More affordable/versatile helicopters will offset waning demand

More affordable/versatile helicopters will offset waning demand 22 Nov, 12, Source: Frost & Sullivan

Military platforms continue to dominate the global helicopter market. However, this dominance is expected to reduce as platforms become more capable and Ministries of Defence (MoDs) look for commonality with existing fleets to save on maintenance costs and improve platform availability. To a lesser extent, similar trends will be witnessed across the civil helicopter market, where end users exhibit a preference for life extension programmes.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, Global Military and Civil Helicopter Market Assessment, finds that revenue opportunities that stood at $17.95 billion in 2011 will increase to $23.33 billion by 2018.

“Financial uncertainty and reduced defence spending will encourage end-users to remanufacture and upgrade existing platforms, rather than acquire new helicopters,” noted Frost & Sullivan Aerospace & Defence Research Analyst Alix Leboulanger. “This trend will be particularly evident across Europe and North America, traditionally the largest helicopter markets.”

New platforms procurement programmes will be driven primarily by the demand for multi-capable helicopters, with reduced logistic footprints and more environment-friendly designs.

The need for utility helicopters will intensify, as these platforms become increasingly versatile. This will be the case, for instance, in the commercial offshore aviation segment – the most demanding sector in the commercial helicopter market – where there is a constant need for helicopters that can cover longer distances, without refuelling.

Despite ongoing fleet renewals, however, limited budgets will have a profound impact on the helicopter market across all end-user segments.

“In addition to military end-users from Western countries that face austerity measures, the governmental sector which depends heavily on state funding, will also have to deal with budget constraints,” explained Leboulanger. “To aggravate the situation, business aviation and commercial operators are also expected to be affected by shrinking spending power, while being hit with higher fuel taxes and insurance costs.”

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will need to focus on developing new platforms with cutting-edge improvements that support greater efficiency, but at lower life-cycle costs. Offering tailored outsourcing maintenance solutions will also help OEMs maintain strong revenue growth, despite the ongoing financial constraints.

“Outsourcing models should be promoted as they provide a win-win situation for both OEMs and end users,” advised Leboulanger. “Outsourcing maintenance activities would not only result in shared costs and enhanced platform readiness, but will also be the best approach to tracking the technological weaknesses of platforms and guiding future R&D orientation.”

For more information this research, please send your contact details to Joanna Lewandowska, Corporate Communications, at [email protected].

Global Military and Civil Helicopter Market Assessment (M890-16) is part of the Defence Growth Partnership Service programme, which also includes research in the following markets: Global Military Training & Simulation Market, Global Military Unmanned Aerial Systems Market, Global Force Protection Market and Global Military Land Vehicles Market. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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