The military aircraft avionics market is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 3% during the forecast period.
- The increasing procurement of newer generation military aircraft, driven by the growing defense expenditure of several countries is propelling the growth of the military aircraft avionics market.
- In addition, technological trends in military avionics, like the digital electronic displays, panoramic displays, software-defined radio (SDR), improved satellite communications, technologies that aid in precise navigation without the use of GPS, and automated flight control, and attitude heading reference system (AHRS) are gaining popularity, globally. These are expected to drive market growth in the years to come.
Key Market Trends
Fixed-wing Combat Aircraft Segment Accounted for the Largest Market Share in 2019
Currently, the military aircraft avionics is witnessing a high demand from the fixed-wing combat aircraft segment. The sales of these aircraft are increasing, as countries aim to increase their aerial fighting capabilities with the induction of advanced and stealthier fighter jets into their fleet. For instance, Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II is one of the latest and most advanced stealth multirole fighter jets in the world. The aircraft entered service in 2016 and is equipped with advanced avionics by blending a high number of separate subsystems into ever-more-tightly integrated packages. According to Lockheed Martin Corporation, the aircraft’s sensors, communications, and flight-control systems were blended more tightly than any other combat aircraft in history and has high-speed fiber-optic databuses and powerful commercial off-the-shelf microprocessors in the avionics. Nine major partner nations of the program, including the U.S., plan to acquire over 3,100 F-35s through 2035. Lockheed Martin delivered 134 F-35S in 2019, which represents a 47 percent increase over the 91 aircraft delivered in 2018, The company is targeting the delivery of 141 aircraft in 2020. Avionics suppliers of the aircraft program include L3 Harris Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, BAE Systems Plc., among others. In addition to F-35, the deliveries of other combat aircraft, like F/A-18 Super Hornet, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, Su 30, Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale also helped the segment gain a higher share in 2019. In 2019, four Rafale fighter jets were handed over to India, following a contract for 36 jets, signed in 2015. By virtue of such contracts, the fixed wing combat aircraft segment held the largest share in 2019.
North America Accounted for the Highest Share in the Market in 2019
The military aircraft avionics market is primarily dominated by North America in 2019, due to a large-scale procurement of military aircraft by the United States. The United States has the largest military aircraft fleet in the world, with more than 13,000 aircraft currently in use. The country has around 25% of the global military aircraft under its disposal. In addition to this, the country is currently procuring a huge number of aircraft either as additions or to replace the existing older aircraft. The country has increased aircraft orders and procurements in the last three years, facilitated by the increase in the defense budgets. In addition to the large-scale orders for fighter jets, the orders for helicopters have also witnessed an increase. For instance, back in July 2017, Lockheed Martin Corporation secured a USD 3.8 billion contract from the US Department of Defense (DoD) to deliver 257 UH-60M helicopters, out of which 142 helicopters will be delivered to the US Army. The overall contract also includes options for 103 more aircraft which, if executed, will increase the contract value to USD 5.2 billion. The aircraft deliveries are expected to be completed by 2022. Such orders and the deliveries of aircraft that follow have propelled the region to hold the highest share in 2019. In addition, the region is also projected to grow with a high CAGR during the forecast period, alongside the Asia-Pacific region, which has seen a surge in military aircraft orders in recent years.
The military aircraft avionics market is highly fragmented, with many companies taking significant market share, as there are broad ranges of products involved. Some of the prominent players in the market are Collins Aerospace (United Technologies Corporation), Honeywell International Inc., Thales Group, L3 Harris Corporation, and Northrop Grumman Corporation, among others. Increasing investments and partnerships with prominent market players can help smaller companies to sustain in the market. For instance, in March 2019, Core Avionics & Industrial Inc. announced its technology partnership with Airbus Defence and Space, to enable the use of GPU to compute in military airborne systems and applications that require the highest RTCA DO-178C/EUROCAE ED-12C DAL A safety certifications. The two companies will work together on systems and related software that perform safety-critical GPU compute operations to enable the autonomous systems and other avionics applications to take advantage of GPU compute functions. Also, with the competition growing in the industry, innovation becomes the key for the players for standing out in the competition in the long run.
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