In spite of, and in several instances because of the cutbacks in defense expenditures, the avionics side of the industry is surviving almost unscathed and most parts of this segment exhibit growing markets. EW systems and radars will always be vitally important and, as well as new implementations, system upgrades are increasingly being installed on existing platforms. In order to reflect in detail the important changes during the past year, Engalco has pursued active research on airborne active electronically-scanned arrays (AESA) – the industry, technologies and markets – and has recently released its report on this subject: Airborne AESAs. This report provides extensive data on shipments and market values for the systems and the T/R-modules (TRM), including forecasts to 2017.
Major new aspects considered in detail reflect the significant impacts of the recent, typically harsh, national defense reviews and associated adverse economic environments – notably in the US and the UK (also affecting France). The implications of these reviews will result in decreased annual deployments of many platforms, ranging from the F-35 fighter to aircraft carriers. But set against this scenario, AESAs, such as Raytheon's RACR and Northrop Grumman's SABR, will be increasingly important for upgrading existing aircraft fleets. In addition to the F-35, the EA-18G (Growler), the Eurofighter Typhoon, France's Rafale – and UVs (UAVs and UCAVs) are all important. A further very significant program is the LEMV surveillance airship. In June 2010, Northrop Grumman was awarded the contract to develop this system and, more recently, this prime contractor has announced it is teaming with Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd. of England and a team of technology leaders from three countries and 18 states in the US to build the LEMV. The prototype LEMV will have about 100,000 TRMs, while the final version will implement more than 7 million TRMs.
Engalco also provides details of Israel's CAEW system, status of the F-35 "Lightning II," systems going onto the EA-18G "Growler" and the ongoing upgrades of existing platforms, including F-15s and F-16s. It is clear that North American markets always lead this industry sector.