The global military vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft market is expected to grow at a CAGR of almost 4% during the forecast period, according to Technavio’s latest report.
By VTOL aircraft type, this market is segmented into military powered-lift VTOL aircraft and military rotorcraft VTOL aircraft market.
Powered-lift VTOL aircrafts are built for carrying heavy payloads. While their working can be compared to helicopter avionics, they have an added benefit of being able to operate on water, land, and desert. The newer models have been equipped with skis, which allows for extremely fast transitions during take-off and landing. As of 2016, this segment occupied more than 70% of the total market and it is expected to continue its dominance through the forecast period.
“The Americas occupy the largest market share in VTOL aircrafts, with the highest contribution from the US. Over 80 percent of the US military’s investments have been utilized for VTOL aircraft development projects. The Latin American countries are expected to invest in the market during the forecast period. The CAGR from this regional segment is expected to be 2.9 percent in the forecast period,” said Moutushi Saha, one of the lead analysts at Technavio for defense research.
The US Air Force (USAF) and the US Marine Corps (USMC) use the V-22 Ospreyaircraft extensively for a wide range of missions. The V-22 Osprey is a medium-lift, multi-mission tiltrotor aircraft developed jointly by Boeing and Bell Helicopter. It is one of the most prominent and successful VTOL aircrafts ever made. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected four companies – Sikorsky, Aurora Flight Sciences, Boeing, and Karem Aircraft, for the initial development of an advanced state-of-art X-Plane prototype.
EMEA: market led by Russian dominance
In the last few years, nations like the UK, France, and Italy have been showing increased interest in the VTOL aircraft market. This is augmenting the market space dominated by Russia. The market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4.48 percent in the forecast period due to development and procurement of aircrafts that can operate from austere bases and in front-line combat zones.
Russia is a premier in the development of VTOL aircraft, and has been involved in the market since the early 1960s. The UK, on the other hand, has been showing increased interest in procuring V-22 Osprey. Additionally, they are also investing in the development of F-35B STOVL variant of the F-35 series of fighters. These aircraft reached initial operational capability (IOC) and a squadron of 10 F-35Bs was declared ready for mission deployment. The Italian Air Force is also expected to procure and operate F-35B.
APAC: fastest growing military VTOL aircraft market
“APAC is currently witnessing an intense arms race to develop as well as procure advanced military equipment and weapons. Countries such as China, India, Japan, Australia, and South Korea are collaborating with Western countries for mutual development of military platforms or transfer of technology. With countries fighting for dominance, the market here will show the highest growth rate with a CAGR of 4.62 percent,” says Moutushi.
China is the highest defense spender of the region. They are advancing in the market with indigenous development of VTOL aircrafts. Russia has also aided China in the transfer of technology used in Yak-141 supersonic VTOL fighter jet. With investments pouring in, the technology is seeing rapid developments, and it is expected that the country will soon begin the production process. Additionally, the Bell-Boeing consortium is looking at India as a potential customer for their V-22 Osprey. With such major projects in the pipeline, this market is on a healthy growth trend.
The top vendors in the global military VTOL aircraft market highlighted in the report are:
- Aurora Flight Sciences
- Bell Helicopter
- Lockheed Martin
Technavio is a leading global technology research and advisory company. The company develops over 2000 pieces of research every year, covering more than 500 technologies across 80 countries.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense