Air-to-air Refueling Market by Type (Manned and Unmanned), System (Probe & Drogue, Boom Refueling and Autonomous), Component (Pumps, Nozzles, Valves, Booms, Pods, Fuel Tanks and Others), and Aircraft Type (Fixed Wing, Fighter Aircraft, Tanker Aircraft, Military Transport, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Rotary Wing, Attack Helicopters, and Transport Helicopters): Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2020–2027

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Sep 2020 | 165 Views
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Air-to-air Refueling Market Outlook - 2027

Air-to-air refueling, also known as aerial refueling, is considered as a major air power force multiplier. It is an effective method for increasing the endurance, payload, and range of the aircraft by refueling the aircraft during flight. The aircraft that transfers the fuel is called the tanker whereas the aircraft that gets the fuel is called the receiver.  The two main refueling systems are probe-and-drogue, which can be easily adjustable & added into the existing aircraft fleet, and the flying boom, which offers faster fuel transfer. Refueling in the air rather than flying with less fuel is more energy efficient. It is estimated that air-to-air refueling saves 35 to 45% of fuel costs.


Market scope and structure analysis:

                 Report Metric


  Market size available for years


  Base year considered


  Forecast period


  Forecast units

  Value (USD)

  Segments covered

  Type, System, Component, Aircraft Type, and Region

  Regions covered

North America (the U.S. and Canada), Europe (Germany, the UK, France, and rest of Europe), Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, India, and rest of Asia Pacific), Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, and rest of LATAM) and The Middle East

  Companies covered

Cobham Limited, Eaton, Airbus S.A.S., PARKER HANNIFIN CORP, GE, Safran, Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, Draken International, BAE Systems, and Jeppesen.


COVID-19 Scenario analysis:

  • The production rate of industries across the globe has been hampered, owing to the declared lockdowns and government restrictions on public gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • There will be a considerable rise in demand for air-to-air refueling components as the governments are planning to resume the air travel soon.
  • Supply chain of spare parts such as hose protecting beads, pressure fueling nozzle, aircraft refueling nozzle body, and others is affected which is obstructing ongoing research and development in aviation industry.
  • Companies have decided to scale back its operations, which includes cutting flights and removing less economical aircraft. For instance, Qatar Airways grounded all its ten A380 aircraft until 31 of May 2020, as a precautionary measure of COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Moreover, Emirates also halted most of its passenger operation as a result of the pandemic. Now, airlines and airport managing companies are seeking bailout packages from the government. For instance, airport managing companies in Europe are expected to incur a loss of $15.4 billion due to the pandemic.

Top impacting factors:  market scenario analysis, trends, drivers, and impact analysis

Increase in defense budget of the countries, emergence of multirole aircraft tankers, and need for air-to-air refueling to support overseas deployment are some of the factors that drive the market growth. However, high cost for installation may hinder the market growth. On the contrary, emergence of advance technologies such as smart drogue system is anticipated to provide lucrative growth opportunities for the market.
Increase in defense budget

Rise in defense budget has resulted in substantial demand for tanker aircrafts, especially in developing countries, further impacting the industry positively. In 2018-2019, the defense budget of India was around USD 57 billion, which was 5.66% higher from the previous year. Similarly, China’ defense budget rose by 8.1% in 2018 to USD 175 billion. High acceptance from military sector coupled with increasing defense budgets of various countries across the globe primarily drive the industry growth.

Emergence of multi-role aircraft tankers

Demand for special purpose military jets has witnessed a considerable rise over the past few years. Moreover, emergence of multi-role aircraft tankers and their extensive usage, owing to the benefits such as less fuel consumption is expected to boost the growth of the air-to-air refueling market.

Key segments covered:




  • Manned
  • Unmanned


  • Probe & Drogue
  • Boom Refueling
  • Autonomous


  • Pumps
  • Nozzles
  • Valves
  • Booms
  • Pods
  • Fuel Tanks
  • Others
 Aircraft Type
  • Fixed Wing
  • Fighter Aircraft
  • Tanker Aircraft
  • Military Transport
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
  • Rotary Wing
  • Attack Helicopters
  • Transport Helicopters


Key benefits of the report:

  • This study presents the analytical depiction of the global air-to-air refueling industry along with the current trends and future estimations to determine the imminent investment pockets.
  • The report presents information related to key drivers, restraints, and opportunities along with detailed analysis of the global air-to-air refueling market share.
  • The current market is quantitatively analyzed from 2020 to 2027 to highlight the global air-to-air refueling market growth scenario.
  • Porter’s five forces analysis illustrates the potency of buyers & suppliers in the market. 
  • The report provides a detailed weapon mount market analysis based on competitive intensity and how the competition will take shape in the coming years. 

Questions answered in the global air-to-air refueling market research report:

  • Which are the leading market players active in the air-to-air refueling market?
  • What the current trends that will influence the market in the next few years?
  • What are the driving factors, restraints, and opportunities in the market?
  • What are the projections for the future that would help in taking further strategic steps?
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