Forecast: Western Maritime Helicopter In-Service Fleets 2019-2029

Credit: U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 3rd Class Jenna Dobson

Aviation Week Network estimates that at the end of 2019, there were 2,188 Western-designed helicopters performing maritime missions. Over the next decade, this fleet will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 1.38%. The period will see 677 new-build deliveries and 355 retirements. Aviation Week defines this mission market as helicopters performing search and rescue (SAR) over bodies of water, general purpose helicopters based primarily on ships performing specifically maritime missions, and helicopters carrying specialized technology for anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare (ASW), or over-water airborne early warning (AEW) missions.
There is a diverse array of maritime helicopters, but the market is still dominated by the Sikorsky S-70/H-60 family, which made up 35.6% of the market in 2019 and will still hold 32.8% in 2029. The largest purchase of maritime helicopters is the U.S. Coast Guard's upgrade of its fleet of Airbus MH-65Ds (based on the H155) to the MH-65E standard. NHIndustries also will deliver the most new-build machines of NFH90 naval helicopters. These are mostly in Europe including Italy, Germany,  and France.

The two largest procurements of maritime helicopters in the world both belong to the Indian Navy, which has a 123 Naval Multi-Role Helicopter (NMRH) requirement for anti-submarine warfare helicopters and a 111 Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) requirement. The MH-60R Seahawk is the strong favorite for the NMRH requirement after India finally closed the deal as part of a long-delayed interim solution. The NUH requirement was born out of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.'s (HAL) failed effort to create a viable navalized Dhruv helicopter. The program reportedly is in trouble, with debates about who the domestic manufacturing partner should be (HAL or someone else) creating significant delays.



Source: Aviation Week Intelligence Network (AWIN) 2020 Military Fleet & MRO Forecast
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