The U.S. military continues to acquire new helicopters and implement major upgrades to its existing fleet. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the U. S. Army's aviation command may require a sum of $61 billion in procurement funding between 2010 and 2026.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (aerospace.frost.com), U.S. Military Helicopter Market, finds that the U.S. fiscal 2010 base budget will include an increase of $500 million to field and sustain additional helicopters that are needed immediately to support the war on terrorism. The markets covered in this research service are the U.S. Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy as well as National Guard, Reserve and Coast Guard Operations.
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"The global war against terrorism will continue driving the rotorcraft market, especially in Afghanistan," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Nathan Smith. "Higher helicopter usage, extreme operational conditions, an aging fleet, aircraft retirement and losses will be major drivers for this market in the long-term."
The next generation heavy lift helicopters such as the Marine Corps CH-53K, which is presently under development, and MV-22, which is currently in full-rate production, are expected to result in market growth over the next three to five years. Program initiatives such as the United States Marine Corps' (USMC) order for additional MV-22 platforms, the U.S. Army's armed reconnaissance helicopter (ARH) program, the Air Force's combat search and rescue (CSAR)-X Program, and the turbine vertical take-off and landing unmanned air vehicle (VTUAV) program will continue to boost the growth of the U.S. military helicopter market.
However, maintaining the efficient performance of aging equipment will continue to be a challenge for the military, as has been the case in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Aircraft losses and aging equipment will be a challenge for the U.S. military in the long term. The usage rate for certain fleets is three times normal; forced retirements and a lack of flyable spare parts is likely to severely affect the military over the next 5 years.
"A major issue for all U.S. Armed Forces branches will be to maintain current and future fleet programs," explains Smith. "Although growth is expected in the military market, procurement is likely to be challenged by the economic downturn and program delays."
The U.S. helicopter manufacturers should focus on R&D for developing and designing innovative and advanced helicopters to remain competitive. Uninitiated R&D efforts are likely to remove the U.S. military's competitive edge in the helicopter market.
"Research has shown that much of the competitiveness and advancement in the helicopter market has been lost to the transfer of technology by U.S. manufactures to foreign competitors," concludes Smith. "The continuation of this practice is not likely to produce positive results and therefore, manufacturers need to be careful as to what and how much information they share."
U.S. Military Helicopter Market is part of the Aerospace Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: U.S. Military Avionics Market Assessment, U.S. Battery Market for Military/Aerospace Applications, and World Satellite Communication on the Move Market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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U.S. Military Helicopter Market / N6CE