LONDON--Technavio analysts forecast the global military aircraft auxiliary power unit (APU) market to grow at a CAGR of almost 4% during the forecast period, according to their latest report.
The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global military aircraft APU market for 2017-2021. The report covers the market for APUs that are installed in military aerial platforms, including helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, and UAVs. The report segments the market by application and geography.
The global military aircraft APU market is expected to grow steadily during the forecast period owing to the efforts by different militaries in upgrading their existing fleet with new and advanced fighter jets, as well as in modifying the existing APUs with newer fuel-efficient units. Also, the advent of UAVs into the military sector in reconnaissance and surveillance operations have given successful results, thereby propelling the growth of the UAV market and simultaneously the procurement of new and advanced APUs.
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Technavio analysts highlight the following three factors that are contributing to the growth of the global military APU market:
- Increasing number of military aircraft
- Focus on minimizing environmental effects
- Upgrade programs for aircraft fleet
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Increasing number of military aircraft
The prime factor propelling the growth of the global military aircraft APU market is the rapidly growing investments in the development and procurement of military aircraft. As almost all aircraft use APU as the primary source of power to start the engine, the global military aircraft APU market is expected to experience a parallel growth with the increasing military aircraft globally.
Moutushi Saha, a lead defense research analyst at Technavio, says, “Asia has been the largest buyer of fighter aircraft owing to countries, such as Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines expanding their fleet of aerial fleet in response to the moves by China to assert territorial claims in the South China Sea. India, on the other hand, is engaged in border disputes with Pakistan, as well as is concerned about Chinese attempts that aim to expand Beijing’s influence in South Asia.”
Focus on minimizing environmental effects
Militaries are among the largest contributors to global warming, which results in ozone layer depletion. Hence, suppliers to military aircraft are obligated to manufacture engines, generators, and APUs that consume less fuel and are more efficient. Also, budgetary constraints compel defense ministries to adopt more fuel-efficient APU systems to achieve monetary savings on aviation fuel.
“The high noise levels generated by traditional APUs of stealth helicopters and aircraft have driven manufacturers to develop new and advanced APUs that have low noise signature. For instance, the e-APU, developed by Safran, aims to reduce the environmental impact in terms of both engine emissions and noise,” adds Moutushi.
Upgrade programs for aircraft fleet
The cost of a military aircraft ranges in hundreds of millions, which makes it difficult for budget-bound defense ministries to procure newer aircraft on a regular basis and increases their dependence on retrofitting of an aircraft. An average life span of a fighter jet lies between 40 and 50 years, depending on the type, while the average life span for an APU is between five and seven years, which means that an aircraft in its due course of life undergoes more than six retro fitments for APU.
The potentially high cost of replacing several fleets of aircraft at one go has led countries toward adopting replacement, refurbishment, and upgrading strategies, employing new and advanced components and sub-components. One of the major aircraft components that will undergo replacement or modernization during MRO processes is the avionic systems.
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