Asia in­creas­ingly im­por­tant for light mil­i­tary ro­tor­craft man­u­fac­tur­ers


In its latest study on the light mil­i­tary ro­tor­craft mar­ket, Forecast In­ter­na­tional projects that 1,304 light mil­i­tary ro­tor­craft will be pro­duced from 2015 through 2024. The value of this pro­duc­tion is es­ti­mated at $19.9 bil­lion in con­stant 2015 US dol­lars. In gen­eral, a light mil­i­tary ro­tor­craft is de­fined as hav­ing a max­i­mum gross weight of less than 6,804 kilo­grams.

An­nual pro­duc­tion of light mil­i­tary ro­tor­craft is pro­jected to in­crease from 171 units in 2015 to 223 in 2016. How­ever, this rise in an­nual build rates is ex­pected to be only tem­po­rary, as yearly pro­duc­tion will head down­ward af­ter 2016, reach­ing a low of only 68 units in each of 2022 and 2023. A slight re­bound, to 72 units, is pro­jected in 2024.

Bud­getary dif­fi­cul­ties around the globe are im­pact­ing the light mil­i­tary ro­tor­craft mar­ket. Many na­tions have been re­duc­ing de­fence spend­ing, with the re­sult that some ex­ist­ing ro­tor­craft pro­cure­ments are be­ing stretched out or re­duced in scope. At the same time, sev­eral new start ac­qui­si­tions have been post­poned or can­celed. And, un­less ad­di­tional sales are se­cured to boost long-dwin­dling or­der books, a num­ber of he­li­copters will be near­ing the end of their pro­duc­tion lives.

Over the next 10 years, our forecast in­di­cates that Asia will grow in rel­a­tive im­por­tance as a re­gional mar­ket for light mil­i­tary he­li­copters while the Euro­pean and North Amer­i­can mar­kets de­cline. In­dia, Ja­pan and South Korea are all plan­ning sig­nif­i­cant and size­able pro­cure­ments of light he­li­copters, pre­sent­ing quite a con­trast in this re­gard to most na­tions in other parts of the world.

As for mar­ket share pro­jec­tions by man­u­fac­turer, Air­bus He­li­copters, is forecast to lead the mar­ket in unit pro­duc­tion dur­ing the 2015-24 time pe­riod, build­ing 337 light mil­i­tary he­li­copters over the 10-year time­frame. Bell is pro­jected to lead in mon­e­tary value dur­ing the same pe­riod, on pro­duc­tion worth $5.69 bil­lion.

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