As foreign analysts believe, the leading player in this market will be the American company Lockheed Martin with the fifth-generation fighter F-35. In general, F-35 sales plans remain unchanged and comprise 2443 aircraft for the US Air Force and fewer 600 units for the other eight foreign countries participating in the program: the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Australia.
In the next five years (2014 – 2018) 1508 fighter jets of western production will be delivered to the global aviation market for a total of 162,6 billion dollars. According to the forecast of American analysts who did not take into account aircraft manufactured in China, India and Russia, Lockheed Martin will dominate the global market for fighter aircraft and training aircraft (TCB) during this period, which will produce 467 fighters (31% of the total market). The European consortium “Eurofighter” will take the second place in terms of the number of fighters produced (204 units, 13,5%). Boeing companies (168, 11,1%) and Pilatus (167, 11,1%) will be in the third and fourth places, respectively. In the fifth position will be "Korian Aerospace" (144, 9,6%). All other global manufacturers of fighters and TCB will have 358 aircraft (23,7%).
In monetary terms, the situation in the global market for fighters and TCB, excluding China, India and Russia, will look like this. In the next five years, 162,6 billion dollars in 2014 prices will be received from the sale of fighters on the world market. The leaders will be Lockheed Martin, which will receive a billion dollars (84,7%), Eurofighter (52,1 billion, 40,8%) and Boeing (25,1 billion, 17,1%) for its 10,5 aircraft. This is followed by Dassau Aviation (5,9 billion dollars, 3,7%) and Corian Aerospace (3,5 billion dollars, 2,1%). All other global manufacturers of fighters and TCB will have 10,5 billion dollars or 6,5 percent.
Despite the leading position of Lockheed Martin, other leading players in the global aviation market will make additional efforts to diversify their customers, many of whom will not be able to acquire expensive F-35. They include Boeing with the F / A-18E / F Super Hornet, Dassau Aviation with the Rafale fighter, Eurofighter with the Typhoon fighter and SAAB with the Gripen fighter.
The F-35 position in the export market has been consolidated after the Republic of Korea changed in favor of Lockheed Martin its initial decision to buy the X-NUMX F-60 fighter “Silent Eagle” of the Boeing company with conformal armaments and an Electromechanical Control System (EDS) that were recommended by the Defense Procurement Department of the Ministry of Defense in the 15 Trillion Won Budget (8,3 billion). Under the pressure of the military, Seoul followed the decision of Tokyo, adopted at the end of 7,7, in favor of the inconspicuous F-2011.
Seoul’s refusal to purchase F-15 created certain problems for Boeing and, above all, for its aircraft factory in St. Louis (Missouri) where F-15 Silent Eagle, Strike Eagle, F / A-18E are manufactured / F Super Hornet and Electronic Warfare (EW) EA-18G Growler. Uncertainty about the prospects for the continued production of the Boeing line of combat aircraft is related to the fact that the prospects for selling F-15 are still unknown after the export contract with Saudi Arabia, which is due to end in 2018, is completed.
Nevertheless, Boeing officials believe that various options for upgrading the Silent Eagle F-15 fighter, including subtle weapons bays, EMFs and an EW digital system, may be attractive to various F-15 customers who analyze options for upgrading their fighter fleets. aviation.
For Boeing, the situation with its regular customer, the US Navy, which in previous years was actively acquiring F / A-18E / F Super Hornet, is not quite clear. Currently, the Navy, along with the Air Force and the United States Marine Corps, is the customer of F-35 and in 2014 must complete the test program of the deck version of the F-35C on aircraft carriers, after which they will finally decide on the terms of procurement of these deck fighters. Not having so far a firm contract with the Navy to produce the required number of Super Hornet and Growler aircraft, the Boeing company must nevertheless fund the support of the production line of these machines in St. Louis.
Recently, Boeing has strengthened lobbying to force US lawmakers to purchase more F / A-18 or EA-18G. The company also reduces the cost of the fighter production line and invests in automating and slowing down the production of F / A-18 in order to extend the delivery time of existing orders. These measures, according to experts, are caused by competition with F-35. At the moment, the portfolio of orders for F / A-18 fighters and EW EA-18G aircraft includes 73 and 45 units, respectively. X-NUMX F-84 machines for Saudi Arabia are also under construction. Available orders will support fighter production in St. Louis until 15.
F / A-18 Development Director Mike Gibbons said that to save the production line, the monthly production of these fighters dropped from four to three units, while to support the conveyor you need about two planes per month. To save production until 2020, you will need to get an order for 60 additional aircraft for the US Navy. It is expected that then the Middle East and European operators F / A-18, as well as Canada, will update their fleet of fighters.
Previously, Boeing assumed that fighter contracts with Brazil and Malaysia would help solve a number of problems. However, the Brazilian competition was lost, and Malaysia recently announced that it was postponing the tender.
According to experts, the Middle East market is quite promising for Boeing, but here F / A-18 can meet a competitor in the person of F-35, which the Pentagon plans to start shipping to the region after 2020.
The situation for the Boeing in the US Navy is somewhat different. F / A-18 earned positive reviews from representatives fleet for their fighting qualities and ease of maintenance. Deliveries of the Super Hornets made it possible to place a sufficient number of fighters on aircraft carriers, which in turn makes it possible to allow delays in the supply of F-35C. It is assumed that the new aircraft will enter service no earlier than 2018-2019. Although representatives of the Navy announced their desire to maintain the F / A-18 production line, no instructions were given to replace the old Hornets, and no funds were allocated for the purchase of new aircraft. Due to the lack of a firm order for F / A-18, Boeing continues to influence lawmakers with the goal of securing funding for the release of new fighters of this type.
In particular, Boeing proposed replacing the X-NUMX of the X-NUMX F-44C aircraft, which the US Navy plans to acquire, with the Super Hornets. The company also advertises the Advanced Super Hornet fighter upgrades program. It will increase the flight range of the aircraft, improve its avionics and a number of other elements. However, even if the modernization kits for the existing Super Hornets fleet will be received for implementation, this program will not be able to save the aircraft production line without other support measures.
The main obstacles for Boeing are the Pentagon’s obligation to purchase F-35 fighter jets for a total of 392 billion dollars and the US Department of Defense’s attempts to guarantee US and foreign orders that will help reduce the cost of the most expensive weapons development programs.
The development of a new fighter is being delayed, its value has increased by 70 percent of the originally determined. Nevertheless, government officials say that Lockheed Martin completes the flight tests of the aircraft, solves the technical problems that have arisen, and on the whole has achieved some success. The Pentagon’s leadership made it clear that the F-35 is among the highest-priority types of equipment to be purchased and that it will be against any attempts by the Navy to acquire more traditional aircraft, such as the F / A-18.
According to Loren Martin, the F-35 Program Manager, the cost of the fighter is falling. In particular, an F-35A aircraft will take an estimated 75 million dollars in the 2019 year, which, according to experts, deprives the Boeing fighter of one of the key advantages - the price. Representatives of the company "Boeing" declare that the cost of a unit F / A-18 with installed radar and engines - about 50 million dollars. Congress experts nevertheless say that the price of F / A-18 with targeting containers and other equipment similar to those set on the F-35 is about 70 million dollars.
In principle, the purchase of combat aircraft is always based on the decision of the top political leadership of the importing country. In the context of reducing defense budgets, it is constantly necessary to consider not only the cost parameters of the transaction, but also the possibility of access to advanced technologies in the event of its implementation, service support for acquired aircraft throughout the entire period of operation that can reach 50 years.
With very limited volumes of the modern market of combat aircraft, a politico-diplomatic solitaire played by the military-political leadership of the exporting country and the importing country can acquire very intricate combinations. In particular, the outcome of the Brazilian FX-2 tender worth 4,5 billion dollars for the purchase of 36 combat aircraft, in which F / A-18E / F Super Hornet was in the lead, was the unpleasant surprise for Boeing, but eventually lost to the fighter. Gripen "of the Swedish company" SAAB ". Boeing presented a rather attractive offer for the Brazilian tender, but the sharp deterioration in political relations between Brazil and the United States, caused by electronic espionage by the US National Security Agency, had a significant impact on the refusal of the Brazilian government to sign the contract. For this reason, in September 2013, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff even canceled her official visit to the United States.
After losing the Brazilian tender, the management of Boeing nonetheless claims that Canada, Denmark, Kuwait, Malaysia and a number of unnamed Middle Eastern countries are showing interest in the Super Hornet. However, the possibility of obtaining contracts in the domestic and foreign markets at present and in the short term is complicated by the reduction of the US budget and financial difficulties abroad. As a result, some contracting decisions on a number of important foreign markets were postponed.
Given the existing, as well as potential orders for the Super Hornet and Growler aircraft, the maximum production volumes of these machines are a thing of the past. According to Mike Gibbons, the current annual production of these aircraft in the number of 48 units is likely to be reduced by 25 percent in 2014-m and then continue to decrease to 24 units per year. Despite the reduction in the rate of production of Super Hornet aircraft, the company intends to keep the cost of one machine at the level of 37 million dollars excluding engines and EW systems. With all the components supplied by the state, the Navy pays for one 50 million Super Hornet. The cost of the "Grouler" is about nine million dollars more - 59 million.
A similar problem in preserving the production of Typhoon fighters is also facing the European consortium Eurofighter, since the assembly line of these aircraft is loaded with orders only up to the year 2017. The improved Typhoon of the 3 series performed the first flight at the beginning of December of the 2013 series. This aircraft has a new avionics, radar with active phased antenna array, high-speed data line, fiber optic control system bus weaponsconformal fuel tanks. Deliveries of the 3-series aircraft will begin at the end of the 2015 of the year.
The Swedish company SAAB is developing a new version of the Gripen fighter - JAS 39E, which is a new generation version of the Gripen aircraft demonstrator. It will be equipped with an AFAR radar, a more powerful General Electric F414 engine, and an increased fuel supply. and combat load. Deliveries of these machines are expected in 2018, first for Sweden, which plans to purchase 60 – 80 units, and then for Switzerland, which in 2014 intends to purchase 22 aircraft.
After the victory of the JAS-39E fighter in the Brazilian FX-2 tender, SAAB has strengthened its position in the global market. The signing of a contract worth 4,5 billion dollars for the supply of 36 fighter "Gripen" new generation is planned only in December 2014 year after agreeing on all financial conditions. Delivery of the first aircraft is expected through 48 months after signing the contract. On condition that the agreed production schedule and tests are maintained, the first machine will be adopted by the Brazilian Air Force at the end of the 2018. The contract will provide for the logistics of the aircraft at the initial stage of operation, the training of pilots and technicians, and the delivery of flight simulators.
Currently, Gripen fighters are created in four versions - A, B, C and D. The new version of Gripen-NG (JAS-39E) is an evolutionary development of the last two - C and D.
France connects its prospects in the global fighter market with the expansion of Rafale aircraft exports. For the time being, Dassault hopes to sign the first export contract for the supply of 2014 Rafale for the Indian Air Force to the middle of 126. At the same time, the prospects for the promotion of this aircraft in the Middle East segment of the aviation market and, above all, in the UAE are still unclear. Pending new orders, Rafale batch production has been reduced from 11 machines per year to 26 over the next six-year period.
The Rafale program recently received support from the French government, which allocated about a billion euros for the production of the Rafale F3R. This contract was a clear signal of the intentions of the French military-political leadership to invest in the Rafale program in order to support the combat aviation sector and ensure its compliance with the requirements of the export market.
The contract is a logical decision of the Ministry of Defense aimed at the further development of the Rafale program in order to adapt it to changing requirements and bring it to the necessary requests. The new version of the fighter will be able, in particular, to carry new types of airborne armament such as Meteor air-to-air missiles launched outside the new line-of-sight range of the Next Generation Laser Designation Pod of the new-generation laser container and laser-guided new generation AASM (Air-to-Ground Modular Weapon). This version of the fighter will also have an improved navigation system, a data transmission line, a radar with AFEX RBE2 developed by the Thales company, with which all Rafale fighters are equipped from the middle of the 2013 onwards, the Spectra electronic warfare system. All improvements made to the fighter will expand its multipurpose use.
The aircraft will be able to perform various combat missions, including attacking ground targets and providing air defense. These include the struggle for air superiority, air defense, strikes against ground and surface targets, the provision of direct support to ground troops, reconnaissance, and nuclear strikes. This is the first aircraft designed to operate both from ground bases and from an aircraft carrier, for use by both the Air Force and the French Navy.
The cost of the contract for the development of the Rafale fighter F3R of the NG PDL laser container, which is to be adopted in the middle of 2018, is 119 million euros. The use of a new container developed by Thales Optronics will ensure the search and identification of small targets, as well as the execution of high-precision strikes on ground targets, day and night. This development is funded under the 2014 – 2019 French military programs law and will provide support to the French optoelectronic industry. It is planned to finance the purchase of 20 PDL-NGs containers, 16 of which will be delivered in 2018 – 2019-m.
According to representatives of Dassau Aviation, the new version of the fighter must be certified in 2018 year and will be able to carry more weapons and fuel. The Rafal aviation weapons will include an 30-mm aircraft gun for firing at air and ground targets, Mika missiles with infrared and radar seeker, Meteor missiles (from 2018 of the year), bombs with laser GOS GBU- 12 / 24, AASM and GBU-49 aerial bombs with GPS corrected satellite signals (used in Afghanistan, Libya and Mali), Scalp - Storm Shadow cruise missiles (used in Libya), Exocset anti-ship missiles AM39 Block XNUM for use surface targets and other air-to-surface weapons awst ”, Areos airborne containers for real-time tactical and strategic reconnaissance (used in Afghanistan, Libya and Mali), in-flight refueling systems, ASMP-A nuclear warheads for nuclear strikes.
Rafale fighters were commissioned by the Navy in the 2004 year and the Air Force in the 2006, successively replacing seven types of previously used combat aircraft. To date, 180 serial Rafale machines have been ordered, of which 126 is delivered in three versions: 39 single-seat combat aircraft in the “M” variant for the Navy, 42 twin in the “B” variant, and 45 single-seat combat aircraft in the “C” variant for the Air Force.
The US aviation industry continues to produce other types of fighter jets, which remain in demand in the global market. In particular, since the initial combat readiness of the F-35 is still undetermined, the US Air Force intends to improve the X-NUMX of the F-300 fighters and install on them the SABR (Scaled Agile Beam Radar) AFAR radar, based on the F-16 and F-radar FAR -22, which will extend the operation of these aircraft to 35 year.
Interest in the modernization of F-16 show Taiwan, Greece, Poland, Portugal and Singapore. The company "BAE Systems" equips the radar with AFAR fleet of South Korean F-16.