Forecast International is predicting that 1,805 light military rotorcraft will be produced between 2013 and 2022. The Connecticut-based market research firm estimates the value of this production at $24.3 billion in constant 2013 U.S. dollars. The company defines a light military rotorcraft as one having a maximum gross weight of less than6,804 kilograms(15,000 lb).
Production of light military rotorcraft has generally grown in recent years, but the market is set to enter a period of much slower growth and even some retrenchment. A new Forecast International study projects that during the next 10 years, the trend in annual production levels will be quite erratic, with alternating periods of yearly increases and decreases. Overall, though, the general trajectory is still expected to be slightly upward, with production in 2022 higher than in 2013.
Demand for light military helicopters is weakening in North America and Europe, two regions that have contributed mightily to the growth in the market of recent years. The current modernization cycle in U.S. military rotorcraft procurement is nearing an end. Plus, significant downward pressure is being placed on theU.S.defense budget due to a combination of factors such as the winding down of the Afghan conflict and efforts to reduce theU.S.budget deficit.
In addition, the possibility still exists of deep reductions in U.S. defense spending being imposed by an automatic budget sequester in 2013. Even if sequestration is avoided, though, U.S. defense spending will continue to decline from previous levels.
Demand for light military helicopters is also weakening outside the U.S. Opportunities will continue to exist in such regions as the Middle East and South Asia. However, long-term trends in much of Europe are not promising, as governments there struggle with severe budgetary problems. According to Forecast International senior aerospace analyst Raymond Jaworowski, “The outlook for the light military rotorcraft market in Europe is particularly grim once current programs such as British acquisition of the AW159 Lynx Wildcat and French/German/Spanish acquisition of the Tiger combat helicopter come to an end.”
The Forecast International market projections indicate that Eurocopter and Bellwill be the leading manufacturers of light military rotorcraft during the 2013-2022 period. Over the timeframe, Eurocopter is expected to lead the market in unit production, while Bell is expected to lead in monetary value of production.
Forecast International, Inc. (www.forecastinternational.com) is a leading provider of Market Intelligence and Analysis in the areas of aerospace, defense, power systems and military electronics. Based in Newtown, Conn., USA, Forecast International specializes in long-range industry forecasts and market assessments used by strategic planners, marketing professionals, military organizations, and governments worldwide.
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