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

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

Spain Halts, Renews Saudi Arms Deal

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

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (then the Deputy Crown Prince) in a 2016 meeting in Riyadh with then-U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. Source: U.S. Department of Defense.

Earlier in September, a curious development took place in Spanish-Saudi bilateral relations. On September 4, Spain announced that it had terminated the sale of 400 precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia and would return a $10.6 million payment to the Gulf nation.[i] The announcement won praise from human rights agencies, but prompted head-scratching even within the Spanish government. Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat the day after the report emerged, the Spanish Consul to Saudi Arabia, Pablo Perez, said, “The Spanish embassy was surprised by these claims,” noting that “our ties with Saudi Arabia are fraternal and friendly.”[ii] Around a week later, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell announced a reversal, saying that the Spanish government “found no reason not to carry” the munition sale out.[iii] Continue reading

Gulf Dispute Reaches Boiling Point

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

U.S. President Donald Trump attends meeting with Gulf Cooperation Council leaders on May 21, 2017.
Source: White House

Early on June 5, a number of Arab countries announced in concert their decision to sever ties with Gulf State Qatar. The move by the four countries – Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – came just days after a hacker group announced it would release a trove of emails purportedly belonging to the Emirati Ambassador to the United States. Continue reading

Gulf Allies See Friend in Trump Administration

by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud walk along the West Colonnade of the White House in March 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

U.S. President Donald Trump’s first 100 days saw a flurry of activity on both the domestic and foreign fronts as the new president seeks to address what he sees as the policy shortcomings of his predecessor and enact the pledges he made on the campaign trail. These efforts have at times prompted bipartisan support while at other times drawn fierce condemnation from the opposition Democratic Party and even his own Republican Party. Continue reading

Sale of PTDS Aerostat to Saudi Arabia Could Lead to Sales of ZPY-1 STARLite Radar

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

ZPY-1 STARLite Radar. Source: Northrop Grumman

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on January 23 that the State Department had approved a possible sale to Saudi Arabia of model 74K Persistent Threat Detection System (PTDS) aerostats and related equipment.  The contract would carry an estimated value of $525 million. Continue reading

Antonov Becomes Cornerstone of New Ukrainian Aircraft Corp

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

Antonov An-32

Antonov An-32 (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson)

Under the aegis of Ukraine’s state-owned defense conglomerate Ukroboronprom, Antonov is rapidly becoming the focal point of the country’s aviation industry.

The new ownership has not been idle with its acquisition. In June 2016, Ukroboronprom consolidated its aerospace holdings into a new Ukrainian Aircraft Corp centered on Antonov.  This new group is aimed at helping the nation’s aviation industry to develop and to integrate into the global market.  Further, the cluster will also help reduce redundancy in production, planning, procurement and marketing among its various operations.  Perhaps most importantly, the formation of this corporation will help Ukraine sever ties with Russia’s United Aircraft Corp. Continue reading

Forecast Roundtable, #3

Featuring Forecast International analysts Doug Royce, Derek Bisaccio and Daniel Darling. Edited by Matthew Beres.

2podcast logoWelcome to the third episode of the Forecast Roundtable podcast. Each podcast features several analysts discussing various aerospace and defense-related issues.

This week Doug Royce continues the interviews of Derek Bisaccio and Daniel Darling regarding Middle East defense cooperation and military acquisition. Matthew Beres edited.

Click the button below to download the podcast.

PodcastButton100:50 – What’s happening with defense budgets in the region now that oil prices are going down?

02:25 – How does Israel feel about the defense buildup that’s happening in the GCC?

04:27 – F-35 comments

04:32 – Israel and Turkey’s Relationship

10:22 – Defense trade between the Arab world and China. Will China be a future competitor for the U.S. and European companies?

12:05 – Will the future see greater reliance on China as an arms supplier to GCC countries?



Forecast FI Logo

 

Forecast Roundtable, Podcast Episode 2

By Matthew Beres and Bill Ostrove, Forecast International.

2podcast logo

Welcome to Forecast International’s second episode of the Forecast Roundtable podcast. Each podcast features several analysts discussing various aerospace and defense-related issues. Continue reading