master, for the USAF T-X trainer program. (Photo: Leonardo)

Following a difficult year into the company’s rebranding, Leonardo’s management has launched another industrial plan, dubbed Leonardo 2.0, that aims to achieve double-digit profitability over the next five years, tighten project cost control, and invest some EUR500 million ($624 million) in core technologies. This move follows lackluster results for 2017, which saw sales drop 4 percent – from EUR12.0 billion in 2016 to EUR11.5 billion in 2017. The company reported net income of EUR274 million for the year, compared to EUR507 million for 2016. Continue reading

Update: Conformal Fuel Tank Retrofits

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

The Block III F/A-18E/F Super Hornet has conformal fuel tanks, new radar, and updated cockpit and communication systems (Photo: Boeing)

Boeing has recently been awarded a $219.6 million delivery order for the design, development, test and integration of the conformal fuel tank in support of the F/A-18.  Work will be performed in various locations, and is expected to be completed in July 2022.  Continue reading

Airbus and Boeing Report March 2018 Commercial Aircraft Orders and Deliveries

Boeing Flexes Muscles and Delivers Record 91 Jets in One Month

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

Boeing had a banner month on all fronts. On March 25, the company celebrated its first delivery of the largest Dreamliner variant, the 787-10. Also in March, Boeing delivered a record 91 jets, booked 221 net new orders, beat its all-time backlog record, and delivered the 10,000th 737. Photo Courtesy: The Boeing Co.

Boeing and Airbus delivered 91 and 56 commercial jets in March 2018, respectively, compared to 74 and 62 deliveries during the same month last year. In 2017, Boeing delivered 763 jets (748 in 2016). in line with company expectations, while Airbus surpassed its delivery target of 700 jets by handing over 718 aircraft during 2017 (688 in 2016). Continue reading

Forecast Roundtable – The Global Defense Spending Environment: A Look Back, a Look Forward, Part 4

By Matthew Beres and Dan Darling, Forecast International.

Welcome to the Forecast Roundtable Podcast. Forecast Roundtable brings together expert analysts, industry professionals, and government officials to discuss the latest issues in the aerospace and defense markets. Produced at the Forecast International headquarters, Forecast Roundtable offers unique and in depth insight and discussion on any range of topics from geopolitics to aerospace and defense markets.

Continue reading

FCC Has Approved over 5,000 Smallsats to Provide Broadband Communications Services

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

OneWeb’s non-geostationary orbit (NGSO) satellite constellation.

With its approval of SpaceX’s proposed constellation in late March, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now approved the deployment of 5,264 small satellites from four companies to provide broadband communications services from Earth orbit. Continue reading

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

Forecast Roundtable – The Global Defense Spending Environment: A Look Back, a Look Forward, Part 3

 By Matthew Beres and Dan Darling, Forecast International.

Welcome to the Forecast Roundtable Podcast. Forecast Roundtable brings together expert analysts, industry professionals, and government officials to discuss the latest issues in the aerospace and defense markets. Produced at the Forecast International headquarters, Forecast Roundtable offers unique and in depth insight and discussion on any range of topics from geopolitics to aerospace and defense markets. Continue reading

Dassault Quickly Replaces Falcon 5X with Larger, Longer-Range Falcon 6X

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace AnalystForecast International.

Dassault Falcon 6X. Source: Dassault Aviation

Dassault moved quickly to replace its canceled Falcon 5X business jet with the new Falcon 6X, a larger and longer-range aircraft targeted at roughly the same portion of the market that the 5X had been.  In December 2017, Dassault canceled development of the 5X, and began the process of terminating its contract with Safran for the supply of Silvercrest engines to power the aircraft.  At the same time, still seeing a market need for a new aircraft in this niche, Dassault announced a new, then-unnamed Falcon business jet.  In February 2018, this new aircraft received the name Falcon 6X. Continue reading

Spirit AeroSystems Set to Expand Fabrication and Defense Portfolio

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

With its restructuring a resounding success, Spirit AeroSystems is investing in growing its core operations to meet demand.

As Spirit AeroSystems’ fortunes mirror those of Boeing (which accounts for about 80 percent of its revenues), the current production ramp-ups are good news.  Backlog remains high at Boeing, and the announced production rate increases on such aircraft as the 737 will only funnel more work to Spirit.  In addition, Boeing’s decision to pursue the 737 MAX – in which Spirit will play a significant role – will continue to add to the backlog. Continue reading