Major Electronics Upgrades a Key Part of the Netherlands’ AH-64D to AH-64E Remanufacture

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

APG-78 Longbow Radar Sits Atop AH-64 Apache. Photo: Northrop Grumman

The Netherlands has received approval from the U.S. State Department for the upgrade and remanufacture of its AH-64D Block II Apache attack helicopters to the AH-64E configuration. While the contract would largely entail work on the helicopter itself, it would also include the replacement of many of the helicopters’ primary electronics systems. The overall deal carries an estimated value of $1.191 billion. Continue reading

Military Increases ADS-B Out Upgrades

by Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Analyst, Forecast International.

Boeing C-17 heavy lift transport aircraft (Source: Boeing)

Raytheon was recently awarded a $30 million ceiling increase modification to a previously awarded contract for T-38A/B, C-17, C-5, and A-10 Automatic Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B Out) upgrades. Continue reading

Japan Upgrades Its E-767 AWACS

by Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Analyst, Forecast International.

Japanese AWACS. Source Japanese Air Self Defense Force

Boeing was recently awarded a $60.9 million hybrid (fixed-price-incentive-firm, firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and cost-plus-incentive-fee) contract to perform the mission computing upgrade installation and checkout on four Japanese E-767 aircraft and associated ground systems. Work will be performed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; San Antonio, Texas; and Seattle, Washington, and is expected to be completed by December 31, 2022. Continue reading

UAE’s Potential Mirage 2000-9 Upgrade Expected to Include RDY-3 Radar and TALIOS Pod

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

A Mirage 2000 fighter from the United Arab Emirates. Source: USAF

During Dubai Airshow 2017, held from November 12-16, Thales and the UAE armed forces announced their intention to sign a contract to modernize the UAE Air Force’s Dassault Mirage 2000-9 fighter jets.  Under the potential contract, Thales would upgrade the Mirages’ complete electronics package, including mission computers; fire control radars; electronic warfare suites; optronics systems; communications, navigation, and identification systems; cockpit displays; and helmet-mounted displays. Continue reading

The Doklam Plateau and Indian Air Superiority

by Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Analyst, Forecast International.

Historical Map of Sikkim. Source: Wikimedia

The standoff between China and India on the Doklam plateau hasn’t quite exploded onto the international headlines, but the situation nevertheless has great implications.  These are the largest nations in Asia, and the two countries have growing – and competing – economies. Aside from Russia, India is the last remaining Asian deterrent against Chinese territorial expansion in Asia. Continue reading

QTA Receives STC for PW304 Engine Inlet Upgrade Program

by Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Analyst, Forecast International.

PW300 Engine Source: Pratt & Whitney Canada

PW300 Engine
Source: Pratt & Whitney Canada

Quiet Technology Aerospace (QTA) recently received STC approval for its third PW305 carbon-graphite engine inlet upgrade program. The carbon-graphite inlet mitigates aluminum inner barrel inlet corrosion and acoustic screen degradation through replacement with the new carbon-graphite barrel. The lighter weight alternative looks identical to the original aluminum barrel. Continue reading

Stalled India-Russia Fifth-Generation Fighter Project Back on Front Burner as Indian Defense Ministry Seeks to Patch Dwindling IAF Capacity

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Indian Air Force MiG-29

Indian Air Force MiG-29

A dormant joint project between Russia and India for the development of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) once again has a new lease on life as the Indian Defense Ministry seeks to move forward on negotiations with Moscow. The FGFA project – code-named Project 79L inside India’s Defense Ministry – forms one part of India’s multistep strategy to modernize and strengthen its diminishing combat aircraft capability. Continue reading

Romania to Seek Another Batch of F-16s in 2017

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

F-16 Fighting Falcon

F-16 Fighting Falcon

In an ongoing quest to replace its badly aging fleet of Warsaw Pact-era MiG-21 Lancer fighter aircraft, Romania continues to scour the secondhand market for an additional batch of F-16s with which to bolster its incoming stock of ex-Portuguese fighters. Continue reading

USAF Reinforces Commitment to Renew F-15 Electronics Capabilities

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronics Analyst, Forecast International.

U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle

U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle

As part of the U.S. Air Force’s ongoing effort to extend the service life of its fighter assets, on October 30, 2015, the Air Force awarded Boeing a major contract.  The $281.7 million deal will furnish in-service F-15s with the latest fire-control radars. The procurement includes 17 APG-63(V)3 and 29 APG-82 RMP radars. Continue reading

Old Cat, Old Nukes, New Tricks

By Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Analyst, Forecast International.

Jaguar Gr.5

Jaguar Gr.5

You’ve heard it before, a bit of a broken record – often highlighted along with the Rafale multirole fighter roller-coaster ride. India’s highest risk defense concern is a two-front war with Pakistan and China. (For the skeptics, we’re not talking about whether it will happen, but about if it does.) The Himalayas offer a natural protective border, offering Myanmar and Pakistan as the only legitimate ground attack routes, which in themselves offer little advantage for a severely stretched Chinese logistics support line. A naval attack would also offer little advantage on the home turf of the Indian naval forces. Continue reading