ONTO THE 2030 AIRLIFT MARKET: Expert insight from AJW

By: Defence IQ

Recent environmental disasters renewed the emphasis on the importance for nations to have an efficient and effective airlift capability. As procurement goes, the spotlight on cost-effective solutions remains and the integration of new technologies such as unmanned platforms will be key over the next few years. Defence IQ interviewed Guy van den Berg, Director of Contracted Services at AJW Group, on the drivers behind the evolution of the market and the resulting solutions emerging from it.

What do you foresee as being major developments in the military airlift community by 2030?

The introduction of some 800 new airlift aircraft over the next 10 years has been widely publicised but in the current geopolitical climate the strategic challenge will be affordability. Requirements will need to reviewed in order to re-balance military capability against given resources. Military planners will be forced to identify smarter, cheaper solutions, including emerging unmanned alternatives. In parallel, more cost effective support solutions need to be introduced to reduce operational costs while enhancing aircraft reliability and availability.

"Cost effective support solutions need to be introduced to reduce operational costs while enhancing aircraft reliability and availability"

What do you perceive as being the driving force behind these changes?

The Military Airlift community has to compete with broader Defence priorities especially on funding. Budgets are under increased pressure, hence the need to find new ways of working, new opportunities to deliver capability at reduced costs. The civil airline industry went through this 25 years ago with the introduction of low-cost airlines, which at the time created a paradigm shift in the market. After safety, the airline industry focus is on cost, forcing the supply chain to become more efficient and competitive.

How do you foresee your solution changing so they align to the militaries’ future requirements?

Our supply chain partnerships with OEMs in particular Boeing and Airbus and 3rd Party Vendors and suppliers give us unique experience managing consumable and expendable supply and stock management within a global network. AJW has a track record of embedding itself within customer’s maintenance, planning, inspection and quality organisations, ensuring that the variable customer demands are met quickly, effectively and at minimal cost. AJW works with our customers to reduce their cost of support, improve reliability and drive better business performance. In a number of our contracts, we have specific obligations to develop and deliver on a specified number of continuous improvement initiatives. Examples include the use of Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) product; value stream mapping exercises to improve and simplify processes; recalibration of network stock requirements; Predictive Maintenance, data analytics and 3D printing.

How will the Military Airlift forum enable you to showcase your solutions to the militaries? What do you hope to learn and achieve there?

AJW intends to provide an overview presentation of airline/aviation sector capabilities as we believe that the civilian supply chain offers Military Airlift community with a cost effective alternative to current arrangements.

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