Here is how modular aircraft could fit into future military trainer market

Aeralis modular aircraft market
Aeralis modular aircraft system.

While many air forces are looking to revamp their training aircraft fleet, industries are studying increasingly innovative platforms to pique the interest of potential buyers. The most uncommon project is undoubtedly the one offered by the British company Aeralis which is developing a modular aircraft capable of changing type following a rapid replacement of the wings, the engine and the rear. Following rapid transformations, it is able to cover the role of basic and advanced trainer, carry out red air missions or become an aerobatic jet.

Although initially the Aeralis proposal might seem unlikely, many are starting to believe in this project, primarily the Royal Air Force which has allocated funds for the development of the platform. The RAF was followed by the engine manufacturer Rolls Royce who recently signed a MoU with Aeralis to meet the propulsion requirement.

We do not exclude that this platform could revolutionize the trainer market if it proves effective in the field. The Aeralis aircraft would allow users to significantly reduce their fleets with significant savings in acquisition and management costs.

However, competitors won't just watch. Many of the platforms currently on the market are already being marketed as "all in one" solutions. Just to name a few, the Leonardo M-345, the Aero L-39NG and the Embraer Super Tucano are defined by their manufacturers as aircraft capable of covering the entire training process, from the basic to the advanced phase. In addition they can also carry out combat missions, satisfying the growing demand for Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).

Time could be Aeralis' main enemy as the development of a new aircraft takes many years and the trainer market will likely reach its peak within the next 5 years.

The modular jet could most likely succeed within the RAF as a replacement for the Hawk fleet. British defense has a vested interest in favoring domestic industry. This would already represent a good result for Aeralis as the UK could introduce up to 100 new trainers (including the requirement for Red Arrows).

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Image: Aeralis

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