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Aviation Turboshaft Market Worth $10 Bn (Mar. 8)

NEWTOWN, Conn.---Despite uncertainty in military procurement circles, the world's aviation turboshaft manufacturers are slated to build nearly $10 billion worth of engines through 2010, with four companies controlling about three quarters of the market.

In its annual review of the Market for Aviation Turboshaft Engines, Forecast International/DMS projects that 21 manufacturing firms or consortia will produce some 20,540 aviation turboshaft engines worth $9.87 billion between 2001 and 2010.

Four engine manufacturers will control roughly three quarters of the turboshaft engine market in the coming decade: Pratt & Whitney, Snecma (via Turbomeca), General Electric and Rolls-Royce. These four aerospace giants already fight for the lion's share of all aircraft turbine markets, plus or minus another smaller player or two at most. Thanks to small initial sale profit margins and a competitive aftermarket that is very expensive to participate in, companies are spinning off smaller turbine businesses -- and the major turbine engine makers are grabbing them.

Pratt & Whitney's Canada division has kept its lead in the turboshaft market by streamlining its development and production methods and maintaining a well-established support structure worldwide. Pratt Canada's PT6C also powers the new Bell/Agusta BA609 tilt-rotor which holds the potential to revolutionize vertical lift aviation. Turbomeca is effectively challenging P&WC worldwide for market share, having grown its product line and support structure significantly over the past twenty years.

GE has stayed a major player by concentrating on the military side of the business. GE and its licensees will continue to produce T700 engines at a rate of 300-400+ engines per year for medium/heavy military and civil helicopters through 2010. GE/Honeywell, Rolls Royce and possibly P&WC and Turbomeca will soon be vying to develop and build a new 3,000 shp engine for two of the T700's prime helicopter applications now in US service -- the Sikorsky H-60 series and Boeing's AH-64 Apache. Further applications for the new engine are likely by the end of the decade. GE also stands to power the Future Transport Rotorcraft, a potential replacement for 300-400 Army CH-47s and 200 USMC CH-53s. Production of engines for this program is not likely to begin until the middle of the next decade.

Rolls-Royce practically faded from the turboshaft market in the 1990s, but came back by purchasing Allison Engine Corporation. Its Model 250 engine powers several civil and military types and spans a wide power range (approximately 200-800 shp), while its T406 engine powers the Bell/Boeing V-22 tiltrotor. While the V-22 has had its share of problems, the controversial aircraft is earmarked to be used by all US services and export customers in the future, which would secure Rolls production of several thousand T406s.

The major action involving aviation turboshafts is in the military market as increasing mobility requirements drive market growth. This growth is reflected mainly in the 1,200-2,500 shp and 2,501 and higher segments. Some 1,200 units in these segments are engine uprating kits for US Army helicopters.

The civil market is fairly flat. The biggest "action" among applications are several new twin- and single-engine models powered by relatively new offerings from P&WC (PW206/207) and Turbomeca (Arrius 2B). These companies are battling to best each other with more powerful engine variants, providing these helicopters with more capability.

The market for unmanned aerial vehicles is advancing at a steady pace, and as their operational use is perfected, opportunities for turboshaft sales will improve. Rolls-Royce appears to have made the first real inroad here with the Model 250, which powers the US Navy's Northrop Grumman VTUAV observation and target designation remotely-piloted vehicle program.

The world's helicopter market is fairly flat but certainly lucrative. It is not generally favorable to new players entering the fray at this point, as the current participants have the market well covered. The anticipated small growth trend is attributed to increased emphasis on mobility in land warfare, a dimension which helicopters easily provide. Indeed, as emphasis on doing more with less increases in the world's militaries, turboshafts are likely to play a more prominent part. This will spur further growth in the turboshaft market, assuming the growth can be funded.

Forecast International/DMS Inc., is the worlds leading provider of Market Intelligence and Analyses in the areas of aerospace, defense, power systems and military electronics. Based in Newtown, CT, USA, Forecast International specializes in long-range industry forecasts.


Aviation Turboshaft Builders Battle for $10 billion Market