What to expect in 2014?

We’re back in business after a lengthy festive break, with 2014′s first issue of Flight International including our finger-in-the-air forecasts for the year to come.

With an eye on the defence sector, we ask whether peace is likely to break out in Afghanistan; if we’ll see a fresh round of European industrial consolidation; what the chances are of Brazil, India or the United Arab Emirates signing fighter deals; whether Embraer’s KC-390 (below) will make its first flight; and if the USA can get through the year without cutting any major programmes.


You can check out our special report now, by logging in or registering to access our free FG Club area.

Another question I’d like to pose is about the prospect of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 (US Air Force image below) making its international show debut during 2014.¬†Getting the Joint Strike Fighter in the air at Farnborough would be talk of the event, but despite some optimistic noises that I’ve been hearing from some in industry, this would surely hinge on the US Marine Corps bringing at least a pair of jets across the pond for a couple of weeks.


While the service flew a bunch of V-22s over for the last show, the pressure of getting test and training work complete ahead of its initial operational capability target of late 2015 makes me think that we’ll have to wait a while longer to see the STOVL F-35B flying in the UK. A pity, if I’m right.

If you’ve got any top tips for what we can expect to happen in the next 12 months (series or otherwise), then please share your thoughts!


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8 Responses to What to expect in 2014?

  1. Sam 3 January, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    Do you think Russia would bring the PAK-FA to Farnborough this year if the US can’t bring the F-35, as a political ploy?

    • Craig Hoyle 3 January, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

      No chance, I’d say.

    • Ed 3 January, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

      Unless they think they can persuade a visitor to buy Russian, I don’t think so. As satisfying as it may seem, it wouldn’t be worth the risk of getting too much information out.

      Furthermore, I think Russia will avoid the “we are the superior nation” thing this time around. Russia does not want another arms race, not another Cold War.

  2. Ed 3 January, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    Let’s see…

    - Third J-20 to be confirmed
    - Large Russian UAV to be announced
    - Perhaps some clearer shots of that Chinese stealth bomber that was leaked a few days ago
    - A JSF programme member actually signing a F-35 contract, in spite of getting less fighters than they initially hoped for
    - Total F-35 orders turn out to be lower than was taken into account all this time (though the development of the jet seems to come along reasonably)
    - Tension in the South / East China Sea prompts surrounding states to push their fighter programmes (Korea’s KFX, Japan’s F-3, China’s J-20, Taiwan’s.. F-16′s?)
    - More information emerges regarding high speed helicopters, both in the US and in Russia

    As you can probably read I’m not actually up to date on these programmes, this is just what I currently expect :)

    • sferrin 4 January, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

      Those so called “leaked” stealth bomber photos were nothing more than poor B-2 photoshops.

      • Cocidius 8 January, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

        I distinctly remember you using the word “photoshop” when the first poor images of the J-20 came out over at A&W.

        We all remember how that worked out….

  3. Slyone 9 January, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    First flight of the UK RC135 from RAF Waddington as part of the Airseeker Project, renamed from Rivet Joint to Guardian, part of the UK ISTAR Triad, Sentry and Sentinel.

  4. gbrink 10 January, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    Craig, how about an update regarding South Africa’s Rooivalk attack helicopter that saw combat service for the first time under the U.N in the C.A.R recently?

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