Military Aircraft Avionics Market – Market Overview
Aircraft avionics are the electronic systems that are used for the communication, navigation, and as a support for various flight-critical applications in an airplane. These are highly critical components in the modern aircraft as they also aid in the provision of improved navigation and routing, enhanced situational awareness to pilots, and improved air traffic management (ATM) process.
Military avionics are very crucial during wartime for airborne operations. Avionics systems are essential for flight operations and other aircraft control functions. The modern military avionics system help to enhance safety and situational awareness. Thus, utilization of advanced military avionics system, are extremely important in modern asymmetric warfare. Military fleet of aircraft, are thus further fitted with modern military avionics systems to enhance the airborne capabilities.
In the early 2000s, NASA had envisioned NASA AvSP in partnership with the FAA, the US Department of Defense (DOD), aircraft manufacturers, airlines, and universities in the US. The program’s goal was to reduce the fatal aircraft accident rates by 90% in two and a half decades in the US. Several countries (respective air force) also give high priority to the improvement of flight safety and reliability. Such demands for the improvement of aviation safety and reliability boosts the aircraft global market, as the avionics systems such as the synthetic vision system, have proven to enhance situational awareness for pilots.
Limited visibility is one of the major factors leading to fatal aviation accidents worldwide. Incidents of aircraft collision and CFIT accidents occur because of the lack of awareness of surrounding terrain while operating in poor visibility. CFIT is one of the biggest causes of accidents in both fixed-wing aircraft and rotorcraft, and reducing this requires an accurate terrain database. Modern avionics provides pilots with clear views of their surroundings even in bad weather and low-light conditions. It offers virtual reality displays in aircraft cockpits showing terrain, air traffic, runway surfaces, landing and approach patterns, and obstacles that could affect an aircraft’s flight. It significantly improves safety and can help prevent aviation accidents.
Military Aircraft Avionics Market – Competitive Analysis
The market is highly competitive. There is strong competition among existing vendors, in terms of cost, product quality, reliability, and market share. To survive and succeed in such an intensely competitive environment, it is crucial for vendors to provide cost-effective and high-quality military aircraft avionics systems.
At present, only a few of the major vendors dominate the military aircraft avionics market. However, along with the shift in market dynamics from developed to emerging nations and change in nature of military procurement (amid defense budget cuts), the leading vendors will find themselves in an uncertain position in the value chain. Thus, it is highly imperative for the vendors to adjust their market presence and outlook as per the evolving demand in the market. For example, the uncertain procurement of next generation military fighter aircraft, and limited procurement of airborne early warning and fixed-wing surveillance aircraft can lead to intense market pressure for the military aircraft avionics system manufacturers. However, the longevity and service life of the existing military aircraft fleet has increased. Thus, there could be an immensely large market in terms of retrofit and aftermarket solutions.
To maintain market share and competitiveness, the major vendors should keep track of such market dynamics and changing demands. Moreover, they should be capable to provide rapid innovative solutions in the ever changing military systems market.
Industry/ Innovation/ Related News:
October, 2017:- The US Air Force signed a contract with Rockwell Collins, to provide maintenance and sustainment support for the KC-10 avionics systems, over the next nine years.
July, 2017:- Elbit System signed a contract with Lockheed Martin, to develop a panoramic cockpit display unit for the F-35 aircraft, which would replace the plane’s currently equipped cockpit display system, developed by L3 Technologies.
Military Aircraft Avionics Market – Segments
For the convenience of the report and enhanced understanding; the military aircraft avionics market is segmented in to three key dynamics:
Segmentation by Type: General Aircraft Avionics and Mission Specific Avionics.
Segmentation by Aircraft Type: Fixed Wing and Rotary Wing.
Segmentation by Regions: Comprises Geographical regions – North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and South America.
Military Aircraft Avionics Market – Regional Analysis
Along with the increase in global conflicts, various countries have extensively invested on military expansion and also on the upgrade of the existing military aircraft fleet. The US, in particular, along with the member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), have already deployed thousands of their troops and military aircraft in various conflict regions, across the globe (such as in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan). Military aircrafts are of great importance in conflicts for crisis management from a strategic and tactical point of view and has been a crucial component in conflicts since 1945. These aircrafts also enable the military to transport troops and supplies over long distances in a short time, which is a decisive factor in the war zone. It also help to evacuate the wounded soldiers and provide supplies in a hostile environment. Thus, considering the contribution and need for military aircraft, also for humanitarian and military operations, the need to maintain the operability for such aircraft increases along with the rise in conflicts.
All these military aircraft consist of modern avionics system for flight control and many other operations. Also, the modern warfare has evolved and is more asymmetric in nature. The evolving nature of modern warfare also demands advanced military avionics system for effective defense and surveillance mechanism. The market for military aircraft avionics systems is thus expected to grow at a steady rate in the next five years. Demand from major markets, such as the US and Europe, and also from the emerging nations in APAC is expected to contribute to the market growth.
The US and Europe are heavily spending on military aircraft modernization. The maintenance and operability of existing fleet is more cost-effective to the defense sector than replacing an entire fleet of aircraft. As a result, new and optimized military aircraft avionics system are largely being retrofitted to various military aircraft.
Emerging nations, such as China and India, have increased their defense budgets, and are buying new aircraft to strengthen their defense capability. A large part of the defense budget goes for the purchase and upgrade of military aircraft systems (including military aircraft avionics). Thus, although the US and Europe have much larger market for military aircraft avionics systems at present, the economic slowdown in Europe, while increased defense spending in the Middle east and APAC region have led to a gradual change in the market dynamics. It is expected that the emerging nations such as India, China, Brazil, and South Africa can provide a much attractive market opportunity for military aircraft avionics systems.
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