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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Near-Term Growth in Military Rotorcraft Market

By Ramon Lopez/Editor, AT’s Daily Brief

In a new study, "The Market for Medium/Heavy Military Rotorcraft," Forecast International projects that 4,319 such rotorcraft will be produced during the 10-year time period between 2010 and 2019. The value of this production is estimated at $92.3 billion in constant 2010 U.S. dollars. In general, Forecast International defines a medium/heavy rotorcraft as one with a gross weight that equals or exceeds 6,804 kilograms (15,000 lb).

The projections contained within the new study indicate that the medium/heavy segment of the military rotorcraft market will experience strong growth in the near term. Some decline in the market, though, is anticipated in the longer term. On an annual basis, production in the medium/heavy military segment is expected to grow by more than 25 percent in the first half of the forecast period, from 391 rotorcraft in 2010 to 500 in 2014. A combination of factors is driving this growth, including an influx of new models onto the global market as well as continued robust rotorcraft procurement by the U.S. military services and others.

The steady rise in output, though, will not extend into the second half of the forecast timeframe. Beginning in 2015, annual production in the medium/heavy military sector is projected to trend downward, dropping to a level of 376 units by 2019. By this point of the forecast period, production for a number of high-volume procurement programs will be nearing an end, and many of the production ramp-ups for once-new rotorcraft models will have crested.

The Forecast International study also includes market share projections by company for the 10-year forecast timeframe. These projections indicate that Sikorsky will lead the market during this period in both unit production and production value.

According to Forecast International senior aerospace analyst Raymond Jaworowski, "Sikorsky benefits from a solid business foundation of strong U.S. military procurement, as well as export sales, of Black Hawk and Naval Hawk helicopters." Other major players in the medium/heavy military rotorcraft market will include Boeing, the NH Industries consortium (of AgustaWestland, Eurocopter and Fokker), and Russian helicopters.

The best place to consider the military chopper market is the U.S. Army Aviation Association of America's (Quad-A) Annual Convention. And Rotor & Wing is conducting a webinar on Friday, April 30 from 1:00 p.m to 2:00 p.m. EST to help you make sense of this year’s edition.

Making Sense of This Year's QUAD-A
A Rotor & Wing Webinar
April 30 (1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EST)

All the major issues are reviewed and discussed -- from preset and reset, to acquisition programs, future developments, integrated warfighting and even perspectives from commanders and soldiers who have recently returned from the battlefield.

Which major issues were examined at this year's Quad-A convention in Fort Worth, Texas in mid-April? And how will these issues affect the military rotorcraft segment in 2010 – and beyond?

According to Maj. Gen. James O. Barclay III, Commanding General, USAACE/Fort Rucker, "Since the mid-1990s, the roles, missions and numbers of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) have expanded at unprecedented rates. Born out of necessity to protect the force, our UAS today are the 'Eyes of the Army,' proving themselves in key operational missions and are embraced by the warfighters who employ them. The continuing expansion of UAS will have ever increasing utility in future Army operations."

What are the chances of the US Army getting its long awaited OH-58D replacement anytime soon? Following the cancellation of Sikorsky's RAH-66 Comanche in 2004, then shutting the door on Bell's ARH-70A in 2008, the recently released Request for Information (RFI) for a new Armed Aerial Scout (AAS) has prompted the military rotorcraft sector to wonder if this situation will be "third time lucky".

Hear from these experts
(and ask them your own questions in this interactive webinar):

Andrew Drwiega
Military Editor,
Rotor & Wing

Ernie Stephens
Pilot, Maryland State Police Aviation Command
Contributing Editor, Rotor & Wing magazine

John Persinos
Publisher/Editorial Director

Our expert speakers will assess the real messages coming from US Army Aviation:

∑ What was the whispered news on the exhibition floor at Quad-A?

∑ Is US Army Aviation where it needs to be? If not, where does it require industry support?

∑ Where are US Army Aviation's leaders taking capability in the next 12 months?

∑ A type-by-type report of aircraft upgrades and program milestones.

∑ An examination of the effect that the lingering global recession is exerting on Army spending and which areas are likely to suffer from a lack of funds.

∑ Who has ideas to take Science & Technology (S&T) forward and which areas need more support?

∑ Armed Aerial Scout – manned or unmanned?

To register: video.webcasts.com/events/pmny001/viewer/index.jsp

Ramon Lopez also serves as editor-in-chief of Air Safety Week; he has been covering air safety for more than three decades (rlopez@accessintel.com).


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