Air refueling aircraft is a key type of equipment for the air force of major powers. Air refueling tanker refuels the oil receiving aircraft in the air, increasing the range and ammunition capacity of the oil receiving aircraft. Only in terms of function, the purpose of the tanker is slightly more straightforward. If it is used in tactical use, the effect of the tanker will be more visible. Refueling in the air can increase the range of the combat aircraft, allowing the aircraft to fly into the airspace that was previously unreachable, perform tasks that were not possible in the past, and save the time for the aircraft to land and refuel.
Global military aerial refueling tanker market estimated to grow at a significant CAGR during the forecast period, 2020–2027. It is primarily attributed to factors such as the shifting towards next-generation long-range strike platform or long-range strike bomber. Additionally, the growing demand for converting commercial aircraft into military tankers using the FBW boom system will boost the military aerial refueling tanker market growth. Moreover, the high acceptance from the military sector, along with rising defense budgets of various countries across the world, would impact the robust growth of the global military aerial refueling tanker market. The development of various high-tech weapons and tankers is expected to drive lucrative growth of the military aerial refueling tanker industry.
Furthermore, gradually focusing on enhancing the capability of aerial refueling platforms, which helps refuel long-range strategic bombers are anticipated to increase the military aerial refueling tanker demand. Also, the increasing acceptance of the fly-by-wire (FBW) boom system is expected to foster global market growth. In addition to making up for the shortcomings of insufficient fuel capacity in military aircraft, air refueling will also significantly improve combat effectiveness. The surge in application of aerial fueling to top up the aircraft for long-range flying and also to loiter will positively impact the military aerial refueling tanker market. The emergence of multi-role aircraft tankers and their extensive usage due to the benefits such as less fuel consumption will trigger the global military aerial refueling tanker market share. Additionally, the emergence of a smart drogue system has gained prominence among the industry participants due to its sensors and connected to an existing hose that continuously regulates the basket movements that will boom the market growth.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, total world military expenditure rose to $1822 billion in 2018, representing an increase of 2.6% from 2017. The five biggest spenders in 2018 were the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, India, and France, which together captured around 60% of global military spending. It also states that World military spending in 2018 represented 2.1% of global gross domestic product (GDP) or $239 per person. In 2018 India increased its military spending by 3.1% to $66.5 billion. Military expenditure in Pakistan grew by 11%.
U.S. Air Force planners have begun to prepare for the acquisition of new types of air tankers and transport aircraft in the next 20 years. With its computing power, they can Link to other platforms, sensors, and weapon links at the speed of light bring creative solutions to combat. The U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command (AMC) has begun to purchase a class of tankers that are not easily detected.
The experiment of drone refueling in the air has also begun, and one drone is used to refuel another drone. In April 2015, the U.S. Navy’s unmanned aerial vehicle X47-B automatically flew to a pilot-operated tanker and operated the probe tube to connect with the cone sleeve. Earlier this year, China also used a small drone to refuel another drone—although both aircraft were still under human control.
Based on component, the global military aerial refueling tanker market classified into refueling pods, refueling probes, drogues, hoses, and boom. The drogues segment captured the maximum Military Aerial Refueling Tanker market share in 2019. It is attributable to their high production and used to offload fuel to the receiver aircraft.
Refueling pods likely to grow substantially in the forecast period. It is owing to its vital function in regulating the fuel transfer rate.
Based on aerial refueling technologies, the global military aerial refueling tanker market bifurcates into Probe and Drogue, and boom-and-receptacle. The Probe and Drogue segment accounted for a higher revenue share in 2019 and projected to dominate the global military aerial refueling tanker market by 2027. It is primarily attributed as it allows passive operation for tanker system as compared to the counterpart, and it is the most efficient system for UAS tankers because it does not require tankers to precisely direct the drogue.
The boom-and-receptacle will grow with a lucrative growth rate in the forecast period. It is due to it has high fuel transferring rate than the counterpart.
Based on the distribution channel, the global military aerial refueling tanker market classified into OEM and Aftermarket. OEMs will hold higher market potential by 2027. It is owing to these military aerials refueling tanker systems equipped in the aircraft for refueling procedures.
The aftermarket segment held a significant market share in 2019. It is due to the growing demand for replacement of integral components of these systems such as refueling pods and drogues.
Based on geography, the global military aerial refueling tanker market segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and Middle East & Africa. North America accounts for a significant share by 2027 in the military aerial refueling tanker market. The growth in the region can be attributed to the presence of established industry participants, growing defense budget of the U.S. along with the presence of multiple variants of refueling tankers.
The Asia Pacific is expected to provide significant growth opportunities due to rising defense in countries including Japan, China, and Australia are demanding military refueling tankers.
Companies such as Airbus SE, Cobham Plc, Eaton Corporation Plc, Embraer SA, General Electric Co., Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd., Liebherr-International Deutschland GmbH, Lockheed Martin Corp., Rostec State Corp, and the Boeing Co. are the key players in the global military aerial refueling tanker market.
By Aerial Refueling Technologies
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