Status : Published Published On : Mar, 2024 Report Code : Industry : Aerospace and Defense Available Format : Page : 189

Global Air-to-Air Refueling Market – Analysis and Forecast (2025-2030)

Industry Insight By Type (Manned Aircraft and Unmanned Aircraft), By Systems (Autonomous, Boom Refueling, Probe and Drogue, Buddy and Multi-Point), By Component (Boom, Fuel Tanks, Hoses, Nozzles, Pods, Probes, Pumps and Valves), By Aircraft Type (Fixed Wing and Rotary Wing), By End-user Type (OEM and Aftermarket) and By Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, Middle East And Africa)

Industry Overview

The Global Air-to-Air Refueling Market is projected to grow from USD 0.649 billion in 2023 to USD 0.813 billion in 2030 at a CAGR of 4.83% during the forecast period from 2025 to 2030.

Air-to-Air Refueling Market

The method by which one aircraft transfers fuel to another during flight is known as air-to-air refueling (AAR). Air-to-air refueling (AAR), improves economic efficiency of air transport services by using regional aircraft technology. The range of receiving aircraft is increased. This ability is crucial for military operations, which enables fighter jets and other combat aircraft to remain in operation without landing, by maintaining a persistent presence in conflict zones. Manned and unmanned combat operations benefit from extended mission times without the need to return to base. Restraints limiting their adoption encompass the high costs of tanker aircraft and refueling systems, technical challenges related to mid-air refueling procedures, and the diplomatic complexities of setting up air refueling agreements between different countries. Military collaborations, internationally provide opportunities for joint operations, increasing demand for cross-compatible refueling systems.

Market Segmentation

Insight by Type

On the basis of type, the Air-to-Air Refueling Market is bifurcated into manned and unmanned aircraft. The manned aircraft segment is anticipated to develop significantly during the forecast period. In manned aircraft, there is no risk of loss of life as it has the policy restrictions compared to rotary type.

Insight by Systems

Based on systems, the Air-to-Air Refueling Market is segmented into autonomous, boom refueling, probe & drogue, buddy and multi-point. Boom refueling segment is anticipated to lead the market share as most of the current generation tanker aircraft use this system to transfer the fuel to receiver aircraft.

Insight by Component

The Air-to-Air Refueling Market is segregated into boom, fuel tanks, hoses, nozzles, pods, probes, pumps and valves based on the component type. Fuel tank segment is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period as they are designed to supply fuel to the receiver aircraft platforms by several countries including US, UK ad France.

Insight by Aircraft Type

On the basis of aircraft type, Air-to-Air Refueling Market is bifurcated into fixed wing and rotary wing. The fixed wing shall dominate the market as they are capable of traveling thousands of miles at very high altitudes.

Insight by End-user

By type of end-user, the Air-to-Air Refueling Market is classified into OEM and aftermarket. The OEM segment is projected to dominate the market due to the availability of the new models of military aircraft with air-to-air capability as a standard fitment.

Global Air-to-Air Refueling Market Report Coverage

Report Metric


Historical Period

2018 - 2023

Base Year Considered


Forecast Period

2025 - 2030

Market Size in 2023

U.S.D.  0.649 Billion

Revenue Forecast in 2030

U.S.D.  0.813 Billion

Growth Rate


Segments Covered in the Report

By Type, By Systems, By Component, By Aircraft Type and By End-User

Report Scope

Market Trends, Drivers, and Restraints; Revenue Estimation and Forecast; Segmentation Analysis; Impact of COVID-19; Companies’ Strategic Developments; Market Share Analysis of Key Players; Company Profiling

Regions Covered in the Report

North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East And Africa

Industry Dynamics

Growth Drivers

To support overseas deployments, there is growth in the demand for air-to-air refueling systems which plays a major role in the growth of this market.  Development of autonomous refueling systems also helps in the growth of this market. The growth drivers include advancements in military strategies emphasizing extended-range missions, the need for global power projection by nations and the increasing number of military aircraft. Furthermore, international security concerns dictate prolonged air presence, which can be assisted through AAR, boosting its importance.


Specialized pilot training is necessary for air-to-air refueling procedure which is restricting the market from growing. Also the inherent risk of mid-air collisions during AAR marks the limitations for the growth of air-to-air refueling market. Large tanker aircraft that serves as the source, can be easily targeted by ground-based air defense systems which endangers the security system of a country. Tanker aircraft is heavy and slow moving compared to the recipient aircraft, which may give the enemy a chance to fire during an air-to-air refueling process.

Geographic Overview

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific (APAC)
  • Latin America
  • Middle East and Africa

North America dominates the Air-to-Air refueling market. The North American military aviation sector is growing at a slower pace, resulting in a significant need for air-to-air filling programs. The major factors boosting the market in North America are the presence of major players, OEMs, and component manufacturers, the growing number of military aircraft development programs, the ongoing research and development of improved military airports, and the availability of large-scale systems and component manufacturers in the region.

Key Players Covered in the Report

Some of the prominent players in this market include Airbus SE, BAE Systems PLC, DESMI A/S, Eaton Corporation PLC, Elbit Systems Ltd., Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd., Lockheed Martin Corporation, Marshall of Cambridge (Holdings) Limited, Northstar, Omega Air Refueling Services, Inc., Parker-Hannifin Corporation, Rafaut Group, Safran Group, The Boeing Company, University Technologies, Raytheon Technologies Corporation.

Recent developments by Key Players

Airbus SE and the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) have recently tested an automatic air-to-air refueling technology using the A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) and Singapore’s F-15 fighter jets. Over the course of three weeks in August, an RSAF A330 MRTT made more than 500 automated wet and dry contacts with the air force’s full fleet of receiver aircraft. The RSAF used the aircraft receivers for data collection to complete the development and enable night capabilities with the automated system. 

Boeing selected BAE Systems to upgrade and modernise the vehicle management system computer (VMSC) for the US Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray uncrewed aerial refueling system. The technology refresh will increase computing power and address obsolescence issues providing the uncrewed tanker with an integrated solution that can improve aircraft performance and allow for future capability growth.

The global Air-to-Air Refueling Market report offers a comprehensive market segmentation analysis along with the estimation for the forecast period 2025–2030.

Segments Covered in the Report

  • By Type
    • Manned
    • Unmanned
  • By Systems
    • Autonomous
    • Boom refueling
    • Probe & Drogue
    • Buddy
    • Multi-point
  • By Component
    • Boom
    • Fuel
    • Tanks
    • Hoses
    • Nozzels
    • Pods
    • Probes
    • Pumps
    • Valves
  • By Aircraft type
    • Fixed wing
    • Rotary wing
  • By End-user
    • OEM
    • Aftermarket

Region Covered in the Report

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
    • Mexico
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • U.K.
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Russia
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia-Pacific (APAC)
    • China
    • Japan
    • South Korea
    • India
    • Australia
    • Rest of APAC
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Argentina
    • Rest of South America
  • Middle East and Africa
    • Turkey
    • UAE
    • Saudi Arabia
    • South Africa
    • Rest of MEA



Air-To-Air Refueling Market Size and Market Analysis

Frequently Asked Questions

Prominent players in the market include Airbus SE, BAE Systems PLC, Lockheed Martin Corporation, The Boeing Company, and other leading companies involved in the development and manufacturing of air-to-air refueling systems.
North America dominates the market due to the presence of major players, OEMs, and component manufacturers, ongoing military aircraft development programs, and research and development initiatives in the region.
The market is segmented into fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft types, with fixed wing aircraft dominating the market due to their capability to travel long distances at high altitudes.
Restraints include the high costs of tanker aircraft and refueling systems, technical challenges related to mid-air refueling procedures, specialized pilot training requirements, and the risk of mid-air collisions during AAR.
The growth drivers include advancements in military strategies emphasizing extended-range missions, the need for global power projection, increasing number of military aircraft, and international security concerns dictating prolonged air presence.

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Research Methodology

  •  Desk Research / Pilot Interviews
  •  Build Market Size Model
  •  Research and Analysis
  •  Final Deliverabvle