Key military vehicle MRO trends as demand continues to surge

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Attributed to: Saif Al Dahbashi, CEO, AL TAIF

As armed forces around the world strive to do more without increasing costs, one critical area for improving performance is maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of all military vehicles. Propelled by the demand for militaries to address the growth in asymmetric warfare and insurgency across the globe, military MRO companies are duly tasked with covering all actions that keep an entire fleet in optimal working condition.

The appeal for maintenance services is primarily driven by aging military equipment worldwide, technological innovations in the industry, global security threats, territorial disputes and modernisation initiatives undertaken by armed forces across the world. As this demand increases, the military MRO sector must tap into key trends to optimise organisation and processes.

The armoured vehicles MRO market is projected to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.32% to grow to US$9.005 billion by 2027, from US$5.864 billion in 2020, according to a report conducted by Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence. With an increase in demand and notable growth in the military and defence industry, market leaders are investing extensively in upgrading and procuring new armoured vehicles to leverage innovative and more secure solutions and technologies, providing new growth opportunities for the market.

Digital transformation is reshaping the sector and has helped the industry survive and thrive in this fast-changing and competitive market. Robotics is one of the fastest-growing MRO technologies and has enormous future potential. As skilled labour is in short supply, robotics is leveraged to inspect components that cannot be accessed by humans easily.

In addition, advanced technologies such as data analytics, AI, and machine learning are creating valuable insights into the industry. With optimum availability of data from sensors and data routers, the MRO industry sits on the massive potential of improving processes. Thus, there is huge demand to leverage this data for useful insights into both preventative and corrective maintenance.

As the industry is developing new and innovative ways to approach the readiness challenge, one key area is using virtual reality to give technicians a simulated x-ray vision for maintenance and repair work. These systems work by overlaying computer graphics and diagrams over the wearer’s natural field of vision to show what components need attention, how they can be accessed and fitted. Virtual and augmented reality technologies can further improve field service efficiency and dramatically reduce labour costs.

The overarching goal of fleet operators is to maximise asset availability at minimum cost. Military MRO providers must run stringent maintenance processes in a precise, cost-effective and timely manner. Keeping pace with military vehicle maintenance is a challenging task. With the increasing demand to extend the lifecycle of equipment, MRO providers must develop stringent procedures and leverage advanced technologies to meet the operational requirements of their customers and maintain market position in this fast-moving sector.

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