The multirole aircraft market is expected to exhibit a growth rate of more than 3.5% during the forecast period 2020-2025.
- Owing to the rise in the global conflict between nations and increased attacks on civilians, defense forces around the world are seeking aircraft that costs low on maintenance and are capable of performing functions, such as interception, elimination of hostile aircraft, and transportation. This reason is propelling the market growth for multirole aircraft.
- Demand for multirole aircraft with high aerial combat capabilities is propelling the growth of the market. Developing economies that cannot afford the high procurement and life cycle cost of air superiority aircraft are opting for multirole combat aircraft. For instance, India is producing its domestically developed multirole fighter aircraft HAL Tejas and recently acquired Dassault Rafale multirole fighter from France in 2019. Pakistan and China are jointly producing JF 17 multirole combat aircraft, which is being used by Pakistan, Nigeria, and Myanmar.
Key Market Trends
Rise in Demand for Multirole Helicopters
Factors such as a rise in anti-piracy operations, search and rescue operations, and surveillance and reconnaissance of long coastal boundaries among developing countries propel the growth of the multirole helicopter market. A multirole helicopter can be deployed for aerial reconnaissance, troop transportation, ground attack, and many other roles, and it costs less than a multirole and air superiority aircraft. They can also operate in unfavorable weather conditions, unlike airplanes. The United States is narrowing down 20 different types of helicopters in its defense fleet to just three types through the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) program. Europe provides a very good opportunity for Multi-Role Helicopter (MRH) manufacturers because of the aging multirole helicopter fleet (nearly 30% of the total fleet of European Union Countries). European countries can also jointly develop a multirole helicopter to save operational and manufacturing costs. In October 2019, Russia gave 2 Tupolev T-160 aircraft to South Africa and signed a deal for selling 12 Mi-35 attack and light troop transport helicopters to Nigeria.
Asia-Pacific will Exhibit the Highest Growth Rate During the Forecast Period
Countries like China, India, Pakistan, and South Korea are modernizing their military aircraft fleet, which is anticipated to generate new orders for multi-role aircraft in the coming years. Military budget allocation and spending are also expected to play a major role in the multi-role aircraft market. China’s and India’s defense budget for 2018 were USD 250 billion and USD 66.5 billion, respectively. In October 2019, China introduced the Harbin Z-20 medium-lift multi-role helicopter for land-based and naval operation. It is primarily a transport helicopter, but it will be used for reconnaissance and fighter jet hauling. In 2018, China upgraded its J-10 multi-role aircraft with thrust vectors that allow the aircraft to perform impossible maneuvers. In 2018, China also added a significant number of aircraft in its fleet of J-16 multi-role fighters.
In February 2020, the government of India completed all the work regarding the procurement of 24 Lockheed Martin MH-60R Romeo multi-role helicopters at the cost of USD 2.6 billion. This procurement is a part of fulfilling the requirement for 123 multi-role naval helicopters for the Indian Navy. In May 2019, the Defense Ministry of India approved the deal for procuring 10 Kamov helicopters from Russia. India has signed a deal with Russia for 200 multi-role Kamov 226T helicopters, acquiring 60 helicopters in flyaway conditions and producing 140 helicopters in India with support from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
The market for military multi-role aircraft is moderately fragmented with the presence of companies like Lockheed Martin Corporation, The Boeing Company, Airbus SE, Aviation Industry Corporation of China, United Aircraft Corporation, and Bombardier. Many major global companies are collaborating with the state-owned companies in emerging economies to locally produce multi-role aircraft and cut the cost of transportation, taxes, and other operations. For instance, the United States is running a Joint Strike Fighter program with its allies for developing F-35 multi-role air superiority aircraft for replacing the aging fleet. Artificial Intelligence is another major technology engineered in multi-role aircraft, such as F-35 and Su-57.
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