According to the report â€œThe Military Helicopter Market 2011-2021â€ [available here] helicopters have time and again proven to be essential to the majority of 21st century military operations in both conventional wars and counter-insurgency-type campaigns. Helicopters, after all, can provide a means for moving personnel and cargo even in areas where prepared airfields and even roads are poor or do not exist. The ability of these rotorcraft to hover or to fly slower than fixed-wing aircraft also make them invaluable in surveillance and providing air support. Helicopters embarked on naval vessels also significantly extend the reach and capabilities of these ships. Helicopters have further been useful in humanitarian operations where they are often the best, or even the only, means of transport in disaster-stricken areas.
Consequently, countries are expected to continue making military helicopter a priority. Based on the research, global spending on military helicopter amounted to $12.6bn in 2010. The US expectedly spends the most in military helicopters as these aircraft are in great demand in its military operations, increasingly so in the vast spaces of Afghanistan. Major European powers like the UK, France, Italy and Germany remain key markets despite frozen or reduced overall defence budgets. Countries such as India, South Korea and Turkey are also embarking on major helicopter development and acquisition programmes.
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