Despite a lull in new orders this year for light and medium-sized transports, expects to see double-digit sales growth in the sector this decade, with further growth in the2020s.
In the short term, “budget constraints are affecting the market quite heavily,” but in the longer term, “we expect increasing volume” of sales, says Antonio Rodriguez Barberan, commercial senior vice president. Growth patterns are expected both for the transport role and for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, he notes.
In the coming three decades,Military sees potential new sales of 1,250 light and medium-sized transports, with 800 heavy airlifters to be sold along with 350 strategic tankers. The market value for those sales is estimated at about $240 billion. The tanker forecast includes a notional replacement for the U.S. Air Force KC-10 and the KC-X program now with . The addressable market for tankers is about 100 aircraft.
One ongoing tanker program is unfolding in India, where trials are expected this year and commercial bids are likely to be reviewed next year, but theIl-76 is the only candidate. had won what was a competition, but the bid was canceled.
Airbus Military forecasts an average of 80 aircraft sold annually, spanning light transports to strategic tankers. The light and medium-sized segment will represent 52% of the units sold, and 20% of the value. A third of the sales are expected in the heavy airlifter segment, representing 43% of the market value, while 15% of units sold will be strategic tankers, representing 37% of the value.
There are some market shifts taking place, though, Barberan says. One is in the regional emphasis. “We expect the market is moving east,” he notes, with relatively stable activity in Latin America and the Middle East, Africa and Europe contracting, and Asia increasing.
Another change unfolding is in the type of mission demand, Barberan argues. Whereas military requirements have driven funding decisions for these type of systems, new requirements such as provision of humanitarian assistance are of increasing importance.