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

United States and Russia Edge Closer to Cooperation in Syria

by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

U.S. Marine Harrier takes off from USS Kearsarge to carry out operations against the Islamic State.  Photo by Centcom

U.S. Marine Harrier takes off from USS Kearsarge to carry out operations against the Islamic State.  Photo by Centcom

Ahead of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s trip to Moscow, The Washington Post published a leaked copy of an apparent U.S. proposal to deepen cooperation between the U.S. and Russia regarding the conflict in Syria, where both countries’ militaries are carrying out air missions. Continue reading

Top 200 U.S. Government Contractors FY2015

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

US Flag

The following is a list of the Top 200 U.S. Government Contractors in fiscal year 2015 ranked by the total amount of contract funds awarded. In FY2015, the U.S. Government awarded a total of $439.0 billion in contracts down 1.5 percent from $445.8 billion in FY2014. Of the $439 billion in total contract funds, $273.7 billion, almost 62 percent, were awarded by the Department of Defense (DoD).

Source: USASpending.gov

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U.S. Army Commission Recommends Apache Compromise

by Shaun McDougall, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

AH-64E Apache. Source : US Army

AH-64E Apache. Source : US Army

The U.S. Army wants to transfer the National Guard’s fleet of 192 AH-64 Apaches to the active component, but a new report from the National Commission on the Future Structure of the Army recommends leaving in place four Guard battalions. The proposed transfer is part of the service’s Aviation Restructure Initiative (ARI), which involves retiring the OH-58 Kiowa and using the Apache as an interim scout helicopter. Under the original plan, the Army would have 20 battalions with 690 Apaches. The Guard would receive 111 UH-60L Black Hawks from the active force to partially offset the lost Apaches. Continue reading

USAF Kicks Off Prime Contractor Search for $4.9 Billion GPS III Program

By Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

GPS III.

GPS III.  Source – U.S. Air Force.

The U.S. Air Force has started an effort to build next-generation GPS (GPS III) spacecraft. The USAF’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) on January 8 to begin a Production Readiness Feasibility Assessment to study how prepared companies are for the manufacture of additional GPS III spacecraft that will follow the first 10 spacecraft that Lockheed Martin is building. Continue reading