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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Pentagon Budget Faces Increased Pressure After Elections

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

Rep. Adam Smith has balked at developing a low-yield nuclear warhead, which would be mounted on a Trident missile. Source: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ronald Gutridge

The Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following Tuesday’s midterm elections, setting the stage for what could be a prolonged battle over defense spending and policy.  The Pentagon’s topline was already facing cuts recently announced by the Trump administration, but the change in power in the House will give Democrats momentum as they push for increased domestic spending.

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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

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

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

Forecast Roundtable – The Khashoggi Murder and its Effects on Saudi-U.S.-Turkey Relations

 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.

This episode features Daniel Darling, Jim Head, and Derek Bisaccio on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and how his death impacts Saudi Arabia’s arms imports. Continue reading

Examining U.S. Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

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

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo departs from King Salman Air Base on October 17. He is accompanied by the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., Prince Khalid bin Salman. Photo: Ron Przysucha / U.S. Department of State

The news of the disappearance and killing of The Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi has put a spotlight on the United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia, especially the close security ties between the two countries. President Donald Trump remains reluctant to address arms sales in response to the crisis. He has contended that terminating those sales would hurt the U.S. economy.[i] Congress, however, is not buying the president’s argument and may seek to force his hand, if nothing else by seeking to delay or slow down the approval process for weapons.[ii] 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