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

U.S. House Passes FY19 Defense Authorization Bill

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

E-8C JSTARS Radar aircraft

The House Armed Services Committee wants the Air Force to restart the E-8C JSTARS Recapitalization program.
Source: U.S. Air Force

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed its version of the FY19 defense authorization bill by a vote of 351-66.  The bill supports a Pentagon base budget of $639.1 billion, which complies with the two-year budget deal agreed upon earlier this year that amended national security spending caps in FY18 and FY19.  This base spending includes $617.1 billion for the Pentagon, $21.8 billion for nuclear programs in the Department of Energy, and $214 million for other defense-related activities.  The bill recommends $69 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), matching the request, for a total of $708.1 billion in discretionary defense spending in FY19.  Continue reading

Emirati Regional Military Footprint Continues to Grow

by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Emirati BMP-3 during Joint U.S.-UAE Military Exercise in Kuwait in September 2016
Source: U.S. Army

“The Federation preserves our identity and enhances our capabilities.  It is a strong shield for protecting the security and stability of the Arabian Gulf Region.” – Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Emir of Abu Dhabi

Amid the instability in the Middle East that followed the 2010 and 2011 protest movements, as well as a perceived vacuum as the United States asserts a desire to extricate itself from Middle Eastern conflicts, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has seen a growing need to put its military to use securing regional interests. 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

U.S. President Trump Orders Tomahawk Strikes on Syrian Airbase

by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Tomahawk missile launch

The guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a Tomahawk missile (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/Released)

Early on April 7, 2017, the United States Navy conducted Tomahawk missile strikes on al-Shayrat airbase in Homs, Syria, in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack earlier in the week on Khan Sheikhoun, in opposition-controlled Idlib. The strikes mark the first time the United States has deliberately targeted the Syrian military since an uprising began in 2011. Continue reading

Safran Expands with $9.1 Billion Zodiac Aerospace Buy

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

Zodiac Seats

Safran has announced that it will acquire seats manufacturer Zodiac Aerospace for approximately EUR8.5 billion ($9.1 billion).

The new entity will combine Safran’s capabilities in landing gear, wheels and brakes, nacelles, power systems, actuation systems and avionics with Zodiac Aerospace’s positions in seats; cabin interiors; power distribution; lighting; fuel, oxygen and fluid systems; and safety equipment. Zodiac Aerospace’s electrical systems assets will reinforce Safran’s portfolio of technologies and position the group ideally for future developments toward the “more electrical aircraft.”

Continue reading

United States Withholds Military Reimbursement Funding for Pakistan

by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Pakistani military officials meet following deadly blasts in Quetta. Source

Pakistani military officials meet following deadly blasts in Quetta. Source.

On August 3, The Washington Post reported that the United States had decided to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in military assistance to Pakistan after the Pentagon assessed that the Pakistani government had not taken sufficient action against the Haqqani network. Continue reading

Forecast Roundtable – Indian Defense Environment, Part 2

2podcast logo

Welcome to the Forecast Roundtable podcast. Each podcast features several analysts discussing various aerospace and defense-related issues.

This week’s podcast continues the discussion between Huma Siddiqui Senior Correspondent for New Delhi’s Financial Express and Dan Darling Europe/Asia Military Markets Analyst for Forecast International discussing India’s defense environment. Continue reading

Forecast Roundtable – Indian Defense Environment, Part 1

2podcast logo

Welcome to the Forecast Roundtable podcast. Each podcast features several analysts discussing various aerospace and defense-related issues.

This week’s podcast features Huma Siddiqui Senior Correspondent for New Delhi’s Financial Express and Dan Darling Europe/Asia Military Markets Analyst for Forecast International discussing India’s defense environment. Continue reading