The aircraft carrier ship market is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 2% during the forecast period.
- The increasing geopolitical issues and the territorial disputes between various nations led to the procurement of aircraft carrier ships, which can be attributed to the growth of the market.
- Also, the increasing investments in replacing the existing fleet with newer generation carrier ships will accelerate market growth.
- Aircraft carrier ships may continue operations for several years, by providing strength to the naval forces. However, the high maintenance costs associated with such ships shall prove to be a restraint for various regions.
- Asia-Pacific has been one of the global hotspots for military conflicts. The increasing number of territorial issues in the region has propelled the countries to procure advanced aircraft carrier ships.
Key Market Trends
The Nuclear Powered Segment to Dominate the Market
The nuclear powered segment currently has the highest share, and it is anticipated to dominate the market as they can carry over two times the volume of aircraft fuel as compared to the conventionally powered aircraft carrier. The collaboration of shipbuilding companies with manufacturers of various systems onboard naval vessels, like communication, propulsion, and missile defense, to develop and deploy advanced aircraft carriers with a low cost of maintenance is anticipated to drive the growth of the segment. Increased focus on maritime security and high usage of nuclear energy are the main factors driving the market. For instance, in March 2018, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, one of the largest shipbuilders of China, revealed its plan to develop the country’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Also, in December 2019, Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. provided its first aircraft carrier, John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), to the US Navy. In addition, countries, like Malaysia and Thailand, have decommissioned their nuclear aircraft carriers as they incur high maintenance costs, which is one of the major challenges for the growth of the segment.
North America Held the Highest Share in 2019
Currently, North America has the highest share, due to the high defense spending and rapidly increasing R&D investments in this region. The US Navy's investment in naval vessels is increasing to support its fleet expansion plans to reach its goal of 355 ship fleets by 2030. The procurement plan included five Gerald R Ford-class aircraft carriers (to be delivered and deployed between 2022 and 2034) and USS Enterprise (CVN 80) carriers (that will replace CVN 65 aircraft carriers), which will be delivered during 2028-2032. In addition, the US Navy is focusing on the modernization of existing aircraft carriers. For instance, in April 2020, BAE Systems PLC was awarded a USD 200 million contract from the US Navy to upgrade (maintenance and modernization) the USS Boxer. Similarly, the US Navy awarded a contract of USD 41 million to BAE Systems in March 2019 to perform the routine maintenance and modernization of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23). The contract is expected to be completed by December 2021. The aforementioned factors are anticipated to support the growth of the market in the region during the forecast period.
The prominent players in the aircraft carrier ship market are Lockheed Martin Corporation, BAE Systems PLC, General Dynamics Corporation, Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., and Naval Group. The shipbuilding companies form long-term contracts with governments for the construction of aircraft carriers. Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. supports US aircraft carrier construction programs. Naval Group, BAE Systems, and Navantia are some of the companies that support aircraft carrier programs in Europe. In the Asia-Pacific region, there are many public-private partnerships that support aircraft carrier construction in the region. For instance, INS Vishal Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 2 (IAC-2) is a planned aircraft carrier to be built by Cochin Shipyard Limited for the Indian Navy, which is to be commissioned in the 2030s. As the program is in its nascent stages, many companies will have a chance to become a part of the program in the coming years. The upcoming procurements and maintenance and modernization programs are anticipated to support the growth strategies of the companies.
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