Cross-country analysis of the military aerospace industryConflicting interests between countries induce the development of more sophisticated aerospace technologies. For instance, unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called UAVs or drones, have become an indispensable weapon and are in great demand in many parts of the world. Yet, the manufacturing of military aerospace equipment or vehicle requires a consummate infrastructure of know-how, highly-skilled labor force, and intensive investment allocation. These requirements can not be met by all countries. In 2020, U.S., France and Germany were the leading aerospace exporters in terms of sales value. During that period, the U.S. and Russia were the leading countries with the largest share of the global active military aircraft fleet. As the economic capacities of countries slowly shift towards Asia, the region becomes stronger also in terms of military power. In 2020, U.S., China, India, Russia, and the UK were the leading five countries with the highest military expenditure. On a regional distribution, Asia-Pacific and North America held the largest global military aircraft fleet in 2020.
Fusing technology for armament purposesAircraft manufacturing is one of the heavily regulated industries because of the nature of the activities involved that makes safety for all parties a high standard. High regulations imply many necessary but convoluted standards to meet. Although this process slows down the technological progress in military equipment, it ensures reliable manufacturing of equipment to implement intended commands. Over the recent decade, the investment in military robotics, such as UAVs, grew continuously. This is expected to progress even further since military robots fulfil traditional tasks with no casualty.
Boeing, Airbus, Raytheon Technologies, and Lockheed Martin were the main aerospace and defense manufacturers worldwide in 2021. When we zoom into the details of military aircraft fleet, F-16 and Su-27/30 are the most deployed combat aircraft globally. F-16 aircraft are being produced by General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, and BAE Systems. On the other hand, Su-27/30 is being produced by Sukhoi, a Russian company with a history dating back to the Soviet Union. All of these firms and conglomerates invest profoundly to create new patents and innovations to sustain the market competitiveness. Yet, the R&D investment of Boeing, Airbus and Lockheed Martin companies fluctuated around the same values throughout the recent decade, indicating a non-increasing or steady level of investment allocation into corporate growth.