The aerial smart weapons market is expected to register a CAGR of over 4% during the forecast period.
- The changing nature of aerial warfare and the growth in defense spending towards developing and procuring advanced weapon systems for military aircraft is expected to propel the market for aerial smart weapons during the forecast period.
- Technological advancements, in terms of miniaturization of electronics, material technologies, propulsion, and guidance systems are expected to propel the growth of the aerial smart weapon systems market during the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Growing Focus on the Indigenous Development of Aerial Smart Weapons
Due to the increasing emphasis on reducing the dependency on imports of weapon systems, several nations are focusing on the development of indigenous weapon systems, which is fueling the market growth. This emphasis is further bolstered by the existing compatibility limitations of indigenous air defense systems with ammunition and armament designed by foreign manufacturers. Due to such factors, several nations are focusing on developing their own smart weapons that can be fired from various platforms including military aircraft. For instance, India's Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is currently developing the Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW), which is a long-range precision-guided anti-airfield weapon. It is designed to be capable of engaging ground targets with high precision up to a range of 100 km. The air-launched lightweight high-precision guided glide bomb is India's first fully indigenous smart weapon, which is being designed and developed wholly by DRDO. Similarly, several countries, including the US, Israel, Russia, China, Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, France, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, among others, are also developing and deploying their own smart weapons that can be launched from aerial platforms. It is also reported that the US is transferring critical technologies to countries like Saudi Arabia to help them build their own aerial smart weapons. Such developments are expected to help the indigenous development of smart weapons, thereby propelling the growth of the market during the forecast period.
North America Projected to Dominate the Market During the Forecast Period:
North America is the largest market for Aerial smart weapons in 2019. The region is also expected to grow with the highest CAGR during the forecast period, due to large-scale developments in the market by the United States. The US has the highest military spending in the world with a spending of USD 732 billion in 2019 according to SIPRI. The US alone accounted for 38% of the total global defense spending in 2019. The country is divesting huge amounts for the development and induction of advanced smart weapon systems ranging from smart bullets to nuclear-capable hypersonic guided weapons. The country has several aerial smart weapon development programs underway, which is expected to drive the market in the country in the years to come. For instance, in March 2020, the US announced that it has successfully tested its Common-Hypersonic Glide Body, or C-HGB, which is a guided hypersonic weapon. The country aims to induct the weapon into its arsenal by 2023. Such developments are expected to bolster the market prospects in the region during the forecast period.
Some of the prominent players in the market are BAE Systems plc, Raytheon Technologies Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, General Dynamics Corporation, and Northrop Grumman Corporation. Due to the changing nature of aerial warfare, several nations are planning to develop and induct next-generation aerial smart weapons for their militaries. As the focus is increasing on developing indigenous smart weapons, local manufacturers can grab the opportunity to increase their market share through higher investments in R&D, which will help their growth during the forecast period. Players can also establish joint ventures and partnerships with other players to enable technology transfer which will facilitate innovations and aid the development of highly sophisticated aerial smart weapons during the forecast period.
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