Optimism in tough times

By Joseph Normandin

In my last blog I discussed how the market for military avionics appears to be steady, but I was a bit surprised by the enthusiastic outlook for the global avionics market shown by attendees and exhibitors at last week's Avionics conference and exhibition that we put on in Amsterdam, Netherlands .

One exhibitor, Chip Downing of Wind River Systems, told me the avionics market is still quite strong, but the current economic climate might change especially on the commercial side, but not so much in the military market. He added that he still sees 2009 as a year of growth, but maybe not as strong as past years.

"The avionics market is up quite a bit," Doug Patterson of Aitech Defense Systems told me at the show. He said there is a strong trend in military and commercial applications to have more automation, taking the man out of the loop, which bodes well for avionics suppliers as they move toward next-generation avionics upgrades and the new air traffic management systems .

Officials from Seaweed Systems say they are seeing quite a lot of avionics business right now, and "haven't seen a downturn at all." Folks at Presagis echoed that, saying they see continued growth for themselves and their partners.

Esterline and Ruag Aerospace officials added that their military avionics business is steady and that they are developing long-term programs with key civil and commercial aerospace customers.

The keynote, Donald Ward, created some positive buzz of his own in discussing the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA's) efforts toward a next-generation air traffic management system -- or NextGEN. Ward, the FAA's Air Traffic Operations representative to Europe, said the FAA is looking to work more with industry and focus on business models that work.

The main thrust of his speech was urging the U.S. and Europe -- industry and government -- to work together to harmonize NextGEN and SESAR (Single European
Sky ATM Research) technologies. Ward said it is essential to have commonality between the two systems because the technology is too complicated to try to develop independently.

He added that it is also critical to involve the military each step of the way or "there will be major problems down the road."

Aside from Ward's keynote address the most popular session was the one we had on electronic flight bags and how they will be an instrumental tool in dealing with runway incursions.

Hope you got to see them.

Previous Blog Posts

Capital Hill budget deal could restore tens of billions of dollars to the Pentagon

December 17, 2013

Hacker drone story a cautionary tale about the need for unmanned vehicle data security

December 10, 2013

Lack of money for systems upgrades threatens to maintain wind-farm radar dead spots

December 3, 2013

Engineering support contracts indicate the Pentagon is sinking into the Mothball Strategy

November 26, 2013

The revenge of COTS: an ageing commercial technology base complicates military supply chain

November 19, 2013

Navy's newest destroyers evolve to fill traditional battleship roles

November 12, 2013

International suspicions of U.S. encryption technology putting defense companies in a bind

November 5, 2013

Defense industry left guessing as Army struggles forward with an unclear mission

October 29, 2013

These are tough times for the combat vehicle and vetronics industries

October 22, 2013

Is the government shutdown a harbinger of more ominous things to come?

October 15, 2013

Government shutdown reduces military contracting, increasing pressure on U.S. defense industry

October 7, 2013

Potential good news: has U.S. defense spending finally bottomed-out?

October 1, 2013

Is robotics revolution the first glimpse of a fundamental change in human evolution?

September 24, 2013

Obsolescent parts: are we enhancing military readiness or creating a hollow force?

September 17, 2013

For the high-tech warfighter, the future of electronics-laden uniforms is here

September 10, 2013

New generation of embedded computing thermal management in development at GE

September 3, 2013

Trading bus stops for credit cards: how far embedded computing has come in three decades

August 27, 2013

Unmanned vehicle industry stands at the doorstep of a fundamental transformation

August 20, 2013

AUVSI 2013, one of the biggest unmanned vehicles shows in the world, opens this week in Washington

August 13, 2013

The Washington Post, under Jeff Bezos, could lead the way for media in the 21st Century

August 6, 2013

Are costs and vulnerabilities making military leaders nervous about satellite communications?

July 30, 2013

Unmanned aircraft carrier that travels beneath the waves may be in the Navy's future

July 23, 2013

Electronic warfare programs kick into high gear with a flurry of contract activity

July 16, 2013

How vulnerable are U.S. Navy vessels to advanced anti-ship cruise missiles?

July 9, 2013

First came VHSIC, then came MIMIC, and now comes ACE to push electronics technology

July 2, 2013

The Mil & Aero Bloggers

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

Ernesto Burden is the publisher of PennWell’s Aerospace & Defense Media Group, including Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence and Avionics Europe.  He’s a father of four, a runner, and an avid digital media enthusiast with a deep background in the intersection of media publishing, digital technology, and social media. He can be reached at ernestob@pennwell.com and on Twitter @aero_ernesto.

Courtney E. Howard, as executive editor, enjoys writing about all things electronics and avionics in PennWell’s burgeoning Aerospace and Defense Group, which encompasses Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence, the Avionics Europe conference, and much more. She’s also a self-proclaimed social-media maven, mil-aero nerd, and avid avionics geek. Connect with Courtney at Courtney@Pennwell.com, @coho on Twitter, and on LinkedIn.

Mil & Aero Magazine

August 2015
Volume 26, Issue 8

All Access Sponsors

Download Our Apps




Connect with Us


Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles