Over the next 15 years, from 2018 to 2032, the medium/heavy military sector will be the largest segment of the world rotorcraft market in terms of monetary value, and second only to the light civil rotorcraft segment in terms of unit production say analysts Forecast International.

The Forecast International data indicates that 5,714 medium/heavy military rotorcraft will be produced from 2018 through 2032, with the value of this production estimated at $152 billion in constant 2018 US dollars.

Forecast International say they generally define a medium/heavy military rotorcraft as one having a gross weight of at least 6,804 kilograms (15,000 lb).

Russian Helicopters is projected to lead the segment in unit production during the 2018-2032 timeframe, with a 38.6 share of the market. The Russian consortium is followed by Sikorsky (23.4 percent), Avicopter of China (9.3 percent), and Boeing (8.0 percent). When the market is measured in terms of monetary value, the 15-year projections show Sikorsky in the lead in value of production with a 30.4 percent share, followed by Russian Helicopters (27.2 percent), Boeing (10.3 percent), and NH Industries (7.2 percent). The market is expected to be relatively stable through much of the forecast period. Production in the segment had totalled 667 rotorcraft in 2013.

However, according to Forecast International senior aerospace analyst Raymond Jaworowski,

“The production level achieved in 2013 could not be maintained in the face of declining demand, and the medium/heavy military rotorcraft market has since settled back into a more sustainable level of annual output. The forecast calls for annual production to remain within a range of 420-480 units at least through 2026.”

The medium/heavy military rotorcraft market could enter a more critical phase in the late 2020s. By then, production will have been completed for nearly all of the US military’s current rotorcraft acquisition programs. Production for export customers can be expected to further extend the production life of most of these legacy rotorcraft, but at reduced build rates.

Thus, a sharp decline in annual production might be in store from the late 2020s until production ramps up in the 2030s for the US military’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program and similar requirements in other countries. However, some in the industry are hoping for an acceleration of the FVL program schedule that potentially would narrow or even eliminate this production gap.

Forecast International is a major provider of ‘Market Intelligence and Consulting in the areas of aerospace, defence, power systems and military electronics’.

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Considering the utility of helos its astonishing UK numbers are planned to fall so low.


Interestingly – what are Westland planning to do to capture this market.

The world is moving to tilt rotor and it would be great to see Westland try to bring the Merlin out in a tilt rotor variant or perhaps something entirely different.

I do fear for Westland in the UK unless they up their game

Helicopter numbers are down 60% in 15years in the UK – disgraceful

Daniele Mandelli

Well yes.

250 plus Lynx and Gazelle at one time replaced by 34 Wildcat and 67 Apache.

88 Lynx for the RN replaced by 28 Wildcat.

Sea King Commando HC4’s 35 replaced by the ( originally ) 28 Merlin taken from the RAF, another cut as only the 14 extra Chinooks count against that.

Some Gazelle still soldiering on and some of their role is taken by Watchkeeper, if the army could only get a battery of it into service.

The list is actually endless I’m afraid.

And still our forces are right up there. Just too damn small!


Pac man, one of the problems of the Yeovil rotor factory is that we allowed it to be purchased by Finmeccanica ( originally it was a merger 50% Uk and 50% Italian) , unfortunately this Italian company has a factory in Italy it needs to protect and the only production lines it will open in Yeovil are related to MOD procurement. If we make a big order we can get the line set up in the UK otherwise it goes to Italy, most of the really commercial medium, light lift and potential tilt rotor AW production lines are in the… Read more »

Stephen G.

This is why we shouldn’t sell all our industries to foreigners.