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Special Mission Aircraft

Paced by a growing demand for new aerial tankers, maritime patrol special mission aircraft, and Airborne Early Warning (AEW) platforms, the 10-year world-wide market for new military special mission aircraft is worth more than $40 Billion, according to a new Forecast International market analysis, the “Special Mission Aircraft Platform Market 2002-2011.”

This market segment is heating up, with a flurry of new requirements being addressed by more than a dozen nations. Forecast International is projecting deliveries of 152 Special Mission aircraft with $11.9 billion during the first five years of the forecast period, and another 277 platforms valued at $28.3 billion in the second five-year segment.

Many of the current Special Mission aircraft will soldier on until replaced by more capable types. These will be augmented by new platforms, many of them much smaller than in the past due to advances in the micro-miniaturization of onboard electronics suites. Among the smaller Special Mission aircraft emerging as Special Mission aircraft platforms, the (Bombardier) Global Express ASTOR, the ELINT-equipped Gulfstream V, and the Erieye-equipped (Embraer) 145 are already making market inroads.

The Franco-Italian ATR 42/72, the CASA and Dergantara CN 235, and CASA’s new C-295 are examples of turboprop-powered regional transports modified to carry out the maritime patrol special mission aircraft. These have been purchased by half a dozen nations and will continue to find favor as low-cost alternatives to the larger and more sophisticated (and expensive) platforms deployed by the world’s larger air arms.

Primarily on the strength of the anticipated US Air Force lease of its KC-767 tanker, Boeing will pace the market both in terms of actual platforms produced (33 percent of the total market) and in revenues generated by the latter (a 62- percent market share).

“Boeing’s 767 is emerging as the follow-on to many of the special mission aircraft roles currently being handled by variants of that same manufacturer’s venerable 707”, said Senior Aerospace Analyst Bill Dane.

As computed by revenues, Northrop Grumman will rank second with just over 11 percent of the market and will be trailed by the projected Jockheed/Kawasaki team (10.8 percent) and BAE Systems (4.3 percent). Upcoming programs for which no manufacturer has yet been selected are expected to account for nearly four percent of the sales revenue market. These programs include Korea’s E-X Airborne Early Warning platform, the Italy-German MPA 2000 maritime patrol special mission aircraft, and additional tanker/transport conversions of ex-airline transports.

Citing the growing trend in international collaboration, Dane anticipates a multi-national approach to come up with a next generation maritime patrol/ASW special mission aircraft. “Lockheed Martin and Kawasaki have a long history of collaboration and we anticipate Japan joining the US Navy’s Multimission Maritime Special Mission Aircraft (MMA) program.”

He added that Germany and Italy could also sign aboard the MMA effort. “The MMA could ultimately evolve into a true international program, as has the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.”

A niche role that Voyageur has fulfilled in the last several years is the development of Special Mission aircraft. Typically these special mission aircraft are heavily modified to meet the requirements of special mission aircraft and unique operating environments. Voyageur has assisted in creating Special Mission Aircraft that are utilized in various parts of the world for geophysical survey, multi-patient air ambulance, and cargo operations.

Voyageur is set apart from other suppliers in this market by its experience as an air operator, an MRO provider, and a spares support provider. Voyageur can offer a “one-stop shop” for its Special Mission Aircraft clients. Offered services include the initial modifications, special mission aircraft inspections, spares support during the special mission aircraft’s modification and operation, personnel training, and assistance in obtaining regulatory approvals.

Clients who require a ‘turn key’ Special Mission Aircraft operation can retain Voyageur to provide all post modification services, including operational control of the special mission aircraft utilizing Voyageur flight and maintenance crews of Special Mission Aircraft.

Aircraft for Sale

 

Fairchild Swearingen Merlin IVC
Serial Number AT-577B
Registration N120JM

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