Bloomberg: ANA Orders $16.6 Billion in Airliners From Boeing, Airbus

Boeing Co. (BA)’s 787 Dreamliner gained a vote of confidence as ANA Holdings Inc. (9202) ordered 14 more of the jets as part of a $16.6 billion shopping spree a year after regulators grounded the composite aircraft.

ANA’s 70-plane purchase today tilted toward Boeing, with the U.S. company accounting for all 40 long-haul models in the deal, with a list value of about $13 billion. Toulouse, France-based Airbus Group NV (AIR), seeking to crack Boeing’s grip on Japanese airlines’ wide-body fleets, sold 30 narrow-body jets.

Fortune: El-Erian-How the markets should read Ukraine’s crisis

With the fluid situation in Ukraine dominating the geopolitical narrative — and rightly so — many global investors are wondering what it means for their portfolios. Here are some key  takeaways: On a standalone basis, Ukraine is not systemically important. With a relatively small GDP (around $175 billion), its external economic links are limited… continue reading

AvWeek: China To Announce Large A330 Contracts In March

China will announce large contracts for the Airbus A330 next month, say two industry officials familiar with the negotiations.

Orders or intended orders for at least 70 and possibly 200 A330s will be revealed when President Xi Jinping and other leaders visit France next month, the officials say. The exact number remains undetermined, and the aircraft may not immediately go into Airbus’s books as definitive orders.

Theaters, Budgets Shape USAF ISR Future Focus

WASHINGTON — The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will leave lasting changes on the US military, but their biggest legacy on the Air Force has been the impact on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR).

The service’s ISR mission underwent a renaissance during the decade-plus missions in the region, transforming from a support tool to a vital part of every combat operation, with unmanned systems such as the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper seen as defining symbols of the conflicts.

But as the US moves away from the region, the Air Force is facing new realities — both strategic and budgetary — for its ISR mission, forcing service officials to make big decisions on laying the groundwork for what is to come.

To begin that process, Maj. Gen. John Shanahan, head of the Air Force’s ISR agency, issued a 14-page “Strategic Plan” in 2013 laying out the direction for the service’s ISR mission through 2023.

The report can be summed up in a line from his opening summary: “We must transition rapidly from a target-based, inductive approach to ISR centered on processing, exploitation and dissemination to a problem-based, deductive, active and anticipatory approach that focuses on ISR operations.

“We have to help shape the future or risk being shaped by it,” he concluded.

The most obvious challenge facing the service, and one identified by the Air Force chief of staff, Gen. Mark Welsh, as key, is the movement away from “permissive” environments toward contested ones. That includes a planned move away from technologies such as the MQ-1 and MQ-9, which can be victimized by advanced anti-aircraft systems, in favor of different technologies and strategies.

In Memoriam: Gilbert W. Speed 1933-2014

It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of Gil Speed,  the founder of Speednews.

It has been a privilege to know Gil over the years and speak at, or attend, several of the Speednews events.

Here is a short excerpt from Gil Speed’s bio:

“Gilbert Speed spent more than 60 years in the aviation industry, beginning as a student apprentice in 1952 at The Bristol Aeroplane Company, now part of BAE Systems.

In 1957 he moved to the US and worked for Eastern Airlines in New York as a development engineer on the DC-8 and Lockheed Electra. In 1959, he joined Pan Am as a structures engineer, and later as an aeronautical engineer. At Pan Am, he worked on the specifications of the Boeing 727 and 707 freighter, Concorde, and the Dassault Fanjet Falcon.

In 1968 he founded Transequip, now part of Telair International, which manufactured composite panels, cargo and baggage containers and cargo systems.

In 1979, he founded SPEEDNEWS, the industry’s newsletter of record and the first newsletter to accept advertising. He later added two more publications, SPEEDNEWS DEFENSE BIWEEKLY and AIRCRAFT INSIDER, to the portfolio. And, in 1987, he launched the first annual SpeedNews Aviation Industry Suppliers Conference, beginning a successful line of SpeedNews conferences.

He was the recipient of the 2010 ISTAT Award.”

Our thoughts are with his family tonight.

G2 Solutions

AvWeek: No Time For Inaccuracy On JSF Costs

When a Rand Corp. report concluded in December that the Joint Strike Fighter program would cost more than the total of three separate ones, Lockheed Martin responded sharply, accusing the authors of overstating the figures by a factor of two. But the company could not provide a source for its own numbers (AW&ST Jan. 6, p. 18).

This was not the first time that Lockheed Martin recently tried to discredit Rand. Backup slides for a summer-2008 Rand briefing cast doubt on the JSF’s ability to survive against faster and more heavily armed adversaries. Program leaders responded by touting

AvWeek: Airbus ‘Mega-Twin’ Concept Hints At Next-Generation Plan

In the latest phase of the strategic chess game that the Airbus and Boeing rivalry has been in the past quarter century, all eyes are fixed on the European manufacturer to see how it will respond to Boeing’s latest long-range project. The emergence of the new Boeing twinjet-derivative family—launched at the Dubai Airshow in November on the back of orders and commitments for 259 aircraft worth…continue reading at AvWeek

Bloomberg: Boeing, General Dynamics Settle Decades-Old A-12 Dispute

Boeing Co. (BA) and General Dynamics Corp. (GD) agreed to provide $400 million in goods and services to the U.S. to settle a 23-year-old dispute over a canceled multibillion-dollar contract for the A-12 stealth aircraft.

The U.S. won’t pay any money in connection with the companies’ claims against the government, according to a U.S. Justice Department statement today. The proposed settlement will strengthen “the Navy’s capabilities and capacities,” Ray Mabus, secretary of the Navy, said in the statement….continue reading

USAF, USN to Spend $524.5 Billion on Air-Sea Battle Enablers Through 2023

KIRKLAND, Wash.–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–A new research report from G2 Solutions, “Air-Sea Battle FY2014: Concepts, Key Programs and Forecast,” is available.

“Air-Sea Battle is a limited operational concept designed to address an adversary’s Anti-Access, Area Denial (A2/AD) capabilities. It is not aimed at any particular potential adversary.”

Report AB098 is a detailed procurement and research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) spending analysis and future forecast. The report quantifies and presents program opportunities, likely effects and prioritizations brought about by the Air-Sea Battle Concept over time.

G2 Solutions analyzed Fiscal Year 2014 Navy and Air Force procurement and RDT&E budgets through the Air-Sea Battle (ASB) lens. 191 Programs and/or Program Elements were selected for inclusion based upon the increased importance their capabilities could bring to an aggregate ASB capability through 2023.

G2 Solutions forecasts beyond the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) of 2018 through to 2023, taking into account program sunsets and starts, macro budget trends, program continuation, and the importance of given application domains.

“We ran this same dataset from the FY 2012 documents for the initial ASB report,” said G2 Solutions research director Ron Stearns. “For FY 2014 we noted an increase of $31 billion in FY 2014 spending versus FY 2012, and an increase of 34 applicable programs (from 157 to 191). The ASB Concept has traction through multiple budgets and austerity; force protection, power projection, freedom of operation and cyber are all desired capabilities.”

The 156-page report provides market share for companies such as Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA), Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) and others. It also includes PoR spending profiles and Program Element (PE) numbers at the procurement and RDT&E levels. “We know the procurement sands are shifting, and this report provides direction on funded programs based upon capabilities and application domains,” Stearns said.

The F-35 is the single-biggest included program, with $73.7 billion in identified funding through 2018. In fact, of the five report segments (Aircraft, Naval, Space, Munitions, Communications Collection and EW, and Propulsion and Directed Energy), aircraft account for 52.4 percent of the total spend through 2018.

According to the DOD: “Air-Sea Battle is a limited operational concept designed to address an adversary’s Anti-Access, Area Denial (A2/AD) capabilities. It is not aimed at any particular potential adversary.”

Visit to access this executive summary/TOC.


Finally, 15 years on, and one massive rollercoaster ride later, Saab is appearing to emerge as the winner of the competition. As anticipated over the previous months, Rafale cost had become a major stumbling block, in particular with a slowing economy and the goals of president Rousseff. In all, Gripen may be the lesser capable aircraft, but it remains a very strong (and ultimately) logical choice for the FAB. The future of the UAE 2000-9 looks increasingly uncertain at this point and look likely focused with a Middle East customer.(G2)

Brazil has selected the Saab Gripen E/F for the 36 aircraft F-X2 requirement to replace its air force’s older combat types.

With an acquisition cost in the region of $4.5 billion, the Gripens will replace the Dassault Mirage 2000C fighters operated by the 1st Air Defence Group and a number of the modernised Northrop F-5EMs in four other Air Force squadrons.

The long-awaited announcement was made on 18 December by Brazilian defence minister Celso Amorim and Brazilian air force Chief Gen Juniti Saito.

AvWeek: Secret New UAS Shows Stealth, Efficiency Advances

A large, classified unmanned aircraft developed by Northrop Grumman is now flying—and it demonstrates a major advance in combining stealth and aerodynamic efficiency. Defense and intelligence officials say the secret unmanned aerial system (UAS), designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, is scheduled to enter production for the U.S. Air Force and could… continue reading at Aviation Week.