The Asia-Pacific armored fighting vehicles market is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 3.5% during the forecast period (2020 - 2025).
- The existent geopolitical rift, coupled with the increased threat of terrorism and cross-border infiltration, has driven the demand for the armored fighting vehicles in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Several countries in the region have initiated fleet modernization plans. Hence, several contracts are underway to replace the aging fleet of armored vehicles with newer generation vehicles in the upcoming period, thereby driving the growth of the market.
Key Market Trends
Development of Unmanned Armored Vehicles
The defense and security challenges faced by countries in the Asia-Pacific region over the past decade have resulted in governments taking substantive steps to augment military ground capabilities to defend their territorial integrity. Several countries in the Asia-Pacific region are exploring the use of optionally manned and autonomous land combat vehicles. For the past two decades, Singapore has been pursuing unmanned armored vehicle development through Project Diana, followed by the DSTA-led Project Ulysses. In 2019, the Land Systems division of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd. (ST Engineering) unveiled an unmanned ground combat vehicle development based on its 29-tonne tracked Next-Generation Armored Fighting Vehicle (NGAFV) platform. Likewise, India is also investing in Artificial Intelligence for unmanned tanks to prepare its armed forces for next-generation warfare. India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has already developed an unmanned armored vehicle called the Muntra, an abbreviation for the "Mission Unmanned Tracked". The new vehicle is based on the Soviet BMP-2 APC. It is currently available in three variants: Muntra-M for mine clearing, Muntra-S for surveillance, and Muntra-N operating in nuclear or chemical contaminated zones. China has also developed different models of unmanned armored vehicles and is investing billions of dollars in the advancement of AI technology. Other countries that have shown interest in the procurement of unmanned armored vehicles are Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and Australia.
India is Expected to Generate High Demand During the Forecast Period
Several instances of cross-border terrorism and illegal incursions have necessitated the investment of financial and technical resources to procure or develop advanced armored vehicles. India is among the top defense spending countries in the world, and its defense spending reached USD 66.58 billion in 2018. In April 2019, the Indian government approved the procurement of 464 upgraded T-90 Bhishma MBT at the cost of approximately USD 2 billion, as part of the ground forces modernization program scheduled between 2022-2026. The Cabinet Committee on Security cleared the license acquisition from Russia, and the production responsibility was awarded to Avadi Heavy Vehicle Factory (HVF) in Tamil Nadu (India), which is under the Ordnance Factory Board, primarily to meet the needs of the Indian Army. India also plans to replace its aging T-72 tanks with new generation tanks under the Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRAV) program. It is expected to induct about 1,700 units of these new tanks over the next decade.
Moreover, the Indian government is also trying to enhance the country’s armored vehicle manufacturing capabilities by drafting regulations favoring the local market players. In January 2019, India’s multinational company, Larsen & Toubro, established the country’s first private-sector armored systems complex (ASC) facility in Gujarat, India. The new facility is L&T Defence’s tenth manufacturing unit, and the seventh new complex opened for defense production. The new facility would be utilized for integration activities on infantry combat vehicles, self-propelled artillery howitzers, MBTs, and future-ready combat vehicles. India is also planning to procure mine-protected vehicles for troop movements, especially in radicalism afflicted areas, such as Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Such inductions would drive the Indian segment of the market in focus during the forecast period.
The armored fighting vehicles market in Asia-Pacific is fragmented, with several global and local defense firms competing based on product innovation and cost. Due to the high demand anticipated from the Asia-Pacific region, several European and American companies are collaborating with local firms to receive new contracts. Smaller firms are also partnering with leading OEMs of armored vehicles for the development of new vehicles. Such partnerships enhance the supply chain as well as improves the technical know-how. In October 2018, Rheinmetall Defense Australia partnered with Melbourne-based Supacat for the design and manufacture of systems for the army’s new Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle (CRV) fleet.
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