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MBDA And Raytheon Battle for Air-to-Air Missile Market Dominance

Photo of the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile.
by Staff Writers
Newtown CN (SPX) Feb 01, 2006
A recent analysis by Forecast International estimates that the market for air-to-air missiles will be worth $15.4 billion over the next 10 years, with Raytheon and MBDA sharing the lead.

According to Larry Dickerson, Missile Analyst for Forecast International, the continued strong demand for combat aircraft and the drive to modernize air forces is fueling demand for these missiles. More than 52,000 air-to-air missiles will be built worldwide between 2006 and 2015.

"As in previous years, this market is dominated by Raytheon and MBDA," said Dickerson. "Raytheon is on top of this market due to the popularity of the AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM. Sales of these missiles will be worth $4.5 billion. MBDA, which is producing the MICA and ASRAAM and will introduce the Meteor in the future, will see its air-to-air missile revenues top $3.3 billion through 2015."

MBDA's Meteor is the company's challenger to AMRAAM's dominance of the medium-range air-to-air missile segment. Yet Raytheon is already introducing new versions of the AIM-120 to maintain its market share.

"Raytheon has a big advantage in that the U.S. is a leading provider of combat aircraft to the world," said Dickerson. U.S. aircraft companies are expected to outsell their European competitors, helping to stimulate purchases of U.S.-built missiles.

"Those countries buying U.S.-built fighters usually arm them with U.S.-built weapons, although there are exceptions," Dickerson said. He added, "MBDA is aiming to have its air-to-air missiles integrated with the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), which is being developed by the United States, to lessen this advantage."

Together, Raytheon and MBDA account for 51 percent of all sales in the air-to-air missile market. If certain non-competitive firms, such as those located in China and Japan, are eliminated from the rankings, the market share of these firms jumps to 66 percent.

"The vast majority of Chinese air-to-air missile sales are to its own government, and those that are exported have little effect on the overall market," said Dickerson. "Japan is forbidden to export weapons and Taiwan has yet to sell an air-to-air missile to a foreign customer," he said.

Related Links
Forecast International

Lockheed Martin Announces Team For Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II
Orlando FL (SPX) Feb 01, 2006
Lockheed Martin announced its industry team for the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) increment II competition: HR Textron; Honeywell Defense and Space (D&S) Electronics Systems; EaglePicher; and ITT Power Solutions.

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