Predicts Eurocopter, Bell Will Supply Bulk Of 2,176 Helos
In a new study, "The Market for Light Military Rotorcraft,"
Forecast International projects that 2,176 light rotorcraft will be
produced for military use during the 10-year period from 2008
through 2017. The Connecticut-based firm estimates the value of
this production at $22.3 billion, in constant 2008 US dollars. The
new study generally defines a rotorcraft as "light" when it has a
maximum gross weight of less than 15,000 lb.
The Forecast International projections indicate that annual
light military rotorcraft production will more than double within
the next several years. Yearly production is projected to rise
steadily from an estimated 132 rotorcraft in 2008 to 291 rotorcraft
in 2014. According to the study, this growth will make the light
military segment the most dynamic part of the world rotorcraft
market during this time period. The overall rotorcraft market is
experiencing considerable strength, and the light military segment
is expected to lead the way.
A number of factors are driving the growth in the light military
rotorcraft market. One is the ongoing restructuring of US Army
aviation, which involves a number of new procurement programs.
Forecast states two of these programs, the Armed Reconnaissance
Helicopter (ARH) and the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), will see
the Army take delivery of hundreds of new light helicopters in
coming years. (The report apparently does not reflect the
recent cancellation of the ARH
program, however --
Another factor cited by Forecast is the proliferation of new
helicopter models that are just entering service or are about to do
so. Manufacturers will strive to quickly ramp up production of
these models in order to work off accumulated order backlogs and
get helicopters into the hands of their customers. Many of these
models are from companies outside the United States.
With a booming military market and a strong civil market, many
manufacturers and suppliers are scrambling for production capacity
as they bump up against their existing capacity limits. According
to Forecast International Senior Aerospace Analyst Raymond
Jaworowski, "Manufacturers are striving to ramp up production of
civil and military models alike. At the same time, they are
pressuring and cajoling their suppliers to accelerate component
Market share projections included in the new Forecast
International study indicate that Eurocopter and Bell will be the
top two manufacturers in the light military rotorcraft market
during the next 10 years. Eurocopter will lead in units produced,
while Bell is expected to be second. The order is reversed in terms
of value of production, with Bell taking the top spot and
Eurocopter placing second.
The projections indicate that AgustaWestland will be third, and
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) will be fourth, in both unit
production and value of production.