Philippe Top-Force Posted April 11, 2005 Share Posted April 11, 2005 Que le meilleur gagne. 8) il y en aura pour tout le monde. :lol: Upgrades and a surge of new U.S. military orders should make the next 10 years a busy decade for rotorcraft manufacturers, according to a recent study by Forecast International Inc. :arrow: By 2012, manufacturers will fill $11.1 billion worth of orders, for a total of 672 aircraft. That spike comes at the tail end of a decade’s worth of growth, with new military rotorcraft production and overhauls buoying the world market, reported Forecast International. The market research firm is predicting that 5,448 aircraft will be produced between 2004 to 2013, at a value of $84 billion. That number includes newly built rotorcraft and an array of modification programs. :arrow: Those upgrades—1,668 major ones, by the firm’s count—are fueling the growth, with an estimated total value of $14.3 billion. Also contributing is the reallocation of billions of dollars that were dedicated to the RAH-66 Comanche program, which was killed in 2004, and whose funds had been spread around other military aviation programs. :arrow: The Army intends to use some of that money to buy 800 new aircraft, mostly choppers. One effort that emerged in the wake of the Comanche debacle is the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) program, under which the Army will buy 322 helicopters to replace UH-1s and OH-58s. Potential replacements include the Bell’s 210 and Eurocopter’s AS 365. Other Comanche funds will be dedicated to the purchase of additional Black Hawks, Chinooks and the new Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH). “Competition for the ARH and LUH programs is expected to be intense,” the firm said. “The ARH and LUH efforts are just two of a number of high-profile procurement programs for which military helicopter manufacturers are scrambling to gain a competitive edge.” One of the beneficiaries of the termination of the Comanche is Eurocopter’s Tiger combat helicopter, said analysts. “The Comanche would have been a very strong competitor to the Tiger on the world market for acquisitions of armed reconnaissance or light attack helicopters,” the company noted. The firm cited the U.S. Air Force’s Personnel Recovery Vehicle program, centered around the purchase of 132 combat search-and-rescue helicopters, as a hot grab for defense firms. Those choppers will replace the service’s fleet of Sikorsky HH60Gs. Despite being beaten to the presidential helicopter bid in January, Sikorsky is projected to remain the market leader for the 2004-2013 forecast period, in both unit production and production value. The company’s newly constructed machines include Black Hawks, Naval Hawks, CH-53s and H-92s. The company also will perform UH-60M and MH-60M conversions for the Army. “These conversions enhance the market outlook for Sikorsky during the next 10 years, and will help to solidify its position at the top of the market,” the report said. Sikorsky’s acquisition of U.S.-owned Schweizer Aircraft Corp. in August provides it with an enhanced presence in the light helicopter and the unmanned aerial vehicle markets, it added. Sikorsky is expected to produce 1,237 military helicopters, worth some $20.6 billion, between this year and 2013. Boeing is predicted to be second, with 983 rotorcraft produced, and Eurocopter—counting its subsidiary, Australian Aerospace—is third with 554 units. That total does include production by the NH Industries consortium, in which Eurocopter is a leading participant. In addition, seeing the trend in U.S. military procurement, Sikorsky is attempting to position itself as a systems integrator, rather than solely as an airframe supplier. Boeing, on the other hand, is “considerably more dependent” on major modification programs than is Sikorsky, analysts explained. More than 80 percent of Boeing’s projected output is composed of remanufactured helicopters, including the AH-64D and CH-47F. “For the time being, the military rotorcraft market in the U.S. will be largely a retrofit market,” the report said. “Besides the CH47F Chinook effort, the U.S. Army also has under way conversion programs for Apache and Black Hawk helicopters. The Marine Corps, meanwhile, has embarked on a major retrofit program for AH-1s and UH-1s.” Analysts foresee a future where sales are driven by aircraft designs that fit many capabilities, instead of one-trick ponies. “Key to the future marketing success of almost any military rotorcraft will be versatility, flexibility and multi-role capability,” the report said. “Many military services intend to consolidate their present helicopter fleets, and operate a smaller number of basic helicopter types than they currently do, with each type being asked to perform a multitude of tasks.” Worldwide, rotorcraft are hot-selling items. Helicopter manufacturers are gearing up for heated competition in unfilled military rotorcraft requirements for many nations, including attack helicopters for Norway, Sweden, Taiwan and Turkey. Transport helicopter markets include Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and New Zealand. Analysts also speculate about future market reshuffling. One item of interest concerned the role of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, which do not build rotorcraft airframes, but are involved in the industry. “One or both could eventually decide to acquire a rotorcraft manufacturer,” the report said. Other market players are also in positions where buying, selling or combining operations would make sense. “AgustaWestland and Bell could further strengthen their historic ties, perhaps eventually leading to a formal merger,” an analyst postulated. “Boeing could decide to exit the business and divest itself of its rotorcraft operation. One potential buyer in such a scenario would, perhaps, be Sikorsky.” Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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