Higher Defense Budgets Likely to Give Medium/Heavy Military Rotorcraft Market a Lift

by Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

V-280 Concept for Future Vertical Lift (FVL). Source: Bell Helicopter

Forecast International’s Platinum Forecast System 3.1 indicates that a total of 6,175  medium/heavy military rotorcraft will be produced during the 15-year period from 2017 through 2031.  The value of this production is estimated at $158.4 billion (in FY17 dollars).  We define a medium/heavy military rotorcraft as one having a gross weight of at least 6,804 kilograms (15,000 lb). Continue reading

Bell 206L4 LongRanger Termination Makes Sense

By Douglas Royce, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

Bell 206L-4 Long Ranger.

Bell Helicopter plans to terminate production of the 206L4 LongRanger during the first half of 2017, according to a report by Flight International.

The seven-seat LongRanger remained in production long after production of its smaller sibling, the iconic five-seat Bell 206B, ended in 2010, but sales have been declining for years. Continue reading

Thailand-Russia Relations Warm as Defense Industrial Collaboration Agreement Nears Finalization

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Mi-8MTV-5 (export variant: Mi-17V-5) is a medium-lift military helicopter. Photo – Russian Нelicopters, JSC.

Ties between Russia and Thailand appear to be heating up on the defense front following a meeting in Bangkok on January 16 between Russian defense officials and military leadership of the Royal Thai Armed Forces. According to reports, the meeting involved discussions of a potential government-to-government accord aimed at military-technical cooperation. The agreement outline in question would extend Thailand partnership status on a jointly run production and maintenance facility for the Mil Mi-17V-5 transport helicopter export variant. Continue reading

North Sea S-92 Accident Report Released by AAIB

by Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Analyst, Forecast International.

Elgin Field located in U.K. sector of North Sea
Source: Total Energy

The United Kingdom’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has released a Special Bulletin regarding an S-92 accident on December 28, 2016, at the North Sea’s West Franklin wellhead platform. Continue reading

Safran Helicopter Engines Hovers Above the Turboshaft Pack

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems Specialist, Forecast International.

Assembly work at Safran Helicopter Engines ~ (c) Cyril Abad / CAPA Pictures / Safran

Helicopters – Unequalled maneuverability; life-saving capability; powerful and indispensable. The helicopter’s value is undisputed and its utility second to none.  Companies  like Cierva, Breguet, and Sikorski did the pioneering work that resulted in the helicopters we now depend on. Today, the V-22 and AW609 are revolutionizing the field with their tilt-rotor technology, while utilizing capabilities that would astound those early developers. Continue reading

T55 Soldiers On Aboard Venerable CH-47 Chinook

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems Specialist, Forecast International.

Boeing CH-47F Chinook

Boeing CH-47F Chinook

When an aviation platform passes 50 years of continuous military service, it joins a prestigious, albeit small, group of aircraft. The group gets significantly smaller when another proviso is added, that of being in current production. The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is a member of this elite group, and its august Honeywell T55 gas turbine engine has been with the platform from the beginning. Continue reading

Short-Term Growth, Longer-Term Decline Projected for Light Military Rotorcraft Market

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

H145M in flight (© Copyright Airbus Helicopters, Charles Abarr)

Airbus Helicopters H145M in flight (© Copyright Airbus Helicopters, Charles Abarr)

Forecast International is projecting that 1,241 light military rotorcraft will be produced by manufacturers during the 10-year period from 2016 through 2025.  The value of this production is estimated at $19.7 billion, as calculated in constant 2016 U.S. dollars.  We define a light military rotorcraft as one having a maximum gross weight of less than 6,804 kilograms (15,000 lb). Continue reading

Poland Opts to Scrap Multibillion-Dollar Caracal Utility Helicopter Procurement

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Airbus Helicopters H225M

Airbus Helicopters H225M

After many months of speculation, Poland’s center-right Law & Justice (PiS) government has at long last opted to forgo further negotiations with Airbus regarding a PLN13.5 billion ($3.5 billion) deal to purchase 50 H225M Caracal medium-lift utility helicopters. The PiS government inherited the negotiations from its predecessor, the centrist Civic Platform (PO) government.

Continue reading

Kaman Seeks Balance as K-MAX Begins Production Anew

by Richard Pettibone, Aerospace & Defense Companies Analyst, Forecast International.

Kaman Unmanned K-Max helicopter

Kaman Unmanned K-Max helicopter

In spite of a market slowdown, Kaman expects aerospace and defense to be its key revenue drivers going forward.  Aerospace revenues will be steady as airframers deal with massive order backlogs. The ongoing conflicts in the Middle East will continue to drive sales for fuzing products in defense.

Continue reading

World Medium/Heavy Military Rotorcraft Market on the Decline

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

Bell Boeing V-22

Bell Boeing V-22

Forecast International expects that 4,791 medium/heavy military rotorcraft will be produced from 2016 through 2025.  The value of this production, as calculated in constant FY16 U.S. dollars, is $115.7 billion.

Through most of the 10-year forecast period, the market will experience declining annual production.  Yearly production is expected to decline nearly steadily from 578 units in 2016 to 410 units in 2025.  Annual production value during this timeframe is expected to follow a somewhat similar trend.  Annual value is projected to decrease from $14.1 billion in 2016 to $10.4 billion in 2025, with this decline interrupted only by a brief two-year period of growth in 2022-2023. Continue reading