Sierra Nevada to Modify Two King Air 350 ISR/SAR Platforms for Saudi Arabia

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

Beechcraft King Air 350 EMARRS. Source: U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center

The U.S. Defense Department reports that Saudi Arabia has ordered the modification of two Beechcraft King Air 350 planes to fulfill an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance role through a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) action.  Under the $23.8 million award (FA8620-16-C-4003), Sierra Nevada of Hagerstown, Maryland, will act as the prime contractor. Continue reading

U.S. Navy Seeks Nearly $4 Billion for SEWIP, Set to Provide Key Components of the LCS

by Andrew Dardine, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

SLQ-32(V) Shipboard EW System. Source: Raytheon

Under the massive Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP), the U.S. Navy is enhancing the capability of its SLQ-32 electronic warfare system to provide early detection, analysis, and warning of – and protection from – anti-ship missiles.  The multi-stage SEWIP provides a family of modular shipborne electronic warfare equipment for installation on all surface combatants, aircraft carriers, amphibious ships, and auxiliaries in the surface Navy.  Continue reading

Heads or Tails – or Wedgetail? Britain Weighing E-7 AEW Purchase

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

Australian Wedgetail AEW&C Aircraft

The British Ministry of Defence has launched exclusive negotiations with Boeing regarding a potential buy of Wedgetail E-7 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed on October 2 that discussions with the U.S. manufacturer are underway, though exactly how many aircraft and at what cost are still yet to be outlined. Continue reading

Boeing/Leonardo MH-139 Wins Air Force Huey Replacement Program

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

MH-139. Source: Boeing

The U.S. Air Force is finally getting a new helicopter to replace its aging UH-1N Huey fleet.  The venerable Huey will be replaced by the MH-139, a militarized version of the AW139, being built by a team of Boeing and Leonardo.  The UH-1Ns primarily provide ballistic missile base security but also perform VIP transport and search-and-rescue operations.  Continue reading

Congress Releases FY19 Defense Policy Bill

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) conduct strike group operations.
Source: U.S. Navy

U.S. House and Senate lawmakers completed the conference markup of the FY19 defense authorization bill on July 23.  The defense policy bill adheres to the spending levels agreed upon in the bipartisan budget act, providing a defense base budget of $639.1 billion.  That figure comprises $616.9 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Defense, $21.9 billion for nuclear programs in the Department of Energy, and around $300 million for defense-related activities outside the DoD.  Another $69 billion is provided for Overseas Contingency Operations, for a total of $708.1 billion in discretionary defense spending.  When including $8.9 billion in mandatory spending, the FY19 topline authorized in the legislation totals $717 billion.  The separate congressional appropriations process will finalize how much money the military actually has available to spend in FY19.

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Congressional Appropriators Boost F-35 Production

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

F-35C Completes Flyover of USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) Source: U.S. Navy

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is poised for a boost in 2019, as two U.S. congressional defense panels have signed off on additional aircraft for the Department of Defense.  Precisely how many additional aircraft each service will receive must be ironed out in conference committee.  This plus-up contrasts with the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, both of which expressed concern about the F-35 production ramp-up.  Continue reading

F-35s Delivered to Turkey as Congress Considers Its Next Move

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace AnalystForecast International.

An F-35 fighter jet on display at a roll-out ceremony for Turkey’s F-35s.  Photo: Beth Steel/Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin formally delivered Turkey’s first two F-35A Joint Strike Fighters on June 21.  However, the milestone occurred amidst various moves within the U.S. Congress aimed at blocking further deliveries of the new fighter to that country.

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Turkmenistan’s President Snubs Central Asian Summit

by Derek Bisaccio, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at the 2014 Caspian Summit. Photo from Russian Presidency website.

On March 15, 2018, four Central Asian leaders met at an important summit in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, to discuss regional issues ranging from economic to environmental to security concerns. The summit featured the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, and marked a significant moment for the region, as Uzbekistan, after years of strained relations, has worked under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to improve his country’s ties with the other Central Asian states. Continue reading

Russian President Signs New State Armaments Program

by Derek Bisaccio, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (R) in 2015.  Source: Russian Ministry of Defense

The document detailing the new Russian State Armaments Program (SAP), covering the years 2018 to 2027, has been signed, according to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin, who spoke to Kommersant in an interview in late February. In this timeframe, Russia will spend over $300 billion on the procurement of new military hardware as part of an effort to equip its forces with modern systems. Continue reading

As Fighter Pressures Mount, Bulgaria Seeks Offer from Boeing for Super Hornet

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

F/A-18 Super Hornet

As Bulgaria prepares to relaunch a tender seeking new combat aircraft to replace its Air Force’s small inventory of 1980s-vintage MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters, Defense Minister Krasimir Karakachanov has indicated via state-run radio that his ministry will be requesting an offer from Boeing for its F/A-18 Super Hornet jet fighter. Continue reading