The military maintenance, repair and overhaul budget will remain relatively stable in 2012 and 2013, and will not be greatly affected by the US defence budget crisis, says Mike Hollins of ICF International, a company that makes annual forecasts of the military MRO market.
Despite a significant decrease in projected Department of Defense funding, MRO budgets will be largely unaffected as the military struggles to keep aging aircraft in the air. The overall military budget is set to decrease by roughly 1%, but overhaul and maintenance (O&M) budgets are set to increase by 5.9% overall.
The aircraft modification budget is set at $9 billion department-wide for FY2012. FY2013 will see that budget cut by 10%. The largest consumer of said funding is the US air force, which will see its most expensive programme, the C-5M, reduced drastically. The navy is the only service that will see its modification budget rise as modifications of the Boeing F/A-18 centre-barrel replacement gets underway.
Of the FY2013 O&M budget, roughly 8% is consumed by depot maintenance, or heavy maintenance. Some aircraft systems, notably the B-1, B-2 and F-22 systems, will have their depot budgets increased slightly.
The North American market accounted for 49% of global military MRO spending in calendar 2011, with $66 billion spent, of which the US was far and away the dominant customer. In 2012 the budget appears set to decrease to around $62 billion.
"We're projecting essentially zero growth for military MRO over the next decade," says Hollins.