Bell: Used Helicopter Market Facing Supply Pressure | France Mortgages Defense Assets to Buy More | India Restarts Light Helicopter CompetitionMar 03, 2015 03:38 UTC
- The USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) came off the stocks at Austal’s manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama. Austal will soon be pumping out two LCSs per year. The Giffords will be delivered in 2017 after further work and testing is done.
- Bell Helicopter is worried that the U.S. will be dumping the almost 800 helicopters it is rendering obsolete with its Aviation Restructure Initiative onto foreign markets, severely depressing the market for helicopter sales.
- Boeing’s F/A-18 production line is set to be finished up in 2017 in the absence of new orders, but it feels pretty bullish about the prospects of new orders. With additional Growler demand; foreign fighter upgrades and the F-35 price to value ratio being questioned in several partner countries, such as Canada, it seems unlikely there won’t be activity past 2017.
- Boeing won an order for 35 Apache AH-64E helicopters.
- Rather than just sell spectrum assets and shunt the money over to the 2.2 billion Euro hole in its defense budget, France is concocting a sale/lease-back arrangement, where it will sell several A400Ms, a few FREMM frigates and various other hardware to a new firm owned by the state, and then lease those assets back. From itself. The budget kabuki will serve to remove Parliament from the choice of where spectrum sales proceeds will go (which it will authorize with the passage of a bill currently under debate). The effect will be to characterize hardware purchases as revenues roughly commensurate to items’ purchase prices, which allows France – on paper at least – to double its procurement spending by effectively printing money. But those revenues that come in as finance payments will be paid into concerns that are military-specific, and the costs will be characterized as operations expenses, rather than capital expenses.
- The Crimean State Council nationalized the Kamysh-Burun cargo port in Kerch, taking it from Ukranian company Altcom.
- India will restart its reconnaissance/surveillance helicopter (RSH) procurement process, after having botched the first two attempts.
- India released an RFI for 50 ship launchable drones.
- With the light helicopter competition restarting (again) in India, here is what Bell will be offering them this time around…