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Singapore Airshow 2018: Airbus Helicopters aims to boost Asia-Pacific market share

08 February 2018
Airbus Helicopters is positioning the H145M, seen here with the HForce weapons system, for the Asia-Pacific market. Source: Airbus Helicopters/Christian D. Keller

Airbus Helicopters has outlined plans to substantially expand its share of the Asia-Pacific military helicopters market.

Speaking at the 2018 Singapore Airshow on 8 February, Fabrice Rochereau, the company’s head of sales for Southeast Asia, said that Airbus Helicopters currently holds nearly 10% of the regional military helicopter market but within 10 years it aims to hold up to 40% of market share.

A major platform supporting the company’s regional expansion plans, he said, is its H145M light utility twin-engine helicopter, a variant of the H145 civil helicopter.

Airbus Helicopters said that as of 2017 about 9,000 helicopters were flying the Asia Pacific, with 5,000 in the civilian/paramilitary sector and 4,000 in the military sector. Airbus Helicopters said it leads the Asia-Pacific civilian/paramilitary sector with a 40% market share.

Rochereau said that one of the main reasons for the lower market share in the military segment is the strong regional presence of Russian platforms, particularly the Mil Mi-17 ('Hip') transport/utility helicopter. However, he added that Airbus Helicopters’ share in some countries – particularly Australia and New Zealand – was much stronger than the overall figure.

“It is true that we have a way to go to improve our market share and this is one of the reasons why we want to use the H145M to capture [sales in] this market,” he said. “We are proposing this aircraft to almost all the main countries in the region. We are finding some traction and we are hopeful to win some contracts in the coming few years.”

Rochereau did not elaborate on potential customers but did confirm that the company is bidding for contracts in the Philippines. Jane’s understands that the aircraft is positioned to meet a Philippine Air Force (PAF) requirement for a fleet of night-capable attack helicopters. Future opportunities for the platform may also emerge with the Philippine Navy (PN) and Philippines Coast Guard (PCG).

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