The global aerial refueling systems market size is expected to reach USD 719.8 million by 2026 according to a new study by Polaris Market Research. The report “Aerial refueling systems market Share, Size, Trends, Industry Analysis Report By Aircraft Type (Combat & Tanker, Turboprop & Helicopter, UAV), By System (Hose & Drogue, Boom & Receptacle), By Component (Hose, Drogue, Probe, Boom, Refueling Pods, Others), By End User (OE, Aftermarket), By Regions, Segments & Forecast, 2020 – 2026” gives a detailed insight into current market dynamics and provides analysis on future market growth.
The aerial refueling systems have evolved over the time and continuous enhancements in technology is perceiving the growth in applications of these systems over the course of time leading to a well-established market in the future. continuous improvements are taking place in the aerial refueling systems to manufacture advanced systems with high-level precision and reliability. Air-to-air refilling has always been a key enabling factor for air military power as these systems are supporting the combat aircraft and enhancing the capabilities of these aircraft during wartime and other missions. Today’s defense air forces are majorly dependent on air-to-air refilling systems, but on the other hand, aerial refilling for commercial aircraft still seems to be a challenging task. Although, the aviation industry is looking forward to introducing aerial replenishing for long distance flights, the experts and engineers are still pondering upon the successful execution process to accomplish air-to-air refueling for commercial aircraft.
Increasing military expenditure, growing tanker aircraft deliveries, emergence of multi-role tanker aircraft, increasing tanker aircraft fleet globally, and rising demand of long-run military aircraft for special purpose missions are some of the major factors aiding growth of market. The demand for air-to-air replenishing tanker is highly dependent upon military expenditure and thereby impacting the market for aerial refueling systems. Some of the countries in Asia Pacific region such as China, India, South Korea, & Saudi Arabia have already been increasing their military expenditure for acquisition of advanced weapon systems and aircraft. Also, the U.S. is largest country which spends highest in their defense budget globally. For instance, in 2016, the global military expenditure was estimated to be around US$ 1,695 million in which the U.S. accounted for more than 35% of share. Also, the U.S. accounts for largest fleet of military aircraft in the world which in turn drives the demand for air-to-air refilling systems globally.
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Among aircraft type, combat & tanker aircraft was estimated to be the largest segment for air-to-air refueling systems in 2019, owing to high need for aerial refueling systems for covering a long-distance defense mission. Moreover, rising tensions in the world are compelling both the developed and developing economies to prepare themselves by having an advanced fleet of air-to-air fueling tankers to fuel their combat aircraft for covering a longer distance for successfully accomplishing the defense missions.
Among end user, OE was estimated to be largest segment in 2019 and is expected to retain its dominance during the forecast period as well. This is owing to increasing purchase and deployment of combat & tanker aircraft along with refilling systems by military forces of different countries. Moreover, continuous replacements of old generation tankers & combat aircraft with the new ones is another major factor aiding in the growth for aerial refilling systems globally. For instance, currently the USA has 550 KC-135 tanker aircraft as their fleet to which the government has decided to replace it with 179 Boeing’s KC-46 tankers by 2027 which in turn will drive the market for OE segment in the near future and thereby impacting the market positively. In addition, according to Polaris Market Research analysis, OE is also expected to be the fastest growing end user segment in the global market during the forecast period of 2020-2026.
Among region, North America was estimated to be the largest segment in 2019 and is also expected to be remain the largest during the forecast period as well. The U.S. is growth engine of this region because of its largest military aircraft fleet and continuous upgradations & replacements of aircraft systems. Moreover, the U.S. is also the largest country comprising of highest market share for aerial refueling systems among all other countries in the world owing to its highest military expenditure and its existing fleet of military aircraft.
Companies in this industry are trying to develop new and innovative products in order to reduce the challenges faced by the users. For instance, Nottinghamshire-based Icon Aerospace has developed a key enabling technology to create the very first intelligent connector (IC) for in-flight refilling. Companies such as Airbus SE, Cobham plc, Draken Internationnal, Eaton Corporation, GE Aviation, Marshall Aerospace & Defence Group, Parker Hannifin Corporation, Safran, and Zodiac Aerospace are some of the key players operating in this market.