The increasing air transport demands for humanitarian support, anti-piracy patrols, drug trafficking control and other missions – combined with increasing core military operations – will generate the demand for some 2,400 multi-role airlifters during the next 30 years, valued at approximately $240 billion.
This is the outlook from Airbus Military, which presented a market review during a briefing with international journalists at the ILA Berlin Air Show.
“For today’s changing world, we are seeing more emphasis on versatility and multi-role capabilities – versus mission-specific aircraft – as well as the requirement for robust and reliable systems that can operate in challenging environments,” explained Domingo Urena-Raso, the CEO of Airbus Military.
In the light/medium category for air transport and surveillance, the company’s forecast anticipates the need for approximately 1,250 aircraft over the next three decades. Airbus Military is successfully addressing this sector with its CN235 and C295, of which 392 have been ordered by customers worldwide – with 141 of them booked in the past 10 years for a market share of 47 percent.
The category of heavy airlifters will require approximately 800 aircraft during the coming 30 years, according to the company’s outlook. Airbus Military’s new A400M responds to this market segment, providing a transporter that delivers true heavy airlift capacity, along with tactical capabilities and air-to-air refuelling. Airbus Military has sold 174 A400Ms to date, representing a 33 percent market share worldwide for the last decade, and is targeting further sales of 400 aircraft.
In the aerial refuelling and multi-role tanker/transport segment, a worldwide requirement of some 350 aircraft – including the United States – is forecast for the coming 30 years. The Airbus Military A330 MRTT has become a benchmark in this category, offering a modern airframe based on Airbus’ A330 jetliner with the effectiveness, flexibility and efficiency for both airlift and in-flight tanker applications. A total of 28 A330 MRTTs already have been ordered, accounting for 78 percent of the worldwide market outside the U.S. over the last 10 years.
“While the economic environment and pressures on defence budgets are creating some ‘turbulence’ in traditional markets, opportunities appear in emerging ones,” Urena-Raso said. “Airbus Military has a goal of winning approximately 50 percent of the overall market share across the three categories covered by our forecast, as our aircraft are market leaders in their corresponding categories, and we have new products in the high-value segments.”
Airbus Military’s presence at the ILA Berlin Air Show includes one of its A400M development aircraft, which is on static display and participates in the flying presentation. A C295 from the Polish Air Force also is at the biennial event.