Worldwide avionics market expected to grow through 2009

Dec. 1, 2004
WASHINGTON - As an industry sector, the worldwide avionics market will grow from $2.

WASHINGTON - As an industry sector, the worldwide avionics market will grow from $2.4 billion in 2004 to $2.6 billion by 2009, including a spike to $3 billion in 2005.

That is the result of a market forecast by Michel Merluzeau, principal analyst in the Aerospace & Defense Group at Frost & Sullivan in Washington.

The numbers include avionics technology limited to the cockpit, such as navigation, communication, instruments, and displays. It does not include mission systems computers or sensors like FLIR (forward-looking infrared) and LANTIRN (low-altitude navigation and targeting infrared for night).

In most years, the bulk of that work would be in the U.S, but countries throughout Europe and Asia (including Japan and India) are at the top of a procurement cycle for new planes, Merluzeau says.

In Europe, 400 combat fighters will enter service by 2009 or 2010. India will launch another 120, and Japan will launch 60 to 100. Those aircraft include mainly the Eurofighter, Rafale in France, and Gripen in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Finland.

This is a dynamic market for upgrades, too. U.S. Air Force planners are applying the F-16 CCIP, a common configuration integrated program intended to extend the life of the 25-year-old jet fighter by another 15 years.

At the same time, the fleet of U.S. transport aircraft such as the C-5 and C-130 are partly through their respective avionics modernization programs (AMPs). NATO will soon be upgrading its Tornados, in a program similar to the F-16 midlife upgrade (MLU).

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