U.S. Air Force Awards Hypersonic Weapon Contract as Pentagon Continues Broader Development Efforts

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

High-Temperature Structures Concept Image
Source: Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract worth up to $480 million for the conduct of a Critical Design Review and to provide test and production readiness support for the U.S. Air Force’s Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW, pronounced “Arrow”), one of the service’s ongoing hypersonic weapon development efforts.  The Air Force is obligating $5 million at time of award.  Contract work will be performed in Orlando, Florida, and is expected to be completed by November 30, 2021.     Continue reading

Lockheed Martin’s LRDR Selected for Japanese AEGIS Ashore Ballistic Missile Defense Sites

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

Aegis Ashore installation. Source: Lockheed Martin

On July 30, the Japanese Ministry of Defense announced that it had decided to procure Lockheed Martin’s radar over rival Raytheon’s to equip two AEGIS Ashore installations. AEGIS Ashore is a U.S. military technology for land-based ballistic missile defense and early warning derived from a long-standing naval AEGIS program. Continue reading

Trump Administration Moves Space Force Plans Forward

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Space Force logo designs were released by the Trump campaign to supporters for a vote. Source: Trump campaign

With a speech by Vice President Mike Pence, along with an interim report issued by the Pentagon, the U.S. government has begun laying out its plan to create a Space Force as a branch of the U.S. military. The plans will shake up an organization that has managed the launch of 116 satellites over the past eight years. Continue reading

Boeing Increases Production and Insourcing Efforts as Backlog Rises

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

Boeing 737 MAX 7 First Flight. Source: Boeing

The market for large commercial transports continues to rise following a brief downtick in 2015-2016.  At the 2018 Farnborough Airshow, both Airbus and Boeing generated an impressive number of orders and commitments. All told, the over 1,400 aircraft orders placed was the biggest total since 2013, with Airbus garnering 431 orders and Boeing “winning” the show with 676. 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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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

Deliveries of Cirrus SF Family Aircraft Jump in 2017

by Douglas Royce, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

The Cirrus SR22T (piston).  Photo Courtesy of Cirrus Aircraft

Cirrus Aircraft, a subsidiary of China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co since 2011, announced that new customer aircraft deliveries for the company’s SR family of piston singles jumped to over 350 aircraft in 2017, up from 317 aircraft in 2016. Continue reading

Business Jet Market Recovery On the Horizon

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace AnalystForecast International.

Gulfstream G650

Gulfstream G650

Data from Forecast International’s innovative Platinum Forecast System® 3.1 show that a total of 12,282 business jets will be produced during the 15-year period from 2017 through 2031.  We estimate the value of this production at $354 billion in 2017 U.S. dollars. Continue reading

Dubai Airshow Recap – A Tale of Major Commitments and One Deal that Failed

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

Both Airbus and Boeing had a strong Dubai Airshow. On November 15, 2017, Indigo Partners and Airbus signed an MoU for 430 A320neo family aircraft. Although not a firm order, this constitutes an important vote of confidence in a platform that has been dogged by engine supply issues. Photo Courtesy Airbus SAS

Airbus and Boeing took the headlines at the 2017 Dubai Airshow with a slew of orders and commitments.  In the weeks leading up to the air show, the high point was expected to be a new Emirates order for 36 A380 superjumbos, but instead the newsflow out of Dubai was dominated by massive commitments for both manufacturers’ new families of narrowbody jets. As the doors closed on Thursday of last week, total orders amounted to nearly $114 billion at list prices. According to the organizers, trade visitors were up 20 percent over the 2015 event, and almost 80,000 people visited the show during its five-day run. For Airbus and Boeing, the final score in Dubai was 510 and 296 orders and commitments, respectively. Continue reading

Airbus, Boeing Report October 2017 Aircraft Orders and Deliveries

Boeing Set to Win 2017 Orders Race – A320neo Deliveries Finally Ramping Up

by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent.

On October 20, 2017, China Southern Airlines placed an order for eight 777-300ER widebody jets and 30 737 MAXs. During President Trump’s visit to China in November, Boeing signed an agreement with CASC for 300 commercial jets.  Photo Courtesy China Southern Airlines

Boeing and Airbus delivered 56 and 63 commercial jets in October 2017, respectively, compared to 54 each during the same month last year. This year to date, Boeing has delivered 610 jets (617 at the same time last year), while Airbus has delivered 517 (516). In 2016, Boeing delivered 748 jets (762 in 2015), in line with company expectations, while Airbus surpassed its delivery target of 650 jets by handing over 688 jets during 2016 (635 in 2015). Continue reading