Defense systems undergo periodic maintenance in their service time. Military expenditure, that is spent on better fighter aircraft, drones, and technological developments are set to be adequate to defend a nation’s strategic interests. As a result, maintenance of these systems became a multi-billion market experiencing a constant uptick with each passing year and aircraft occupying a dominant part in it. Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) is a key element of the defense sector. Aircraft occupies a crucial role in the military maneuvers which need to operate with high precision constantly. Maintenance of these systems dwells in immense part of the military budget. Developed countries such as the U.S allocates a significant part of their annual budgets on military spending, especially towards research and technological advancements. On the other hand, developing nations, despite their unreliable public infrastructure and facilities, are giving unrelenting focus to the military expenditure and associated technical advancements. Despite the ambiguity in the guns and butter curve, these nations are striving to produce and maintain better aircraft ordnance. As a result, these nations’ military spending is amplifying the growth of the MRO segment of military aircraft.
Integrating new and advanced technologies which enable mission readiness through scheduled maintenance operations and avionics systems upgrade are boosting the growth of the defense military aircraft MRO market. Subsequently, the defense military aircraft MRO market size has reached $7.72 billion in 2018. Furthermore, the revenue is growing at a CAGR of 2.9% during the forecast period 2019-2025.
Augmented Reality Addressing the Skill Gap in Maintenance and Repair of Defense Military Aircraft Market
Maintenance of military aircraft is often a time-consuming and cumbersome process. With limited skilled labor and compliant maintenance strategies, maintaining the equipment becomes further challenging. Augmented reality provides a better solution to address the skill-gap and challenging maintenance process of military assets. Wearable augmented reality systems such as smart glasses or mobile devices enable the maintenance workers to get an interactive demonstration of the repair job with real-time access from a remote location. The augmented reality, when integrated with maintenance, repair, and overhaul platform or tool, enables the operator to accomplish their maintenance tasks swiftly as well as gets the equipment up and running within less time. As a result, the maintenance and repair industry of the defense military aircraft market is growing with rising demand for augmented-reality.
North America’s Military Expenditure and Strategies Boosting the Defense Military Aircraft MRO Market Growth
North America held the largest part in the global defense military aircraft market share of about 41.82% in 2018. North American countries such as the U.S and Canada spend a significant part of their GDP on military expenses. The U.S spent the largest share of its GDP among other NATO countries on military expenditure which is about 3.42% in 2019 while Canada spent 1.27% of its GDP on military expenses. In 2018, the country aimed to harness AI to promote better prosperity and security, as part of its Artificial Intelligence (AI) strategy 2018. Few of its MRO missions include implementing predictive maintenance, improving situational awareness, and enhancing safety operations of the military aircraft, ships, and vehicles. The rising digital era is influencing the predictive maintenance techniques implemented by the U.S DoD. They are advancing to predict critical equipment failures and are automating diagnostics services using AI. Furthermore, prescriptive and predictive analytics is used to guide the availability of spare parts and promote better inventory controls. These advancements in the U.S military aircraft MRO market will fulfill its “zero unplanned maintenance” goal, the efficiency of monitoring and data-based planned maintenance of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), fighter and cargo aircraft. Along with that, these techniques enable troubleshooting assistance of equipment at a reduced cost. Subsequently, these activities in the U.S and other countries of North America are augmenting the maintenance, repair, and overhaul activities in defense military aircraft market. As a result, the defense military aircraft (MRO) market is thriving in North America.
Defense Military Aircraft Market Thriving Operations in Helicopter MRO Segment
Helicopter MRO is a leading segment in the global defense military aircraft (MRO) market and is rising with a CAGR of 3.94% during the forecast period. Military helicopters play a significant role in the marine, terrestrial, and air operations of military force. They are majorly used as part of military transport aircraft, reconnaissance, attack helicopters, rescue operations, training and utility segments. With these diverse applications in the helicopter MRO segment, the MRO operations which heighten the safety of operations and success of these complex missions need advanced expertise. Besides, companies in this arena are expanding after-sales support providing services throughout their lifecycle. For instance, in 2019, Airbus Helicopters, in Japan, added a new MRO complex to its existing facility in Kobe Airport Facility. With this expansion, the infrastructure can house 40 medium-sized helicopters at one time. This kind of initiatives is boosting the helicopter MRO operations in defense military aircraft market. As a result, the defense military aircraft market is growing in helicopter MRO segment.
Key Players Perspective - Defense Military Aircraft (MRO) Industry
The defense military aircraft MRO market share is majorly occupied by the companies such as Lockheed Martin Corporation, Airbus SE, The Boeing Company, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Rolls-Royce Holdings plc, BAE Systems plc, L3 Technologies, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Honeywell International Inc., and Pratt and Whitney.
Few of the latest strategic actions by giant players observed in the defense military aircraft (MRO) market include:
· In 2019, Boeing and Kitty Hawk Corporation formed a strategic partnership to work on collaboration in order to enhance the safe urban mobility of their future endeavors. These companies are bringing the innovation of Kitty Hawk’s Cora division with Boeing’s aerospace expertise and make the safe electric flight a reality in the near future.
· In 2017, Airbus SE, a European-based multinational aerospace company offering services in aerospace and defense fully acquired Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE), an MRO center based in Malaysia. The later was partially owned by Airbus before. With this acquisition, Airbus aimed to make SAE as a leading MRO center in APAC region for servicing commercial aircraft. Furthermore, while enhancing the innovation flagship, the company owned state-of-the-art repair and overhaul workshops of extensive aircraft components. Besides, it provides technical support services and spare parts to the Malaysian Air Force’s fleet.
· In 2017, Northrop Grumman Corporation, a global leader in providing security solutions acquired Orbital ATK, Inc., another leader in providing advanced aerospace and defense solutions. With this exciting acquisition, Northrop Grumman expanded its capabilities with innovation while offering cutting-edge solutions in global security domains. Furthermore, the company foresees that the customers and shareholders will benefit through the Orbital ATK's talented staff associated with technology-focused and value-oriented culture of Northrop Grumman.
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