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Military Aviation Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2030)

Military Aviation Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2030)

  • August 2021
  • 176 pages
  • ID: 6095500
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP

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The military aviation maintenance, repair, and overhaul market registered a value of USD 37.17 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 49.22 billion in 2030, witnessing a CAGR of 2.88% during the forecast period, 2021-2030.

The military aviation MRO industry has been relatively less impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the civil aviation MRO industry. Though the global defense expenditure is on an increasing trend in 2020, the ongoing global economic slowdown is anticipated to result in a subsequent decline in defense spending of some countries on a short-term basis. Suppliers and MRO service providers located in Asia-Pacific and South America faced supply chain disruptions to some extent in 2020.

The market in focus is anticipated to be driven by a consistent increase in the global military aircraft fleet, internal and external security threats, technological innovations, the prevalence of aging aircraft fleet, joint ventures and strategic alliances formed to address the specific requirements of the modernization initiatives undertaken by the global armed forces.

Starting with aircraft maintenance facility management and managing MRO throughout the supply chain, the use of advanced digital technologies is imperative to establish high-efficiency operations. With the advancement in AI and analytics, MRO companies are progressing from centralized maintenance diagnostic operations, through real-time condition monitoring services, to prescriptive maintenance operations.

Key Market Trends

The Engine MRO Segment is Expected to Dominate the Market During the Forecast Period

The engine is one of the vital components of any aircraft and is required to be maintained airworthy irrespective of the operational status of the aircraft. The increasing complexity of the engine parts and the increased number of military aircraft crashes due to engine failures have resulted in the global armed forces divesting enhanced focus on frequent engine maintenance and periodic checks. The active fleets of several countries are aging at a much faster pace than others due to extreme operating conditions that the aircraft are exposed to regularly. The older aircraft need MRO services much frequently than their newer counterparts to prevent the systems from malfunctioning or becoming obsolete. On this note, several contracts are being awarded for availing MRO services for the active fleets. For instance, Rolls-Royce was selected by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) in August 2019 to provide maintenance and repair support for the EJ200 engines of Typhoon fighter aircraft fleet in service of the Royal Air Force (RAF) until 2024. The engine support contract (EJISS) was worth USD 431.06 million, a follow-on to the ten-year Partnered Support Operational Phase arrangement. Similarly, in April 2021, Saab, in partnership with General Electric Aviation Canada (GE), selected StandardAero to maintain and repair Gripen’s engine in Canada as a part of Saab’s offer for Canada’s Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP). As part of the contract, StandardAero will provide support to the fleet of Gripen fighters in Winnipeg to maintain the GE-F414-39E engine. Such developments are envisioned to foster the growth of the engine MRO segment of the market in focus during the forecast period.

North America is Expected to Maintain its Dominance in Terms of Revenue During the Forecast Period

The global market is anticipated to be dominated by North America, sheerly due to its diverse and superior fleet size. The United States currently has the largest fleet of military aircraft in the world. By the end of 2020, the country operates a fleet of 2,717 combat aircraft, 749 special mission aircraft, 625 tanker aircraft, 941 transport aircraft, 5,434 helicopters, and 2,766 training aircraft. The major driving factor for the MRO in this country is the significant demand to upgrade such a vast fleet with the latest technologies and systems. The US Air Force is slowly addressing its aging aircraft problem, as it takes the delivery of newer generation jets. As of May 2021, the US Air Force (USAF) sought permission from the US Congress to retire 201 aircraft in the fiscal year 2022 to reinvest savings from the operations and maintenance of these aircraft into R&D, as well as procurement of next-generation aircraft and weapons. The average age of the US Air Force fleet is over 25 years, and the bombers have an average age of over 50 years. This necessitates upgrade and regular maintenance to keep the aircraft at par with the newer generation aircraft and extend their service life. The United States envisions achieving an 80% readiness rate for all military aircraft in the future. The country is awarding several modification contracts designed to improve the performance and effectiveness of the aircraft. In April 2021, the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) announced that the Mobility and Training Aircraft Directorate has awarded a USD 92.8 million Alternate Modification Installation (AMI) contract for the installation of ‘avionic modifications’ on the C-5 Galaxy aircraft fleet. Such initiatives are expected to propel the growth of MRO activities in North America.

Competitive Landscape

Lockheed Martin Corporation, The Boeing Company, Raytheon Technologies Corporation, BAE Systems PLC, and Safran SA are some of the largest players in the market studied. The market is fragmented, with numerous local and international players providing various MRO services to the existing military aircraft fleets. Strategic partnerships between the players may help them gain more contracts while expanding their reach to untapped markets in the long run. As most MRO contracts are in the long term, it could be a time-consuming process for new players to establish themselves in the market by competing with the existing ones. The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI)-based predictive maintenance technologies are also envisioned to witness mass adoption during the forecast period. Potential investments would be required to enhance the IT capabilities of MRO operators for maintenance execution, supply chain management, enhance mobility, and adopt e-signatures. Advanced data analytics are also being used by MROs for inventory optimization to plan, stock, and optimize spares as and when required at minimal procurement costs. Such tools enable operators to function efficiently, derive maximum profits, and support the digitization of global aircraft MRO operations.

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