Articles tagged with: South Korea

15
March
2017

Why so many big defense companies are bowing out of this $16.3B Air Force competition

Featuring: Richard L. Aboulafia

Why so many big defense companies are bowing out of this $16.3B Air Force competition

The Air Force’s future $16.3 billion program to replace its training aircraft has seen each of the so-called “Big Five” defense contractors express an interest in the competition.

It has also seen three of them drop out of the running.

Of those defense giants, only The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) and Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) remain in the Air Force’s Trainer-X competition. General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD) first bowed out in April 2015, with Raytheon Co. (NYSE: RTN) announcing its exit in January and Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) abandoning the program the week after. Textron Airland also announced that it too would not enter the fray, Defense News reported Tuesday.

So, why do the majority of big name defense companies want out? Given that the Air Force has already awarded contracts for the fighter, tanker and bomber— with not many major programs out on the horizon — one would think they would be clamoring to build the 350 trainers.

Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at the Fairfax-based Teal Group and an aviation consultant, argued that the dearth of major future Air Force programs may actually be what’s behind all these companies leaving the field.

The Air Force, he said, likely took note of this environment marked with "not many aircraft contests" where "everyone is eager to win something” in drafting the request for proposals, allowing it to “extract the best possible terms based on the acquisition side.”

“They basically put forth a contract where you’re not reimbursed for development,” Aboulafia said. “It’s a price-shootout with a little window dressing. You get an incentive for performance but in the broader context of the cost of the program it’s almost insignificant.”

Media Outlet: Washington Business Journal Tags Boeing | Korea Aerospace Industries | Lockheed Martin | South Korea | T-X

28
February
2017

The T-X battle comes down to Lockheed and Boeing

Featuring: Richard L. Aboulafia

The T-X battle comes down to Lockheed and Boeing

WASHINGTON — With U.S. President Donald Trump’s attention fixed on the F-35 and Air Force One, the Air Force’s biggest ongoing aircraft competition so far has gone untouched. But even without Trump’s intervention, the T-X race has evolved into something not unlike an episode of a reality TV show, featuring industry teams breaking up, companies unexpectedly dropping out and upstart entries coming in at the last minute.

The T-X program began with four main competitors: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman — which developed a new prototype — and a Raytheon-Leonardo team offering the latter firm’s M-346. Over the past couple of months, Northrop has pulled out of the competition, Raytheon dissolved its partnership with Leonardo — leaving the Italian firm to ally with its US wing, DRS Technologies — and several smaller companies, including Sierra Nevada and the nigh-unknown Stavatti Aerospace, decided to throw their designs into the ring.

Analysts tell Defense News that the drama overshadows the most important point: The competition has become a face-off between Boeing’s clean-sheet T-X design and the Lockheed Martin-Korean Aerospace Industries’ T-50A, the US derivative of a trainer flown by the South Korean, Iraqi, Philippine and Indonesian militaries.

And with the T-50 already in production and thousands of hours of flight time behind it, Boeing will face an uphill battle to keep Lockheed from cinching the contract.

"It looks like the emphasis is still very much on unit price and not much of anything else. It's [lowest price technically acceptable], basically, but with some window dressing,” said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Teal Group. “And given the need to roll up the upfront development costs, Boeing is at a disadvantage. They'd have to be very aggressive price-wise. They obviously have a history of doing that with [the KC-46] tanker, but this clearly puts the advantage with Lockheed."

Media Outlet: Defense News Tags Boeing | Korea Aerospace Industries | Lockheed Martin | South Korea | T-X

27
September
2014

Lockheed to Buy European Satellite for South Korea in F-35 Deal

Featuring: Marco A. Caceres

Lockheed to Buy European Satellite for South Korea in F-35 Deal

Marco Caceres, an analyst with the Virginia-based Teal Group, said the new satellite may be built by France's Thales (TCFP.PA), which has already built several satellites for South Korea. The satellite was likely medium-sized and would cost several hundred million dollars to build, plus another $100 million to launch, he said.

Media Outlet: Reuters Tags Satellite | South Korea | Thales Alenia

18
April
2014

Export Controls Threaten U.S. Edge in Foreign UAV Markets

Featuring: Philip Finnegan

Export Controls Threaten U.S. Edge in Foreign UAV Markets

Phil Finnegan, director of corporate analysis at the Teal Group, agreed that the control regime could prevent U.S. drone manufacturers from accessing emerging markets.  “There’s definitely a risk of losing market share because of MTCR,” he said. “As this technology spreads worldwide, the U.S. and Israel are not going to be the only exporters. New potential exporters include Turkey and India. China is developing a wide range of UAVs and is beginning to get into the export market.”

Turkey is one of 34 MTCR members. Israel, China and India do not have to abide by the regime’s export rules.  Some change has occurred in the interpretation of the MTCR, allowing U.S. allies to purchase certain systems, Finnegan said. The Australian Navy has purchased the Triton, the U.S. Navy’s maritime version of the Global Hawk for surveillance missions at sea. South Korea is also interested in the Triton, while Japan has indicated a desire to own the U.S. Air Force’s version of the UAV, he said.

“You are also seeing a trend where U.S. companies are being proactive and trying to develop export versions of UAVs that are saleable,” Finnegan said. General Atomics did just that with its Predator XP, an unarmed version of the medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV flown by the U.S. military. The United Arab Emirates was able to procure an XP because it is specifically designed to not carry weapons and its maximum payload is below the 500-kilogram threshold.  General Atomics officials declined to comment for this story.  

“Allies will buy these versions that may not have the capabilities that U.S. forces use but suit their purposes fine,” Finnegan said. “That opens the way for a country like Saudi Arabia to purchase these kinds of high-end UAVs.”

Media Outlet: National Defense Tags China | Foreign Military Sales | Global Hawk | India | South Korea | Triton | Turkey | UAVs

24
March
2014

Lockheed’s F-35 gets South Korea nod, but momentum slower than hoped

Featuring: Richard L. Aboulafia

Lockheed’s F-35 gets South Korea nod, but momentum slower than hoped

News that South Korea expects to spend 7.34 trillion won ($6.79 billion) for 40 F-35s is a plus for Lockheed, said Richard Aboulafia, aerospace analyst with the Virginia-based Teal Group, but the company needs more orders to help drive down the unit cost of the new warplanes. “The risk is that it stays too expensive to order in large quantities, and the lack of large quantities means that it stays too expensive,” he said.

Media Outlet: Reuters Tags F-35 | Lockheed Martin | South Korea

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