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The decision to surrender control of the CSeries to Airbus represents the final stage of a 12-year long slow-motion story that’s best described as a noble and heroic farce. Bombardier, Canada, and Quebec bit off way more than they could chew. Poor management and decision-making compounded this reality. Once Airbus and Boeing re-engined and upgraded their single-aisle models (as a reaction), the CSeries didn’t stand much of a chance. Since the CSeries began in 2006 and through the decision to surrender, Airbus and Boeing racked up 17,264 single aisle jetliner orders (8,104 Boeing, 9,160 Airbus). The CSeries got 360.
For the past year, it seems like just about everyone I encounter within the space industry has asked me about this thing called “NewSpace”. It has suddenly become all the rage, a phenomenon. NewSpace has been described as both a movement and a philosophy based on the idea commercializing space—both in Earth orbit and beyond.
Topline output continues at near record levels. Key segments look set for growth through the next three years, at least. There are areas of concern, and not all manufacturers will benefit equally, but overall the industry is in excellent shape.
World industry output in 2017 came to just over $180 billion. Deliveries in 2014-2016 have all been at about this level in constant 2018 dollars (2015 was the all-time record, at $183.5 billion).
The following is an excerpt from a recently released Teal Group study analyzing regional aerospace industry competitiveness across the U.S. For the full report please click here.
AEROSPACE COMPETITIVE ECONOMICS STUDY
Based on the research conducted for this study, the states of Washington, Ohio, North Carolina, Kansas and Colorado offer the most competitive business environments for the manufacture of aerospace equipment. These states ranked high in a number of the evaluation categories and corresponding metrics.
Washington scored extremely well across all categories and was a top ten finisher in all but one. It ranked first in two categories: Economy and Industry, while finishing second in Labor & Education and Costs. It was ranked number five in Risk to Operations, Research & Innovation and Taxes & Incentives. Infrastructure was the only category where Washington fell outside the top ten.
Ohio had the second highest overall rank, with significant separation between it and the state of Washington. Demonstrating the substantial gap between first and second, Ohio finished in the top ten in only two categories, Labor & Education and Industry. It did finish in the second ten in a number of categories, thereby reinforcing its overall strong showing. These categories included: Economy, Risk to Operations, Infrastructure, Costs, and Taxes & Incentives.
The Uninhabited Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) is the most futuristic application for UAVs, and has seen considerable turmoil over the past decade, while the services thrashed out what they expected from the program. DARPA headed the original program, followed by a DoD consolidation, only to see DoD again break up the program with the Navy pursuing the carrier-based J-UCAS and the Air Force effort disappearing "into the black".
The Navy program seems to have ended in 2016 with the shift from the UCLASS strike/ISR to the CBARS aerial refueling system. However, it is also possible that the Navy has shifted its stealth/strike UAS "into the black”.
There has been some growing concern within the U.S. Congress and Department of Defense (DoD) in recent years about the shrinking U.S. industrial base for solid rocket motors (SRM). During the past two decades, the number of American SRM manufacturers has gone from six companies to two companies—Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, CA and Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (formerly Orbital ATK) of Dulles, VA.
Production of the AN/ALQ-135 has ended for US aircraft, but updated systems were in production for South Korea’s F-15Ks through about 2013 (Singapore turned to Israel for its F-15SG’s EW suite). The F-15 has been among the most successful US fighter programs, and the sale to South Korea was hugely important for its future. The F-15K/SG rejuvenated the aircraft, with new systems, weapons, and sensors. Also, both countries have al-ready bought more planes, as a 40 or 12 aircraft force is not a sustainable minimum for the long run.
Please note that this article is from Teal Group’s 2017 World Military UAS Forecast. The 2018 UAS market forecasts will be released as follows: World Civil UAS Profile & Market Forecast -- mid-July 2018 World Military UAS Market Profile & Forecast -- mid-September 2018
In termsof worldwide military budgets, the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) segment promises to be one of the most dynamic growth sectors, continuing the past decade’s rapid spending growth. The unclassified sector will continue to increase over the next decade, by about 36%, from current annual spending on RDT&E and procurement of about $9.6 billion in FY18 to about $13 billion in FY27. If operations and maintenance expenditures were to be added, these totals would be even greater.