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Military Aircraft Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

Military Aircraft Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

  • December 2021
  • 181 pages
  • ID: 6190196
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP


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The military aircraft market was valued at USD 93.22 billion in 2020, and it is projected to register a CAGR of 4.5%, reaching USD 120.16 billion by 2026.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the supply chain of certain aircraft programs which resulted in delivery delays. However, no visible impact was noted on the orders placed by various armed forces across the globe. Impact on defense budget allocation was felt in certain countries that were already struggling with weak economies before the pandemic. According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), defense expenditure in 2020 rose to USD 1981 billion, an increase of 2.6% in real terms from 2019.

Political conflicts and territorial disputes continue to fuel the demand for advanced military aircraft with multi-mission capabilities. Also, several countries are looking to modernize their fleet by replacing older models with newer generation aircraft that require less maintenance and have lower operating costs.

Numerous countries are focusing on reducing the reliance on foreign vendors for their military platforms and equipment. Also, the high costs involved in acquiring foreign aircraft are forcing several developing countries to embark on their military aircraft development programs. On the other hand, players are also focusing on localized manufacturing of military aircraft and enhancing their indigenous platform development capabilities through technology transfer agreements.

Key Market Trends

Revenues from the Fighter Aircraft Subsegment Dominated the Market in 2020

As tensions between various global nations have increased, countries have been striving to enhance their aerial combat capabilities. Several nations have upgraded their existing fighter jets or replaced their aging fleet with newer-generation aircraft with advanced features. With the growth in defense spending by several nations around the world, the industry has witnessed large-scale procurement and development activities for fighter jets in the last few years. Technology advancements in stealth and precision weapons have been further supporting the development of the fighter aircraft market, as each nation wants its combat capabilities to be up-to-date. The focus is slowly shifting toward the era of fifth and sixth-generation fighter jets. However, apart from a very few nations in the world, several nations do not have fifth-generation fighters at their disposal. Hence, the development and procurement of fifth-generation fighters are expected to increase during the forecast period. Players from North America and Europe have dominated the fighter aircraft industry over the years. However, players from Asia-Pacific have been rapidly developing their fighter aircraft manufacturing capabilities and are expected to provide tough competition to the established players from the other regions in the years to come. For instance, in April 2021, Korea has unveiled the first prototype of the KF-21 fighter aircraft developed in partnership with Indonesia. The aircraft was officially given the name Boramae. The first test flight is anticipated in 2022, with manufacturing scheduled to begin in 2026. Such developments are expected to drive the growth of the market in the years to come.

The Asia-Pacific Region is Expected to Experience the Highest Growth During the Forecast Period

Over the past few years, there is a growing demand for new military aircraft generated from the Asia-Pacific region, as major countries look to modernize their fleet and increase their capability. In July 2021, the Australian Army took delivery of the first two of four new Boeing CH-47F Chinook transport helicopters. The contract is worth USD 441 million and will increase the army’s fleet of heavy-lift CH-47Fs to 14. The third and fourth helicopters are scheduled for delivery in mid-2022. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has also ordered two more P-8As, bringing its number of P-8As under contract to 14. The P-8As are land-based anti-submarine and anti-surface ship jets designed for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. The P-8s are also operated by the Indian Navy, Royal New Zealand Air Force, and the Republic of Korea Navy. In September 2021, the Indian government has approved a procurement request for 56 C295 transport aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space in Spain, under which 40 military planes will be manufactured in India by local firm Tata Group. India is currently taking the deliveries of Rafale Jets from France as part of a deal signed in 2016. A total of 36 jets were ordered with deliveries expected to be completed by April 2022. China has also inducted several new military aircraft to its fleet over the past five years. Such procurements will result in Asia-Pacific recording the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

Competitive Landscape

The military aircraft market is highly fragmented due to the presence of many players who offer several types of aircraft. Lockheed Martin Corporation, The Boeing Company, Textron Inc, Rostec, and Airbus SE are some of the prominent players in the military aircraft market. The companies’ increased investments in the development of new and advanced aircraft have been helping them maintain their market position. For instance, HAL is developing a fifth-generation fighter aircraft under the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) program, and Northrop Grumman has been developing the B-21 Raider with a unique design and structure. The development of such new aircraft may generate demand from the armed forces across the world. Moreover, collaborations, mergers, and acquisitions among the OEMs are expected to make the market consolidated over the forecast period.

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