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

President Trump Touts an Air Traffic Control System that Is Similar to Canada’s

by Greg Giaquinto, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Air Traffic Control Radar. Source: Pixnio

U.S. President Donald Trump wants to relinquish America’s air traffic control (ATC) system to a private, nonprofit entity with its own board comprising airlines, unions, airports, and federal officials, according to Wired.  In essence, Mr. Trump wants to privatize ATC to look something like a corporation.  This would be similar to Canada’s ATC system.  Continue reading

The U.S. Defense Budget: Balancing Need Against Cost

by Greg Giaquinto, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

According to The Guardian, President Donald Trump’s call for a major boost in U.S. military spending has been met with an uproar from opponents warning that such a policy would waste millions of taxpayer dollars.  To lend perspective on the issue, in fiscal year 2015, military spending in the United States accounted for 54 percent of all federal discretionary spending, according to the Institute for Policy Studies.  Right now the U.S. military has the ability to fight just under two world wars simultaneously.  The International Institute for Strategic Studies says the U.S. accounts for more than a third of the world’s military spending. Continue reading

Historic Summit Has Major Implications for U.S. Military

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets AnalystForecast International.

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The historic meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim
Jong-un in Singapore resulted in the signing of a joint statement that carries significant implications for relations between the two countries, and for U.S. military relations in the region.  The statement is big on ambition but short on details.  Most significantly, Kim “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” the statement reads.  The two leaders also committed to establishing new diplomatic relations, while Trump committed to providing security guarantees to North Korea.        Continue reading

NASA Finally Sets a Direction Under President Trump, But Will Its Plans Make It Through Congress?

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

This artist rendering shows an aerial view of the liftoff of the 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity configuration SLS from the launchpad. Funding for the SLS will continue. Source: NASA

America’s preeminent space agency is proposing a major change in focus for FY19. Along with the rest of the federal government, NASA released its fiscal year 2019 budget request on February 13. While NASA’s budget faced few changes in President Donald Trump’s FY18 budget request, for FY19 NASA is looking to shift its priorities and thereby change how its funding is spent. Continue reading

Embraer and Boeing Merger Would Round Out Aircraft Offerings

By Richard Pettibone and Ray Jaworowski, Analysts, Forecast International.

Embraer E190-E2

Boeing and Embraer have confirmed that the two companies are engaged in discussions regarding a potential combination, the basis of which remains under discussion.  While an outright acquisition is unlikely due to Brazilian government fears of outright foreign ownership, some form of joint venture is likely. Continue reading

Fuel Efficiency a Driver of Retrofits for Airliners and Military Transports

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

Airbus A319. Source: Airbus

CTT Systems recently received an order from Eurowings to retrofit its Zonal Drying System on 25 A319 aircraft.  The retrofit’s big draw is that it reduces an aircraft’s weight by preventing water accumulation in the fuselage. The weight of just one B737/A320 can be reduced by up to 200-300 kilograms. Continue reading

U.S. Scrambles to Address Naval Aviation Readiness Issues

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

F/A-18 Equipped with ALQ-214. Source: Harris/Exelis.

Commander of U.S. Naval Air Forces Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker spoke about naval aircraft readiness at the 61st annual Tailhook Convention in Reno, Nevada, in September. He stated that international commitments and budget constraints are making it difficult to meet aviation readiness standards. He added, however, that the FY17 U.S. defense budget has $1 billion earmarked for naval aviation readiness – part of a slow push in the right direction. Continue reading

Incoming Trump Administration Will Consider Its Options on Iran Deal

 by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

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Outgoing President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office on November 10, 2016.

On November 8, the United States went to the polls to elect a successor to President Barack Obama, whose second term ends in January. Voters delivered a victory to businessman Donald Trump, who was able to secure victories in a sufficient number of crucial swing states to achieve the 270 electoral votes needed to win. Continue reading

Popularity of PGMs Continues to Rise

by Larry Dickerson, Missile Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Storm Shadow cruise missile. Source: MBDA

Storm Shadow cruise missile. Source: MBDA

In its recently updated “The Market for Strike Missiles” analysis, Forecast International notes the steadily increasing use of precision-guided munitions in military operations. During Operation Desert Storm, PGMs made up only 10 percent of the total air-launched weapons used. The figure increased to 31 percent after the United States launched Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003). The use of PGMs reached a pinnacle during NATO’s air campaign over Libya in 2011: 100 percent of the munitions expended were precision guided. Continue reading