Western Military Transport Aircraft Deliveries/ Retirements: 2020-2029

Credit: Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence

Aviation Week Network forecasts that over the next decade 888 new, Western-designed aircraft performing military transport missions will be built, while 634 will be retired. This figure includes aircraft of all sizes, everything from four-seat general aviation aircraft ferrying VIPs to the enormous C-5 Galaxy. It also includes aerial refueling tankers that perform transport missions, but not aircraft devoted full time to gunship, C4ISR, or maritime missions.


The Lockheed Martin C-130 holds the number one spot for both deliveries and retirements over the forecast. The C-130 will make up 18.4% of deliveries and 34.9% of retirements as the ubiquitous prop transport sees many of its legacy models leaving military service at a more rapid pace than the newest J models enter.

The Boeing 767-based KC-46 holds a solid second place in deliveries thanks to the U.S. Air Force's (USAF) planned acquisition of airframes over the next decade, making up 16.8% of the global delivery total. These aircraft are expected to replace the rapidly aging Boeing KC-135 and KC-10s in service with the USAF, which make up the fourth and fifth largest number of retirements.

While the United States holds the top two delivery spots, the rest of the top ten is defined by a diverse array of transports from around the world. With over a quarter of transports in service in 2029 still undefined beyond requirements and open competitions, there is ample opportunity for the A400M, CN235/C295, C-27 or others to increase their market share, replacing both legacy western and Soviet-era transports.

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

For more information about the 2020 Forecast and other Aviation Week data products, please see: http://pages.aviationweek.com/Forecasts