The Europe ammunition market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of more than 3% during the forecast period.
- As per the 2016 Global Strategy, Europe seeks to attain strategic autonomy by 2025. Thus, the European Union (EU) nations have undertaken a multifaceted modernization program to achieve a higher degree of military capability. This has resulted in the initiation of several procurement programs for advanced weaponry and compatible ammunition.
- However, the complexity of international security challenges has become more prominent, and the economic recession in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is envisioned to force governments to make difficult choices in their defense budgets that will greatly affect their near- and long-term military capabilities and procurement programs.
Key Market Trends
Military Segment to Dominate the Market During the Forecast Period
As per SIPRI, Europe's military spending in 2019 witnessed a 5% YoY growth to reach USD 356 billion and account for 19% of the global military spending. The subsequent increase in the procurement of ammunition by the armed forces to subdue the threats arising due to terrorism, territorial conflicts, and geopolitical tensions has triggered the requirement for sophisticated ammunition. The European countries are actively procuring artillery and mortar systems to safeguard their borders against illegal trespassing and several forms of trafficking, thereby, generating demand for ammunition. Companies are vying for long-term commitments from potential end-user countries. On this note, in July 2019, Rheinmetall AG signed a framework contract with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the supply of specific impact rounds, ammunition, and grenades, earmarked for EUR 100 million, during the upcoming period of five to seven years. The agreement establishes Rheinmetall AG as the default supplier for 25 infantry ammunition products. Also, in January 2020, the French MoD awarded a contract worth EUR 44 million to Glock for procuring 74,596 units of fifth-generation Glock 17 semi-automatic pistols. The contract also includes provisions for the supply of 51 million 9x19mm cartridges, including four million marker training rounds and two million subsonic rounds.
Russia to Generate the Highest Demand for Ammunition
The Russian leadership has developed a political-military strategy for the armed forces based on its security policy goals and threat perceptions. This strategy involves the military carrying out five key tasks: strategic deterrence; regional dominance within the non-Baltic former Soviet Union, expeditionary operations, preparedness in case of a major war, and domestic stability. The evolution of the battlefield environment has necessitated the subsequent upgrade and customization of armament. Thus, in May 2018, Russian manufacturer KBP Instrument Design Bureau showcased its latest generation of the 9K333 Verba man-portable surface-to-air missile system, which can effectively engage an approaching or receding aircraft, helicopter, cruise missile, or UAV. The new generation 9M336 missile is claimed to be twice as efficient as its predecessor beyond a range of 1.86 miles. The system can detect targets through various systems, including the tripod-mounted 1L122 lightweight surveillance radar or the 9S932-1 mobile radar system, generally mounted on the tracked Armored Command and Reconnaissance Vehicle of the Russian Army. Also, in April 2020, the Russian design bureau Military Industrial Company (MIC) initiated battlefield testing on the latest VPK-Ural armored vehicle, designed to transfer a maximum of 12 fully geared personnel safely on the battlefield. In the event of successful testing, MIC could be awarded a contract under the Russian military’s rearmament program to 2027. Russia is actively inducing the BMPT armored vehicle designed to carry a mix of missiles, light cannons, and machine guns that can engage a variety of targets, ranging from enemy tanks to ground troops.
The Europe ammunition market is consolidated as only selected vendors manufacture and supply weapons and ammunition in the region due to the high technological expertise required to produce military-grade weapons. Some of the prominent ammunition manufacturers in the region are BAE Systems plc, Rheinmetall AG, General Dynamics Corporation, Nexter Group, and Rostec State Corporation. Rheinmetall AG continues to expand its role as a major supplier of ammunition in the region. On this note, in June 2019, the last few days, the Dutch procurement authority Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) renewed a partnership agreement with Rheinmetall AG for the supply of ammunition till 2030. The need for high-precision, lightweight, and compact weapon systems has led innovators to invest considerable resources in the development of sophisticated weapon systems. The advent of smart ammunition has also radically disrupted the demand for traditional ammunition as more countries are focusing on inducting dual-use smart weaponry.
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