As 2021 winds down and we all begin anew in 2022, those in aerospace and defense industries need to know what’s currently happening and where we’re headed. Whether you are a supplier, worker, or consumer of companies in the aerospace and defense (A&D) industry in 2022, you’ll still be feeling the impacts of COVID-19 and its disruption to the global economy but are likely to catch up in the coming year.
Beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, a shortage of workers and transportation challenges must be overcome for the global aerospace sector to recover. There’s also a defense and aerospace industry trend to move forward with new technologies and all-metal filters to improve performance in hydraulic, oil, and fuel filtration systems. Fluid Conditioning Products is here to help give an industry outlook for the coming year and provide the best filtration products on the market.
After 2020 being the worst downturn in history for the aerospace industry due to the pandemic, global travel restrictions, and closed borders, 2021 began to see some rebounds. While it may take until 2024 to reach pre-pandemic levels, most suppliers expect to return to positive profits in 2022. For example, Raytheon Technologies posted higher sales and net income for Q3 of 2021. They attribute this success to a rebound in the aftermarket business for commercial aircraft and strong results in the defense industry.
However, they expect to make about $350 million less from defense spending this year, partially due to the United States military withdrawal from Afghanistan. The other reason for lost sales is supply chain and labor issues. These problems affect industry outlooks worldwide, resulting in long lead times for materials and specialty processes. For example, here at FCP, our lead times have moved from 60 to 90 days to about 120 to 150 days.
Research and practical experience have shown that fiberglass particles released from filters have detrimental effects on hydraulic systems and their components. Order amounts for all-metal filters have increased significantly at FCP but haven’t reached pre-pandemic levels yet. In 2022, we expect to see even more aerospace companies move away from fiberglass filter elements and towards all-metal parts for the aerospace and defense industry.
The aerospace industry’s trend to use all-metal filters will dramatically reduce maintenance and produce cost-savings opportunities. Plus, it will also be instrumental in the success of military capabilities in the future. The metal fiber filter media tested in US Army Blackhawks, other helicopters, and Boeing 737 jets led to a decrease in equipment failure rates by 88% and 92%! As more market research goes into all-metal filters, you can count on FCP to produce the best metal filters.
The aerospace industry outlook for 2022 is positive, growing off the success in the second half of 2021. The main challenges for commercial aerospace companies will be obtaining and keeping new employees and reducing material backlogs. These problems are significant issues in our global economy, troubling many equipment manufacturers, like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, with product delays.
There will be an increase in research and development within the aerospace and defense industry in 2022 to prepare for the next generation of technology. Some new technologies in the pipelines include General Dynamics’s Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS). This technology combines machine-learning software with smart jamming and defense weapons to provide early warning against drone threats.
A subsidiary of General Dynamic—Electric Boat—is also constructing a new submarine for the U.S. Navy in collaboration with Newport News Shipbuilding. Twelve Columbia-class missile submarines will be delivered from now until 2027 to replace the Navy’s Ohio-class submarines. These new submarines will carry 70% of the nation’s operational nuclear weapons.
There are many marine, aircraft, and drone technologies in the pipeline, and FCP will be there year after year to provide precision filtration products. The aerospace and defense industry outlook in 2022 is promising, and investors are confident that these sectors will rebound, likely in stages over the next three years. The most important aspects of recovery will be getting resources on-time, within budget, and of the highest quality.
When you partner with FCP for your filtration needs, you can count on us to produce all-metal filters that will reduce your downtime, decrease maintenance costs, and outperform fiberglass filters. Contact us today to see how we can help improve your filtration efficiency!