July 23, 2012

China’s Type 90 a stalking tiger on world light tracked vehicle market

In its annual analysis “The Market for Light Tracked Vehicles,” the Forecast International Weapons Group reports that it expects the market to produce nearly 9,300 units, worth more than $19.7 billion, through 2021. The international market for light tracked vehicles remains a highly competitive and dynamic environment.

Dean Lockwood, weapons systems analyst at Forecast International, notes that in terms of sheer numbers, China’s Type 90 armored personnel carrier and Type 90 mechanized infantry combat vehicle represent the most significant light tracked vehicle production run of the forecast period.

As the People’s Liberation Army standardizes its mechanized forces around the Type 90 APCand MICV, Forecast International expects that combined production of these two vehicles will account for about 41 percent of all new light tracked vehicle production worldwide, worth some 9 percent of the market, through 2021.

Meanwhile, new production of the top high-end vehicle – the Igel/Puma – will account for only 10.9 percent of all production through the forecast period.

Yet, Lockwood states, “We estimate this program will own 59.5 percent of the total value of the light tracked vehicle market through 2021.” Lockwood adds, “For most nations, the expense associated with the modernization and retrofit of high-end light tracked vehicles pales in comparison with the prospect of new procurement.”

The ongoing U.S. Army investment in the maintenance and upgrade of the existing Bradley fleet through fiscal year 2017 is now equivalent to only 5 percent of the value of all new-production light tracked vehicles scheduled to roll out worldwide through 2021. “While transparent to this market analysis, maintenance of the existing Bradley Fighting Vehicle fleet in U.S. Army service is still effectively the sixth most valuable light tracked vehicle program on the international market,” Lockwood said.

Although the light tracked vehicles in service today are all products of the Cold War, Lockwood says that they are far from relics destined for the scrap heap.

“Since the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) executed its ‘Thunder Run’ to Baghdad in 2003, the light tracked vehicle has soldiered on as a significant force multiplier on the modern asymmetric battlefield,” he said.

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