Military medium- and heavy-weight helicopter production to peak in 2013, then decline through end of decade

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NEWTOWN, Conn., 7 March 2011. Worldwide demand for medium- and heavy-weight military helicopters should increase over the next two years, yet will start dropping off as soon as 2014, and continue declining through 2020 as today's procurement programs wind down, predict market analysts at Forecast International in Newtown, Conn.

Global manufacturers will build 4,434 medium/heavy military helicopters and tiltrotors worth $100.4 billion in constant U.S. dollars through the end of this decade, Forecast International analysts predict in a study entitled "The Market for Medium/Heavy Military Rotorcraft." Order backlogs for many medium- and heavy-weight military helicopters are declining, as new orders have not been sufficient even to maintain them.

Analysts predict that annual production of medium- and heavy-weight military helicopters will total 418 units in 2011, increase to 504 units by 2013, and then gradually but steadily decline to 366 units by 2020. Sikorsky will lead the market during the 2011-2020 period in unit production and production value, analysts say. Other major players in the market will include AgustaWestland, Boeing, Eurocopter, and Russian Helicopters.

Forecast International says a medium/heavy rotorcraft has a gross weight of at least 15,000 pounds. Helicopters included in the study include the AgustaWestland AW101; Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, Boeing CH-47 Chinook and AH-64 Apache, Eurocopter AS 332/532/EC 225/725; KAI Korean utility helicopter, Kamov Ka-28/29/31/32, Ka-50/52, and Ka-60/62; Mil Mi-8/17, Mi-24, Mi-26, and Mi-28; NH Industries NH90; and Sikorsky CH-53/MH-53, S-92, SH/MH-60 Seahawk, and UH-60/S-70 Black Hawk.

The winding down of U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also are putting downward pressure on U.S. defense spending, analysts point out. "Efforts to close the U.S. budget deficit will result in future trade-offs that negatively impact Pentagon spending levels," says Raymond Jaworowski, senior aerospace analyst at Forecast International. "Even without this budgetary pressure, though, the current modernization cycle in U.S. military rotorcraft procurement would be nearing an end."

The Forecast International study includes market share projections by company through this decade. For more information contact Forecast International online at

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