The global military rotorcrafts market is set to experience substantial growth over the next decade, driven by the initiation of new rotorcraft acquisition programmes by leading global militaries as they seek to replace their aging fleet of legacy platforms. One notable example is the United States’ procurement of the V-280 Valor, which will replace the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters under the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft programme. These developments contribute to the projected expansion of the worldwide military rotorcrafts market from US$19.6 billion in 2023 to an estimated US$28.4 billion by 2033, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 3.8%, according to GlobalData, a prominent data and analytics company.
GlobalData’s recent report, titled “Global Military Rotorcraft Market – 2023-2033,” highlights that regional power struggles and territorial disputes will remain significant drivers for increased rotorcraft procurement by major countries globally. Furthermore, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict is expected to prompt several European nations to enhance their defense budgets, consequently fueling the demand for military rotorcrafts in the coming decade.
Aerospace and Defense Analyst at GlobalData, Chandan Kumar Nayak, notes, “Escalating geopolitical tensions and regional conflicts have compelled countries to allocate more funds for helicopter acquisitions. Armed forces are also exploring the integration of emerging technologies to enhance mission efficiency. Countries like the United States and China are already developing artificial intelligence (AI)-based technologies to alleviate pilot workloads and aid in decision-making during missions. Similarly, the adoption of hybrid propulsion systems is being considered for next-generation military helicopters to enhance flight performance. These technological advancements are expected to deliver superior flight performance and attack capabilities for future military rotorcrafts.”
Additionally, countries such as Turkey and South Korea are actively pursuing indigenisation efforts through technology transfer agreements and partnerships with leading global helicopter manufacturers. These nations are investing significant resources in establishing domestic research and development (R&D) and manufacturing infrastructure to reduce their dependence on imports for meeting their military needs. Similarly, India’s development and deployment of multiple indigenously manufactured helicopters, including the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), Light Utility Helicopters (LUH), and Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH), aim to modernize its armed forces’ vertical lift capabilities. The transport and utility helicopter segment is anticipated to dominate the military rotorcraft market due to rising demand from armed forces for supply and logistics operations. Armed forces worldwide are seeking rotorcrafts with multirole capabilities and modern technologies.
Nayak concludes, “The increasing complexity and cost of military rotorcraft development are driving the need for international cooperation, as countries seek to share the financial burdens and risks associated with developing and acquiring new rotorcraft platforms. Notably, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, and the UK have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of a new medium-lift helicopter for NATO under the Next-Generation Rotorcraft Capabilities (NGRC) project.”