Aerospace and Defense

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The aerospace & defense industry is broadly categorized into general aviation & commercial aircrafts, military aircrafts, space & missiles, ground defense, shipbuilding and satellites, electronics & communications. The industry portfolio consists of commercial planes, jet fighters, private planes, traffic helicopters, space shuttles, mission control software, radar systems, rocket guidance systems, missiles, submarines, aircraft carriers, tanks, satellites, flight simulators, munitions, and countless small electronic devices.

Growth factors

The increasing number of air travelers in the past few years has led to exponential growth of the commercial aviation industry. Growing safety concerns have led manufacturers to invest in the provision of high end security to passengers for commercial applications. These factors are creating lucrative growth opportunities for providers of passenger security solutions.

The expenditure in the defense industry across the globe has declined significantly in 2017 compared to the past couple of years. However, geopolitical issues existing across several international and national boundaries are projected to favor growth of the industry. For instance, conflicts existing between Syria & Iraq, tensions between the U.S. and Mexico, ’s intervention in Ukraine, and border disputes in South East Asia among many others are likely to substantially increase the defense budgets in 2017.

Trends such as utilization of man-portable electronics for military force modernization programs, X band radar systems for pinpointing, averting and ceasing threats from enemy attacks, C4ISR systems and other advanced technologies is expected to facilitate the market growth. Such systems enable advanced awareness which, in turn leads to minimum fatality rates. Countries such as China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and France are projected to increasing their investment in development or adoption of advance technology to enhance their defense capability.

Growth inhibitors

Existing geopolitical issues across international borders are likely to challenge growth of the commercial aerospace industry. Moreover, increasing competition in the commercial aviation industry has led to lower average revenue passenger kilometers and narrow profit margins for industry participants. Major industry entry barriers that include high initial capital and incessant approval requirements are projected to present significant growth barriers to the industry growth,

An increasing number of small and medium suppliers are opting out of business segments owing to conflicts over intellectual property licensing, trade control regulations, and technology transfer requirements among other political risks. Increasing regulatory stringency is limiting the utilization of materials used in manufacturing processes. Moreover, the increasing fuel prices and the narrowing military expenditure in major economies such as the U.S., UK, Italy, and Japan are some of the factors that are expected to hamper growth of the aerospace & defense market over the forecast period. Moreover, intervention by the governmental departments in strategic initiatives of manufacturers is expected to hinder the overall market growth. For instance, Lockheed Martin’s proposition for acquisition of Northrop Grumman in 1998, and General Dynamics's merger proposal with Newport News shipbuilding in 1999 was ceased by the U.S. Defense Department.

Growth Opportunity

Commercial aviation is projected to witness better growth prospects in the defense sector as per our analysis, which predicts an approximate 3% growth in the defense segment, with commercial aviation registering gains over 5% year-on-year till 2020. This can be attributed to mega infrastructure investments in emerging economies and exponential growth in global passenger traffic. According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), international air passenger traffic witnessed 6.7% increase in comparison to the 2015 statistics with highest revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) reported in the Middle East.

Industry competitors are striving to provide products with faster speeds, high end designs, increased carrying capacity, and sustainable fuel technologies to strengthen their foothold in the aerospace and defense market segment. For instance, in May 2017, China Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corporation (CRAIC) announced plans to build next generation jumbo jets that can seat up to 280 passengers. The announcement plan is to be followed by an investment of over US$ 33 billion jointly in the project. Furthermore, incorporating utilization of 3-D printing technologies in manufacturing & product designing will provide flexibility and opportunity to enhance profit margins.

Regional Overview

The U.S held the largest overall share in the aerospace & defense market in 2016, and it is expected to continue its dominance through the forecast period of 2016 to 2024, with the annual defense expenditure accounting for around 35% of the global share. Additionally, three of the world’s largest companies are based in the U.S., which cater to national and international businesses. Asia Pacific is also projected to witness significant growth owing to the presence of emerging economies such as China, India, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. According to Boeing’s forecast, China is projected to invest around US$ 340 billion in the next two decades and will enhance its position to be the largest market for commercial aircrafts outside U.S,

Owing to significant increase in oil prices between 2009 and 2014, the revenue of the Middle Eastern countries increased exponentially. Economies that are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council, undertook multibillion dollar programs to upgrade their aerospace and defense equipment. Geopolitical conflicts such as Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the Syria and Yemen, and UAE’s requirement of advanced surveillance, naval and missile products are expected to drive the industry demands. The European aerospace and defense equipment market is likely to witness steady growth owing to lower defense spending. Moreover, players in the region are increasingly focusing on expanding their presence in China, Middle East, India, and Russia.

Industry Overview

Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, United Technologies, General Electric, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Safran, Finmeccanica, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, Honeywell, Bombardier, and General Dynamics are among the major players operating in the global industry landscape. In electronics, satellites, and communications segment, Litton, Raytheon, and Honeywell are the top contenders. Mergers & acquisitions are the major strategies adopted by market players to strengthen their global positioning. For instance, in April 2017, Rockwell Collins completed the acquisition of B/E Aerospace to strengthen its global positioning in the aerospace & defense market. It also helped the company in improving its position as cockpit and cabin interior solution provider. The industry will also exhibit development of innovative IoT solutions, incorporation of smart technologies, and collaborations to provide upgraded products to enhance user experience.

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