By Aritra Banerjee
India and other emerging countries like Indonesia and Turkey are adopting a focused approach towards developing cutting-edge aircraft for network-centric battlefield operations. This includes significant efforts in indigenisation through technology transfer, domestic production, and international collaborations. As a result, the aerospace and defence industry is witnessing a substantial expansion in the global military fixed-wing aircraft market, with projections suggesting growth from $71.7 billion in 2023 to $110.6 billion by 2033, as per recent data from the analytics powerhouse, GlobalData.
The report titled ‘Global Military Fixed Wing Market 2023-2033’ by GlobalData, forecasts the dominance of the combat aircraft segment in the military fixed-wing aircraft market. The acquisition of 4.5th and 5th generation multi-role combat aircraft for enhancing air superiority and precision strike abilities primarily drives this trend.
Key players like Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Dassault Aviation, Turkish Aerospace Industries, and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) are funnelling significant resources into research and development (R&D) of advanced fifth-generation combat aircraft.
GlobalData’s Aerospace and Defence Analyst, Udayini Aakunoor, states, “Rapid modernisation of defence sectors in countries like the US, India, China and Japan, coupled with the need to replace ageing aircraft fleets with state-of-the-art platforms, is bolstering the growth of the military fixed-wing aircraft market.”
Rising geopolitical tensions and conflict scenarios have prompted countries to amplify their defence budgets and place orders for next-gen aircraft. Countries are also launching joint military aircraft development and production programs to distribute costs, share manufacturing expertise, and technology. This cooperative approach aims at preparing for future military needs effectively.
Two such notable instances include the KF-21 Boramae, a collaborative development by Indonesia and South Korea, and the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP), jointly undertaken by the United Kingdom (UK), Japan, and Italy. With the aim of minimising reliance on regulated imports and managing vulnerabilities to global supply chain disruptions, countries are focusing on the indigenisation of their aircraft programs.
Aakunoor adds, “The collaborative approach towards developing next-gen aircraft is promising. Earlier, the ability to develop and manufacture military aircraft was majorly confined to American and European nations. However, the past few decades have seen a commendable progression in the Asia-Pacific region. This development is enabling these countries to procure the latest generation of aircraft, striking a balance between cost and performance.”