Norwegian Frigate a Total Loss?

by Stuart Slade, Senior Naval & Marine Power Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

The Helge Ingstad shortly after being beached to prevent sinking and blocking the shipping lane.

The Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad has been beached and abandoned following a collision with an oil tanker in the Hjeltefjord near Bergen, Norway, in the early hours of Thursday, November 8.  The ship was severely damaged in the collision with the tanker Sola TS, suffering a massive gash along one side.  The torn area appears to extend a quarter of the ship’s length, leaving the machinery spaces open to the sea.  The severity of the damage was made clear when the crew of 137 was forced to abandon ship, and the ship was beached to prevent her sinking in the shipping lane and blocking access to Equinor’s Sture oil shipment terminal nearby.  The terminal has been closed as a precautionary measure. Continue reading

Bombardier to Layoff 5,000, Sells Q400 Turboprop Program

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

Bombardier’s Q400 program has been sold to of Longview Aviation Capital. Photo: Bombardier

As part of a broad strategy to streamline its operations, Bombardier announced that it would sell off a number of non-core assets valued at $900 million and cut employment by 5,000. These moves are aimed at focusing the company on in its Transportation, Business Aircraft and Aerostructures segments.

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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

Type 26 Frigate – Emerging From the Shadows

by Stuart Slade, Senior Naval & Marine Power Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Type 26 frigate. Source: BAE Systems

The decision by Canada to select the BAE Systems/Lockheed Martin bid for the Canadian Patrol frigate replacement has sent shock-waves through the naval community. Taken in combination with the June 28 announcement that the Australian Navy had selected the Type 26 frigate for its ANZAC replacement program, the position of the Type 26 has dramatically strengthened.  In less than a year, the Type 26 has vaulted from a small, also-ran program to the leading contender in the international surface combatants market.  With the Canadian order, assuming the present “preferred bidder” status is confirmed with a signed order, a total of 32 Type 26 frigates are to be built. Continue reading

USAF Awards $2.3 Billion to Develop New Launch Vehicles

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Blue Origin New Glenn 2.   Source: Blue Origin

The U.S. Air Force has awarded three companies a combined $2.3 billion in contracts to help fund the development of new launch vehicles under the Air Force’s Launch Service Agreement (LSA) program. Under contracts announced on October 10, United Launch Alliance was awarded $967 million to develop the Vulcan Centaur launch system, Northrop Grumman was awarded $791.6 million to develop the OmegA launch system, and Blue Origin was awarded $500 million to develop the New Glenn launch system. Continue reading

AUSA 2018 Wrap-Up

by Thomas Dolzall, Defense Analyst, Forecast International.

The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) opened its annual meeting in Washington, DC, on October 8. The three-day exposition brings together a host of U.S. and international military personnel, defense industry representatives, and journalists and provides them with a common space in which to discuss emerging challenges in the field of international security and to take stock of the latest doctrinal and technological developments put forward by the defense sector and military planners. Continue reading

It’s a Mess Up There!

By Richard Sterk, Defense Electronics Analyst, Forecast International.

An Ever Increasing Number of Items Are Orbiting the Earth
Source: NASA

Until somewhat recently, space was a peaceful domain where orbital and flying craft were unprotected, but adversaries are now developing systems to counter advantages.  Traffic is building in space, as many new entrants have joined the ranks of spacefaring nations and counter‑space capabilities are becoming more of a concern. The United States must adapt its satellite constellations in response to such growing threats and elevate its game in space situational awareness. Continue reading

Bombardier Looks to Future After CSeries

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

Bombardier CRJ1000

After years of difficulty, Bombardier has made some bold moves under its five-year restructuring plan, begun in 2015.

The most dramatic of these steps has been the formation of a joint venture, majority led by Airbus, to take over the CSeries program.  This effort, begun in late 2017, became official in July 2018 when Airbus assumed a 50.01 percent controlling stake in the program. The CSeries was quickly rebranded as the Airbus A220 after the joint venture took control of the program. The two new models in Airbus’ lineup, the A220-100 and A220-300, were formerly known as the CS100 and CS300, respectively. Continue reading

Emergency Medical Services Helping Drive Civil Helicopter Market

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace AnalystForecast International.

H135 Helicopter Emergency Medical Service rescue action in Brodnica, Poland . Source: Wikimedia Commons

The helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) sector has been one of the bright spots for civil rotorcraft manufacturers at a time when the industry has tended to struggle due to very low demand from the key offshore oil and gas sector.  Solid demand for new rotorcraft from emergency medical services (EMS) operators has helped to soften somewhat the steep decline in the civil turbine helicopter market experienced since 2013, and is now helping to kickstart recovery in the market. Continue reading

Boeing MQ-25 Stingray Procurement Could Reach Over 150

by Larry Dickerson, Unmanned Vehicles Analyst, Forecast International.

Boeing MQ-25 Stingray. Source: Boeing

The United States has selected Boeing as its contractor for the MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aerial tanker.  Boeing won an $805 million engineering and manufacturing development contract to provide four aircraft.  The MQ-25 Stingray will allow for better use of combat strike fighters by extending the range of deployed naval combat aircraft, according to the U.S. Navy. Continue reading