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Contact: Dean Lockwood, Weapons Systems Analyst

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Forecast International, Inc.

22 Commerce Rd. Newtown, CT  06470 USA



World Market for Tanks Remains Split:

High-End Technology vs. Low-End Production


NEWTOWN, Conn. (March 14, 2005) ― Despite a glut of available tanks, the international main battle tank market remains a highly competitive and dynamic environment, populated by the established market powerhouses and an influx of energetic new players.  In its annual analysis “The World Market for Tanks,” the Forecast International Weapons Group projects the market will produce over 8,100 main battle tanks, worth in excess of $33 billion, through 2014.


The international main battle tank market continues its stratification into two basic tiers. The upper tier consists of the state-of-the-art designs with correspondingly high price tags. The lower tier features cheaper, more widely available tanks – mostly designs of the former Soviet Union. For most nations, including the United States, the expense associated with the modernization and retrofit of high-end main battle tanks pales in comparison with the prospect of new tank procurement. Thus, new production of high-end tanks – notably the AMX Leclerc, Ariete 2, Challenger 2, Karan, Leopard 2, M1A1 Abrams, Merkava Mark 4, and Japan’s Type 90 – will account for only about 14 percent of all production, worth less than 20 percent of the market, through the forecast period.


Dean Lockwood, a weapons systems analyst at Forecast International, notes that in terms of sheer numbers, Pakistan’s Al-Khalid, the Type 98 of the People’s Republic of China, and the Russian Federation’s T-90 represent the most significant new-production main battle tanks on the international market. Said Lockwood, “We expect production of these three tanks to account for nearly 43 percent of all new tanks rolling out worldwide, worth nearly 38 percent of the market in value, through 2014.”


In terms of new production, the days of U.S. and European domination over the international main battle tank market appear to be long gone. Nevertheless, the established U.S. and European players continue to make their presence felt. The Rheinmetall 120mm Rh 120 smoothbore ordnance is fast becoming the international main armament of choice. The state-of-the-art Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Leopard 2, as well as the combat-proven BAE Systems Challenger 2 and General Dynamics M1A1/A2 Abrams, continues to set the international standard for main battle tank design. Indeed, during Operation Desert Storm (1991) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-present), U.S. and British armored forces clearly demonstrated to the world the unique combat capabilities of main battle tanks on the modern asymmetrical battlefield.


“Despite the wide variety of tanks available today on the international market, the fact remains that only the United Kingdom and the United States offer modern main battle tanks with proven combat records,” Lockwood said.  Although more advanced designs are available, the FV4034 Challenger, Challenger 2, M60, and M1A1/A2 Abrams can all boast of passing the ultimate test of combat. 


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, CT, 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),

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