Contact: Dean Lockwood, Weapons Systems Analyst
Phone: (203) 426-0800
Fax: (203) 426-1964
Web site: www.forecastinternational.com
Forecast International, Inc.
22 Commerce Rd. Newtown, CT 06470 USA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Main Battle Tank Rolls On as a Dominant Battlefield and Market Force
NEWTOWN, Conn. (March 1, 2006) ― Despite the transformational nature of modern
armed forces, the Forecast International Weapons Group is confident the main
battle tank will remain an integral part of modern force structures throughout
the coming 10-year forecast period. In its annual analysis “The World Market
for Tanks,” the Forecast International Weapons Group projects that the
international market will produce nearly 7,800 main battle tanks, worth in
excess of $31.6 billion, through 2015.
This year’s analysis notes the increasing, and largely
hidden, impact of modernization and retrofit work on the market.
According to Dean Lockwood, Forecast International Weapons Systems Analyst,
“While generally transparent to this analysis of new-production tanks,
increased modernization and retrofit is becoming a significant force on the
international market.” Through its Challenger Lethality Improvement program
(CLIP), the British Army now intends to maintain its Challenger 2 tanks in
first-line service through 2035. In 2004, U.S. Department of Defense contract
awards for the maintenance, RESET (repair of field/battle damage), and upgrade
of the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps M1 Abrams inventories were equivalent to
32.6 percent of the total value of all new-production main battle tanks
rolling out that year onto the international market. In 2005, U.S. DoD
contract awards supporting existing M1 Abrams tanks were equivalent to 21.3
percent of the total value of all new-production main battle tanks that year.
The international market for main battle tanks continues to
exhibit two distinct product tiers. The upper tier consists of the
state-of-the-art designs with correspondingly high price tags (over $5
million). The expense associated with the modernization and retrofit of these
high-end main battle tanks pales in comparison with the prospect of new tank
procurement. Thus, new production of high-end tanks (AMX Leclerc, Ariete 2,
Challenger 2, Karan, Leopard 2, M1A1 Abrams, and Merkava Mark 4) continues to
decline, accounting for less than 13 percent of all production and worth about
17 percent of the market through the forecast period.
The lower tier features cheaper, more widely available tanks
(mostly designs of the former Soviet Union). In terms of sheer numbers,
Lockwood believes that Pakistan’s Al-Khalid, the Type 98 of the People’s
Republic of China, and the Russian Federation’s T-90 will account for nearly 45
percent of all new tanks rolling out worldwide, worth about 40 percent of the
market, through 2015.
On the international market for main battle tanks, the days
of U.S. and European domination over new production appear to be long gone.
Nevertheless, the international market for main battle tanks remains a vibrant,
dynamic environment. According to Lockwood, “As threat scenarios and force
structures continue to evolve, the main battle tank rolls on as a significant
force multiplier and the quintessential symbol of modern mobile warfare.”
Forecast International, Inc., is a leading provider of
Market Intelligence and Analysis in the areas of aerospace, defense, power
systems and military electronics. Based in Newtown, Conn., USA, Forecast
International specializes in long-range industry forecasts and market
assessments utilized by strategic planners, marketing professionals, military
organizations, and governments worldwide. To arrange an interview with
Forecast International’s analysts, please contact Monty Nebinger (203-426-0800,