Although the drawdown of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to a slowdown in US and European aerospace and defense spending, the global aerospace sector will continue to see growth in 2014, the consulting firm Deloitte announced in its annual forecast of the industry. The overall industry will see revenue growth in the neighborhood of five percent—driven primarily by the replacement of older aircraft with newer fuel-efficient models, and the expansion of the commercial aerospace sector into growing markets such as East Asia and the Middle East. The defense sector, on the other hand, will contract around 2.5 percent globally, states the report. Deloitte predicts that regional tensions in areas such as the Persian Gulf and the Korean peninsula will lead affected governments “to increase purchases of next-generation military equipment.” However, as the US continues to slash budgets and take on sequestration cuts, overall defense sector spending likely will diminish in the coming years, and firms will have to make their own investments in growth areas such as foreign military sales; next-generation intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; and cyber security, states the report.
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.