Military helicopter is a helicopter manufactured or transformed for use by armed (military) forces. Military helicopters are used for transporting of troops, but these helicopters can be modified and used in operations such as medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), combat search and rescue (CSAR), airborne command post, or equipped with weapons for attacking ground targets. Moreover, specialized helicopters are formed to perform particular missions. Few specialized helicopters are observation helicopters, combat helicopters, and anti-submarine warfare helicopters.
Global military helicopter market is anticipated to show steady growth. This growth is primarily driven by replacement demand & capability expansion, due to increasing threat from terrorism and political conflicts & extremism.
While traditional markets will continue to focus on next generation helicopter technologies to expand capabilities, for emerging markets established platforms and technologies which offer cost efficiency would be critical.
With unmanned aircrafts already establishing their importance in military warfare, manufacturers in the US are moving ahead with development of unmanned helicopters which can perform complex war missions. Sikorsky, a leading US helicopter company, has already tested an unmanned Black Hawk helicopter capable of transporting unmanned ground vehicle to a distance of 12 miles or more. Once a reality, this would help to avoid hazardous conditions for war fighters.
Top players operating in the helicopter manufacturing industry are AgustaWestland, Bell Helicopters, Boeing, Eurocopter and Sikorsky.
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