The light weapons market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of more than 5% during the forecast period.
- The growing military budgets of the armed forces around the world are driving the procurements of portable weapons with high mobility for the soldiers on the battlefield. This is driving the growth of the light weapons market during the forecast period.
- The emerging potential of precision-guided weapons with an extended range is expected to propel the sales of light weapons in the coming years.
- The companies are investing in new technologies and developing new portable light weapon solutions with high lethality and range with the installation of fire control systems, laser rangefinders, aiming lasers, and night vision devices.
Key Market Trends
Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) Segment held the Highest Market Share in 2019
The man-portable air defense system (MANPADS) has the highest share in 2019 due to the high costs of MANPADs over other segments despite their lower number of deliveries during the same period. Modern MANPADS are equipped with ultraviolet sensors for radiation detection, infrared sensors for heat detection and smart control units. Some of the most widely used MANPADS are Stinger missile (United States), Strela (Russia), Igla (Russia), Qianwei (China, Pakistan), etc. With the increasing incidents of drone strikes and air space intrusions, forces around the world are seeking advanced MANPADS for air defense. This demand for advanced MANPADS will propel the market growth during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific Region is Anticipated to Grow with the Highest CAGR During the Forecast Period
Asia-Pacific houses some of the largest importers of arms such as India, Australia, China, South Korea, etc. China and India are two of the world’s largest defense spenders with USD 250 billion and USD 66.5 billion military spending in 2018, respectively. India is now preparing to produce anti-tank missiles domestically to replace its inventory of Milan and Konkurs missiles. In 2019, India and the United States agreed to co-develop rifles and machine guns with lightweight polymer cast material. Major Indian companies such as Mahindra and Reliance are entering into the defense sector. Also, the country acquired 210 Spike anti-tank missiles and 12 launchers for USD 39 million from Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defense Systems in 2019. Also, China is the fifth largest exporter of arms and ammunition. The countries weapons such as W-85 heavy machine guns are becoming a prominent option for many small nations to replace their aging weapon machinery. China’s MANPADS FN-6 comes in 5 variants for different uses and it is exported to 10 countries including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, Sudan, Qatar, etc. The growing geopolitical tensions and territorial issues are bolstering the growth of light weapons in the coming years.
The market of aircraft weapons is fragmented due to the presence of many manufacturers that offer heavy machine guns, grenades and grenade launchers, mortars, MANPATS, MANPADS, and other explosives. In addition to global manufactures, there are state-owned light weapon manufacturers that cater to the requirements of local law enforcement and military. Some of the prominent players in the aircraft weapons market are Saab AB, Thales Group, Raytheon Company, MBDA, and BAE Systems plc. With investments in research and development, the companies are expanding their portfolio with new product lines. For instance, in August 2019, Rheinmetall unveiled its new RSG60 60 mm mortar for infantry and special forces. These mortar systems are lightweight, quick to operate, and ergonomic. With such developments, the companies plan to expand their presence across the world.
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