Almost 3,000 fighters worth $136.1 billion at today's prices will be procured over the next 10 years, according to the latest world military aircraft forecast from US consultancy the Teal Group.

Teal's study, released at the show, reviews the market for Western- and Russian-built fighters with a maximum take-off weight of 9,050kg (20,000lb). Chinese types are not included.

In the period 2000-09, 2,932 combat aircraft will be built, says Teal. While the figures look impressive, they show a decline on the last 10 years in which 4,445 aircraft, worth over $152 billion (in 2000 dollars) were delivered.

Teal director-aviation, Richard Aboulafia, says: "Hopefully, procurement holidays have created a market trough. After several false starts, we expect the market to turn healthy again before the second half of our forecast period. The annual value of fighter production will double by 2005."

Unless it wins the South Korean F-X competition for up to 90 fighters, Teal predicts that Boeing will be the biggest loser by 2009 as closure of its AV-8B Harrier, F-15 Eagle and F/A-18C/D Hornet production lines will reduce its fighter market share from 40% last year to 16% in 2009.

Teal's figures assume limited Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) deliveries during the period of its study - Boeing is competing against Lockheed Martin for the programme.

A big winner could be the Saab/BAE Systems Gripen, if unit costs can be reduced to make the type popular with operators of the nearly 6,000 light combat aircraft in service.

All other fighter types available or likely to be available are heavier and more expensive than the Swedish design.

Deliveries of the Eurofighter to the four partner nations and probably Greece will double Europe's share of the fighter market during the period.

Teal is dismissive of Russian manufacturer's chances in the marketplace. With Russia likely to buy few fighters in the foreseeable future, China and India will be crucial customers for Moscow.

Source: Flight International