Global Military Airframe Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) Market, Forecast to 2026

Reduced Deliveries of New Aircraft and Increased Reliance on Health Management Systems Conflict with Rising Event Costs Resulting in Minimal Growth
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Published: 2 May 2017

The global airframe MRO market registered $24.34 billion in 2016 revenue and is expected to reach 27.31 billion by 2026 growing at a compound annual growth rate of 1.2%. The North American market is the largest, but will experience modest growth. Meanwhile, rotary wing utility aircraft will experience the most significant segment growth. New deliveries of airframes are slow, except in Russia and China which are not included in this research. Additionally, initial aircraft costs have driven less than one-for-one replacements. Commercial firms are slowly growing their market shares, but governments are reluctant to lose the element of control. Although aircraft manufacturers have always had a role in MRO, it has been limited for many years. These manufacturers now recognize that MRO can be a lifeline when aircraft sales are slow. The effects of world tensions have a delayed response in the MRO market, but the increased interest in new capabilities will eventually have a positive effect on MRO spending. Research Scope: • Study period: 2016–2026; Base year: 2016; Forecast period: 2017–2026 • Geographic regions: NA (North America), LATAM (Latin America and Caribbean), Europe (less Russia), MEA (Middle East and Africa), and APAC (Asia-Pacific) (less China) • Segments: Fixed wing types—fighter, transport, special mission, trainer, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)—and rotary wing types, comprising attack and utility aircraft • Segment forecast revenues (for each region) divided into MRO areas including: heavy airframe maintenance, repair and overhaul (HMRO), plus component repair and overhaul (CRO) for airframe mounted systems • Contractor market revenue (2016) tables provided for each region Key Trends & Conclusions: • Individual components are becoming more expensive as the materials used in their construction are becoming more lightweight and durable. • The control and sensing systems in many newer components are much more complex than traditional parts, driving up the cost per component; however, the newer components tend to require fewer man-hours for repairs and overhauls. • Interest in new aircraft to counter the Chinese expansion has been expressed by virtually all of the surrounding countries. Some will take deliveries of new aircraft in the later forecast years. The demand in Asia will be greatest for special mission aircraft. • As new aircraft are introduced, they are replacing a greater number of existing aircraft. Fleet sizes have been shrinking for many years, resulting in fewer MRO events. Many new components have fewer overhaul requirements and longer mean-times between overhaul. • Revenue growth will be inconsistent. The inconsistency will be caused by new model introductions and the retirement of older aircraft. Revenue growth will flatten out in 2023/2024, but will then resume modest growth. • Programmed retirements have been slower than planned, resulting in minimal additional spending to support those aircraft. • The most consistent revenue growth will be in trainers due to the limited acquisition plans and significant retirement plans. Many new aircraft are being sold, or at least offered, with long-term support. In some regions, this new support trend requires governmental policy changes in order to buy aircraft in that way. Interim support is a political subject that requires resolution. Initial interim support is needed, but when should the connection to the OEM become minimized? Key Questions the Study Will Answer: • Have new aircraft established an OEM-based MRO model? • Can aircraft manufacturers expect longer interim contractor support periods and greater long-term support solutions? • Will price point pressure drive more or less third-party repair and overhaul of components? • Do special mission aircraft demand a contractor-assisted solution? • Will the complexity of new components drive more overhauls by manufacturers? • Will the inclusion of health and usage management systems (HUMS) result in lower MRO costs?

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