In November of 2011, we posted an article titled “All Armored Up with Nowhere to Go” that postulated that the procurement of armored vehicles in Europe was going to slow appreciably in the next decade. A year later, and having just completed a refresh of the international data, we can better assess whether our projection was accurate. A quick note before we get started, at the time I put together last year’s piece the 050 dataset included the following countries:
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
The data has been expanded and now includes:
Another indication that this will likely not be a high growth market is evident in ground vehicle retirementsWith that bit of housekeeping out of the way, we can look at what we thought going into last winter and how things appear now. Last year we had spending on ground vehicles peaking in 2010, followed by a steady decline and a slight increase in 2015-2016. Our updated dataset has spending looking a bit different:
Spending now increases through 2011 before declining slightly and then rebounding through 2016 before again declining in 2017. However, there is clearly downside risk to those increases, driven largely by projected British ground vehicle procurement and the assumption that austerity measures will wind down. Should additional cuts be necessary, it is likely that program could be pushed further into the future.
Another indication that this will likely not be a high growth market is evident in ground vehicle retirements adopted as part of austerity measures. The Netherlands has retired its entire fleet of tanks and is reducing its fleet of PzH-2000 mobile artillery units. Germany has moved more of its Leopards into storage and is reducing its projected acquisition of Puma infantry fighting vehicles. While there are exceptions (Italy continues to prioritize its C-IED armored vehicle application), the overall trend is away from heavy armored vehicles and towards mobility and rapid deployment. While this will present opportunities for lighter and more versatile vehicles in the future, the European market for the moment looks relatively bleak.