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Report: Asia a growing market for light military helicopters

Market analysis firm Forecast International is predicting a slowdown in the world market for light military helicopters, except in Asia.

By Richard Tomkins
Report: Asia a growing market for light military helicopters
Budget cuts are to curb demand for light military helicopters. Photo of AS559 aircraft by Eurocopter.

NEWTOWN, Conn., Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Asia could to grow in importance as a market for light military helicopters over the next 10 years as European and American markets decline.

Forecast International, a market analysis firm, said the reason is that "India, Japan, and South Korea are all planning significant and sizable procurements of light helicopters, presenting quite a contrast in this regard to most nations in other parts of the world."

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The projection comes in Forecast International's report on the light military rotorcraft market.

The company said it expects 1,304 light military helicopters -- those with a gross weight of less than 15000 pounds -- will be built from 2015 through 2024 for an estimated value of $19.9 billion.

Annual production is forecast to grow from 171 units in 2015 to 223 in 2016. This annual rise will only be temporary, Forecast International said -- yearly production will slide to a low of only 68 units in 2022 and 2023.

"Budgetary difficulties around the globe are impacting the light military rotorcraft market," it said. "Many nations have been reducing defense spending, with the result that some existing rotorcraft procurements are being stretched out or reduced in scope. At the same time, several new start acquisitions have been postponed or canceled."

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Airbus Helicopters is predicted to lead the military light helicopter market in unit production over the 10-year period.

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