The air-based military electro-optical and infrared systems market is expected to exhibit a growth rate of over 3% during the forecast period.
- Increasing defense expenditures of various nations are fuelling the procurement of military aircraft and guided munitions, which, in turn, is generating demand for various EO/IR sensors onboard those aerial platforms.
- The rise in terrorism, border tensions, and the growth of insurgent groups across the world is increasing the emphasis on inculcating systems these EO/IR sensors on various aerial platforms that aid in obtaining better airborne situational awareness.
- The development of newer generation aerial platforms is fuelling the need for new and advanced sensor systems that have better functionality in harsh environments. This factor is currently driving the market growth.
Key Market Trends
Global Expansion of Military Air Fleet Is Driving The Growth of Market
The need for advanced airborne electro-optics and infrared systems is more than ever before owing to the rise in conflicts, terrorism, border clashes, etc. The governments across the world are investing heavily in the procurement and development of advanced aircraft to address the surveillance, reconnaissance, and airborne early warning need of their airborne forces. Germany, Spain, and France are developing Future Combat Air System (FCAS) stealth fighter aircraft to replace their fleet of Eurofighter Typhoons in the future. United Kingdom’s Tempest autonomous stealth fighter program is expected to enter the service by 2035 and it will replace the fleet of Typhoon aircraft. Thus, as many aircraft are being developed, and also upgraded by the countries across the world, there is also an increasing need to equip those aircraft with the latest EO/IR sensors. On this note, companies are developing advanced EO/IR sensors to meet the needs of the militaries. For instance, in February 2020, United States Air force, Lockheed Martin and Collins Aerospace completed the development and flight testing of Senior Year Electro-Optical Reconnaissance System Sensor (SYERS-2C) for U2 Dragon Lady aircraft. Such developments are propelling market growth across the world.
Asia-Pacific to Exhibit the Highest Growth Rate During the Forecast Period
Asia-Pacific is marked by the presence of countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, India, etc. that has some of the largest defense budgets in the world. China and India are significantly increasing their defense spending on the development, up-gradation, and modernization of their aircraft fleet. The military stand-offs between neighboring nations, tensions at the South China sea, and the growing nuclear threats in the region have led to the increasing procurement of aerial systems by several countries in Asia-Pacific. In June 2020, after the border stand-off with China, India decided to buy 21 Mig-29 and 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft from Russia at an estimated cost of nearly USD 800 million to enhance its air patrolling capabilities at its international borders. In addition, these countries are also investing in the development of missiles and other smart munitions, which also require advanced EO/IR systems for effective functioning. For instance, in May 2020, China’s AVIC successfully completed the prototype testing for its AV500 VTOL Unmanned Aerial Vehicle equipped with advanced Electro-optical Infrared sensor system equipped turret. Such developments are propelling the growth of air-based military electro-optical and infrared systems market in the Asia-Pacific region.
Northrop Grumman Corporation, Leonardo SpA, Thales Group, FLIR Systems, Raytheon Technologies Corporation, are some of the prominent players in the market. Players in the market are heavily investing in R&D to develop advanced products that offer better situational awareness. Developing advanced products can help the players in winning upgrade, retrofitting, and line fitting contracts from the governments and defense agencies, thereby propelling their growth during the forecast period.
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