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Global Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing Industry

The global aerospace and defense manufacturing industry is worth $170 billion, according to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. The industry involves the manufacture of defense goods, including information systems, watercraft, aircraft and weaponry. It is a highly concentrated market that sells mainly to governments who require products for military purposes or spacecraft for federal space programs.

Aerospace and defense manufacturing demand is driven by military budgets, the possibility of international warfare and airline traffic. The main success factors for companies in the industry are strong technical expertise and wise pricing of long-term contracts. Companies remain competitive by collaborating with partners and keeping costs down. Aerospace and defense manufacturing companies must collaborate with governments to remain compliant regarding regulations.

Defense & Aerospace Industry Key Market Segments

The worldwide market for airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) was worth almost $17.5 billion in 2011, according to research from Visiongain. ISR is vital for military activities, and cutbacks affect defense budgets in many countries, though some areas spend more on defense. Despite budgetary restrictions, ISR typically still receives government funding.

The global military rotorcraft market is forecast to show yearly growth of over 4% by 2021, according to ICD Research. The market is comprised of attack and rescue, reconnaissance observation and maritime helicopters, among others. The market’s strong growth to come is due partly to the updating of EU and US fleets following the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA) systems are necessary for all land-based military operations. Worldwide government spending on RSTA was over $3.35 billion in 2011, according to Visiongain. Widely used RSTA equipment includes counter-fire radar systems, surveillance sensors and night vision goggles.

The global market for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) was calculated to be worth almost $3 billion in 2011, according to research from Visiongain. The UAV market includes a range of products such as intelligence sensors, detection sensors, weaponry, infrared and lasers. Unmanned aircraft systems have also seen significant market growth over recent years as governments seek to acquire the best equipment to maximize their defense and attack systems. Companies operating in this market segment are according increasing amounts to research and development efforts to work on data links and ground control stations.

 Aerospace Industry Sales by Product Group, *In Current US$ Bn (2009-2012)

Aerospace & Defense Growing Regional Markets

India’s defense market is seeing rapid growth, with around $14 billion of the country’s 2010 administrative budget spent on acquiring military technology and hardware. India’s defense spending is forecast to grow at more than 6.5% a year in the five-year period ending 2015, to reach over $42.5 billion, according to Eprobe. Factors driving the market in India include a perceived threat from surrounding countries, the need to update obsolete military hardware and technology, and domestic unrest. As the market looks set to continue growing, original equipment manufacturers are being drawn to India from abroad, while domestic private-sector companies also step up to meet demand.


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