Broadly speaking, the global helicopter market is currently facing a two - pronged assault. The military helicopter segment has been impacted significantly by continued defense budgetary pressures across most traditional markets, and a recent slide in global crude oil prices has impacted the demand for new civil helicopters as well as the level of activity for existing fleets engaged in the offshore oil & gas exploration sector. This situation has impacted industry OEMs significantly, many of which had been working towards strengthening the civil helicopter segment to partially offset the impact of budgetary cuts on the military segment. However, the medium - to long - term view of the market is promising given the presence of strong fundamentals and persistent, sustainable growth drivers.
The market for military helicopters in particular is set to cross a technological threshold in the form of next - generation compound helicopters and tilt rotorcraft. Emergence of these technologies, expected to be set into motion and completed within the next decade, are likely to result in a significant expansion of the operational spectrum, force capabilities and performance. Aircraft arising from these new programmes may well see their conventional roles redefined, and thereby enhance the overall effectiveness of modern military operations. There are a number of strong and stable growth drivers for military helicopters globally, despite the continued challenges of funding and approval.