The civil government and commercial drone markets are growing rapidly as UAS proves its worth across several different fields.
The United States and Europe are forging ahead with costly new deployments of UAS to protect their borders. China is reshaping the agricultural market with the rapid spread of subsidized UAS technology for spraying and imaging. Traditional aerospace and defense firms are competing to develop new solar-powered systems to provide low-cost internet. Test programs are operating around the world intended to integrate delivery drones into airspace.
There is no slowdown in the number of new satellite systems being announced and developed. Just learned of one called PredaSAR, which is being billed as the world’s largest constellation of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites, with an initial 48 satellites planned.
The regional airliner market declined 5.1% by value last year. Much of this weakness was due to the transition between Embraer’s E-Jet E-1 Series and the E-2, which first arrived last year. But there are several secular trends that are also damaging this segment, with a -5.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in 2014-2018 and a -3.1% CAGR in 2008-2014.
The compositions and technical features of the current US UAV force was heavily shaped by short-term war requirement for the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Systems were acquired to fulfill immediate tactical needs, even if not entirely ideal. With both Iraq and Afghanistan fading in the rear-view mirror, the services are beginning to take a fresher look at future UAV requirements.
Lockheed Martin’s AN/FPS-117(V) is a fixed-site version of the tactical AN/TPS-59 air defense surveillance radar. The FPS-117 is deployed mostly in long-range national air defense networks. The AN/TPS-117 and TPS-B34 are transportable air defense radars developed from the FPS-117 and TPS-59, for international sale. In 2001, Lockheed Martin announced it was renaming the TPS-117 as the TPS-77 for international sales.
In January 2019, a new US Air Force commercial/defense consortium-led “prototyping” program was announced with the goal of deciding how to upgrade or replace hundreds of legacy Raytheon AN/ALQ-184 and Northrop Grumman AN/ALQ-131 ECM (Electronic Countermeasures) pods and other systems aboard USAF F-16s.
Though once expected to be totally replaced by the Lockheed Martin F-35, by 2018 the Air Force planned to keep the single-engined F-16 fleet flying, upgraded, and “relevant” up to 2048. The EW “prototype” program could ultimately lead to a fleet-wide electronic warfare upgrade for more than 900 USAF F-16s – worth as much as $9 billion.
Raytheon’s AN/APG-79 radar with an Active Electronically-Scanned Array (AESA) antenna was developed for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, for new builds and as a retrofit replacement for Raytheon’s AN/APG-73. It provides increased detection and tracking ranges versus the mechanically-scanned APG-73...
Lockheed Martin’s AH-64D/E Apache M-TADS/PNVS (Modernized-Target Acquisition and Data System/Pilot Night Vision System) (was called Arrowhead) will be the most valuable EO/IR targeting system program over the next decade by quite a margin – Teal Group forecasts a total of more than 2,400 M-TADS/PNVS systems will ultimately be produced, with total program funding in our forecast period to be worth more than $6.2 billion (almost $1 billion annually for the next couple of years).