Defense Ground Support Equipment Market to Reach US$ 600 Million by 2026

Jan. 24, 2020

The defense ground support equipment market is expected to witness promising growth owing to rising military expenditure and upsurge demand for combat-ready aircraft. Technological advancements in the aviation sector and upgradation of existing aircraft fleets have fueled the demand for advanced ground support equipment.

There has been an unprecedented demand for defense aircraft from APAC countries like China, India, and South Korea. With the integration of cutting-edge technologies, ground support equipment manufacturers have effectively enhanced the support for special mission aircraft and next-generation fighter jets.

Meanwhile, the defense sector is seen to generate robust demands for advanced and multipurpose ground support equipment that could decrease overall operational cost. Taking 2018 for instance, Aviation Ground Equipment Corporation obtained a contract from the United States Air Force to offer a diesel-based multi-output ground power unit to support its JSF F-35 program.

The new GPU can offer voltage ranging from 72kW to 28.5VDC for all types of aircraft and requires less maintenance. Moreover, these units meet all the required military standards and are easy to operate. Given to such inclinations, Global Market Insights Inc. predicts that the defense ground support equipment market may exceed USD 0.6 billion by 2026.

Based on aircraft type, the defense ground support equipment market is classified into fighter jets, transport aircraft, and special mission aircraft. The need for fighter jets to be combat-ready within a minimum timeframe has led to the adoption of ground support equipment. Upgradation of existing combat aircraft may fuel demand for technological advanced defense ground support systems. Lately, aircraft manufacturers are seen investing in ground support equipment to enhance assistance to complex aircraft operations.

The new, fifth-generation F-35A aircraft for instance requires more innovative support equipment compared to conventional combat aircraft. Apparently, every system of the new F-35A has an associated support equipment that helps enhance the aircraft’s efficiency and flight time.

Along with having compact support, the aircraft is equipped with power generators and weapon loader to support ground operations. It is also equipped with air conditioning units to reduce the temperature of avionics systems during takeoff and landing.

Alike the F-35A aircraft, upgraded versions of prior manufactured aircraft are now coming with additional systems that help reduce ground support time. For instance, Dassault Systems has been continuously modifying its Rafale fighter jet to enhance indigenous operation capabilities. Its latest upgrade includes on-board oxygen generation system (OBOGS), Optronics which is cooled closed-loop nitrogen circuit and by built-in auxiliary power unit (APU). This eliminates the need of liquid oxygen re-filling ground support equipment, ground power unit, and devoted nitrogen supply.

On a different note, technological advancements in defense ground support equipment could ease the operation, mobility and scope of applications in the aviation sector. Companies in the ground support equipment industry are focused on simplifying designs and operational requirements of their systems. This could substantially improve mobility and enable fighter jets to operate from remote locations. Of late, mobile ground support equipment are being used with advanced fighter jets that lack indigenous operational capabilities.

The new equipment is foldable, compact, and can be operated without any external power. The equipment needs only two types of carriages and cradles to perform armament unloading/loading operations, reducing the overall maintenance and operation cost for the support equipment.