Declining Accident Rate Encouraging Incorporation of Advanced Helicopters in Military Fleet

Punit Shah
3 min readJun 2, 2022

The military sector of developing countries, such as India and China, is focusing on replacing its aging helicopter fleet, owing to which aerospace companies from the West are introducing their offerings in such countries. The replacement of old helicopters with new ones will help in reducing terrorism activities on international borders and domestic territory, by helping in more-effective patrolling and attack missions. Thus, the surging number of anti-terrorism activities in emerging economies will boost the deployment of military helicopters here.

In addition, the burgeoning demand for helicopters equipped with state-of-the-art technologies will drive the helicopters market at a CAGR of 3.4% during the forecast period (2017–2023). According to P&S Intelligence, the market was valued at $25.3 billion in 2016, and it is expected to generate over $31.8 billion revenue by 2023. Over the years, several technological advancements have been implemented in the engine, airframe, and emission systems of helicopters. These developments have resulted in the creation of more-resilient and sustainable helicopters that can operate in varying environmental conditions.

Additionally, the shrinking accident rate is encouraging the defense and oil and gas sectors to incorporate technologically advanced helicopters in their fleets. For instance, according to the International Helicopter Safety Foundation (IHSF) and the United States Helicopter Safety Team (USHST), the average number of helicopter accidents in the U.S. decreased from 244 in 1983 to 117.67 in 2015–2018. The number of fatal accidents in the country also reduced from 36.66 to 20.33 during this period.

The type segment of the helicopters market is divided into military helicopter and civil helicopter. Under this segment, the civil helicopter category will demonstrate the faster growth throughout the forecast period due to the surging number of offshore rigs. The civil helicopter category is further classified on the basis of type into large and heavy helicopter (>9.0 tons [t]), medium helicopter (5.7 t–9.0 t), intermediate helicopter (3.1 t–5.7 t), and light helicopter.

These helicopters are manufactured by Russian Helicopters JSC, The Boeing Company, Robinson Helicopter Co., MD Helicopters Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp., Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., Airbus SE, Kaman Corp., Leonardo S.p.A., MD Helicopters Inc., Textron Inc., and Bell Textron Inc. At present, these companies are introducing new products and engaging in collaborations to offer their helicopters to more clients. For example, in April 2017, Airbus Helicopters signed an exclusive cooperation agreement with IAR Brasov for the H215M helicopter. With this agreement, IAR Brasov has become the primary contractor for the H215M helicopter for any future need of the Ministry of National Defence of Romania.

Geographically, North America held the largest share in the helicopters market in 2016, and it is projected to retain its dominance throughout the forecast period. This can be credited to the increasing exploration and production (E&P) activities propelling the deployment of helicopters in the oil and gas industry. Whereas, Latin America (LATAM) is expected to witness the fastest growth during the forecast period. LATAM countries, such as Brazil and Mexico, are extensively deploying civil helicopters in their fleets.

Thus, the rising technological advancements in helicopters and the surging focus of developing countries on replacing aging helicopters with new ones will fuel the production of such airborne vehicles worldwide.