The military helmet and helmet mounted display systems market is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 4% during the forecast period.
- The focus on soldier modernization is currently driving the market, as the militaries focus on replacing the existing soldier protection and situational awareness systems. In this regard, they are procuring newer helmet and helmet mounted displays that are lighter, stronger, and technologically advanced, for the military personnel.
- The increase in military spending is also supporting the helmet mounted display systems market growth since a significant amount of the spending is being invested in enhancing the safety and situational awareness of the troops.
Key Market Trends
Helmet-mounted Displays Segment Held the Largest Share in 2019
In segmentation by type, the helmet mounted displays (HMDs) segment held the largest share in 2019. Helmet mounted displays are used in aircraft to project information in front of the pilot’s eyes. For military aircraft pilots, decision-making in a split-second could be a matter of life or death. Hence, they require technologies like the helmet mounted displays for enhanced operational efficiency. In this regard, militaries are investing millions of dollars toward the procurement of sophisticated helmet mounted display systems for their pilots. For instance, in September 2019, Lockheed Martin Corporation won a USD 352.7 million modification to an existing contract to include the sale of Lot 12-14 Generation 3 helmet mounted displays for the F-35 Lightning II program. In addition to the aircraft pilot HMDs, militaries are trying to incorporate the HMD technologies even in the armored vehicles. As a part of the CARMEL Future Combat Vehicle project of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Elbit Systems is conducting the testing demonstrating series of its innovative Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) technologies. Regarding the same, the company is incorporating HMDs for the soldiers to operate the AFV under closed hatches. Such innovations enable newer applications of the HMDs, thereby propelling the growth of the segment in the years to come.
North America Dominated the Market in 2019
Currently, the market is being dominated by the North American region, primarily due to the demand from the United States. The United States has the largest military strength in terms of personnel and aircraft fleet. The country is also the global leader in defense spending and accounts for a significant chunk of the global defense expenditure. In recent years, the US military has increased its emphasis on the soldier protection systems and the replacement of the older soldier protective gear. In March 2019, US Army’s Soldiers started receiving the next-generation head protection system called the IHPS or the Integrated Head Protective System as a part of the upgraded Soldier Protection System. Following this, in early 2020, the US military announced that it will field a new combat helmet for the country’s armed forces. The new Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) Generation II uses ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene, that could reduce up to 22% or 12 ounces of tactical weight that the soldiers need to carry. On the other hand, the country is also procuring helmet mounted displays for its pilots. For instance, in March 2019, the US Army awarded a five-year Indefinite Delivery/ Indefinite Quantity contract to Elbit Systems of America, LLC, to provide a wide field of view Common Helmet Mounted Display (CHMD) system as a part of the US Army's Air Soldier System. The helmet mounted displays will be used by the flight crews of the US Army's CH-47F Chinook and the UH-60L/M/V Black Hawk helicopters for enhanced situational awareness and survivability. Such large-scale procurement of helmet and helmet mounted display systems by the country is expected to augment the market revenues from the region in the years to come.
Some of the major players in the military helmets and helmet mounted display system market are Collins Aerospace (United Technologies Corporation), Thales Group, Elbit Systems Ltd, 3M, and BAE Systems PLC, among others. The advancements in material technology have helped the helmet manufacturers to manufacture helmets that can protect the solider from traumatic and lethal brain injuries more effectively than ever before. Typically, soldiers wear helmets in the field anywhere from 12 to 18 hours and eventually feel fatigued and stressful. Companies are focusing on the development of helmets with lighter materials for the reduction of weight, thereby improving the ergonomics of the soldiers. At the same time, the focus is currently on enhancing the safety of the soldiers. For instance, in October 2019, Honeywell International Inc. announced the launch of Spectra Shield 6472 material, which, according to the company, is specially designed for use in military applications for manufacturing military helmets that are lighter in weight but at the same time offers enhanced protection against a wide range of threats. Such innovations can help players gain a higher market share in the future.
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