China Leads APAC’s Military Fixed-Wing Aviation Procurement

Procurement magazine takes a look at some of the statistics that show China as the leader of fixed-wing procurement leader in the APAC region

The current value of the fixed-wing aircraft market in Asia and the Pacific (APAC) is currently at US$35.5bn, with this number projected to reach US$42.2bn by 2031 - a compound annual growth rate of 1.77%. During this period, multi-purpose fixed-wing aircraft is set to receive the largest share of the market in the APAC region.

China is currently in the process of further aircraft developments for military use. This includes the J-18 VTOL, the Y-20 transport aircraft and the H-20 bomber, which are said to be of similar significance to the latest projects for the US military - a nation with nearly US$1tn worth of military investment in the period from October 2019 to September 2020. 

“The development of fifth and sixth-generation aircraft, and pertinence of 4+ generation aircraft, are the main drivers for investments in the multi-role aircraft sector along with new developments such as optionally manned aircraft and manned-unmanned teaming. The demand for fixed-wing aircraft in the region is also increasing as Japan, China, and India seek to replace their ageing fleets. Technological advancements of the fighter jet, transport aircraft, and refuellers are further incentivizing investments in the region,” says Fatima Germanwala, Aerospace & Defense Analyst at GlobalData.

Will China Dominate the Fixed-Wing Market?

“China’s investment in the military-fixed wing sector is driven by its ambition for dominance in the APAC region and to keep up with US military advancements. For India, Chinese intrusion along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) throughout 2020-2021 on the western front and border conflicts with Pakistan towards the eastern front has reinforced its focus on a two-front threat, leading to an increased focus [on] military preparedness,” says Germanwala.

GlobalData has created a report, which uncovers some insights into the industry. It reveals that the Chinese military fixed-wing market will hold a significant portion of the market value, followed by India. With an expected growth of US$12.6bn in the next 10 years, it is safe to say that China is set for the long-term. To put this into perspective, the Indian market is estimated to grow by US$1.5bn in the same period. 

India is in the process of procuring replacements for its ageing aircraft. The Mig-21, Mig-27, and Jaguars will be replaced by 4.5 generation aircraft, such as the Tejas MKIA, with further models in the development pipeline. The Indian Ministry of Defence (MOD) will continue to introduce more aircraft - to tackle emerging threats  - while it awaits the procurement of the Rafale fighter jets in 2022.


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