The Global Air-to-Air Refueling Market is on the brink of a significant transformation, with projected growth from USD 619.26 million in 2022 to USD 995.23 million by 2027, registering a CAGR of 10.0% during the forecast period. The market’s impressive expansion can be attributed to the increasing instances of overseas deployment of military aircraft, propelling the demand for air-to-air refueling technologies and encouraging the adoption of aircraft equipped with this capability.
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Key Insights from the Report:
- Component: Fuel Tanks Dominate Market Share
The air-to-air refueling market is segmented by component, including pumps, valves, hoses, boom, probes, pods, fuel tanks, and others. Fuel tanks have dominated the market share throughout the forecast period. This is driven by enhanced investments in tanker aircraft procurement across nations like the US, UK, France, and more, which are designed to supply fuel to receiver aircraft platforms.
- System: Boom Refueling Leads Growth
The market is categorized by system into probe & drogue, boom refueling, and autonomous. Boom refueling is projected to witness the fastest growth by 2027. This is due to its utilization in most current-generation tanker aircraft for transferring fuel to receiver aircraft. The rigidity of the boom allows for a higher transfer rate compared to probe and drogue systems.
- Aircraft Type: Fixed Wing Dominates
The market’s aircraft type segmentation includes fixed wing and rotary wing. Fixed wing aircraft, including combat and special mission aircraft, are expected to drive the market due to their higher induction. The development of new extended range variants with air-to-air refueling capabilities enhances the strike capabilities of nations, thus driving procurement.
- Type: Manned Aircraft Segment
In the type category, the manned aircraft segment dominates the market share. Despite the rapid induction of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for various missions, their inability to perform air-to-air refueling due to size, weight, and power constraints gives an advantage to manned aircraft in terms of market share.
- End User: Linefit Takes the Lead
The end user segment is divided into OEM and aftermarket. Linefit accounts for the largest market size during the forecast period. The OEM segment is expected to dominate the market share as new models of military aircraft increasingly come equipped with air-to-air refueling capability as standard. However, there is also potential for upgrading older aircraft with such capabilities using aftermarket kits, although the feasibility of such upgrades is limited.
- Region: North America Dominates
North America is projected to dominate market share during the forecast period, primarily driven by its leadership in research and development, military deployments, and the presence of key market players. The military aviation sector in North America is experiencing steady growth, creating significant demand for air-to-air refueling systems.
Key Market Players:
Major players operating in the air-to-air refueling market include Cobham Limited (UK), Eaton Corporation (US), Airbus SE (Netherlands), The Boeing Company (US), and GE Aviation (US).
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