The naval smart weapons market is projected to record a CAGR of more than 4% during the forecast period.
- The growing demand for sea-based warfare, along with the increasing fleets of naval vessels of countries around the world, is propelling the procurement of sea-based smart weapons.
- The market is primarily driven by the growing demand for precision strikes, to hit the target with high accuracy.
- However, smart weapons require high capital investment and with the rapid pace of innovations in different parts of the world, technologies are also becoming obsolete at a very rapid pace. This market also faces tight government norms regarding the sharing of technology with other countries.
Key Market Trends
Laser Guidance Segment Holds the Highest Share in the Market
Based on the technology, the laser guidance segment currently accounts for the highest market share, and it is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period. The laser guidance systems are integrated into missiles, rockets, and other weapons, to hit the aim with more accuracy. The rising demand to decrease the number of friendly fatalities and damages to assets, even from a distance of 8-12 km, is propelling the use of the laser guidance technology in various missile programs. For instance, in December 2019, BAE Systems was awarded a USD 2.68 billion contract to deliver additional Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided rockets to the US Navy. With the advancement in technology, these laser-guided weapons are able to find their way in even bad weather conditions. Other than missiles, laser guidance is currently being integrated into ammunitions to preciously kill the intended targets with high accuracy. For instance, in early 2020, the US Navy successfully completed the test of Excalibur S precision-guided munition, developed by Raytheon, to engage mobile land and maritime targets. The munition uses GPS technology and incorporates a semi-active laser seeker to precisely hit the target. This munition is compatible to be launched through various land and sea platforms. Such developments are expected to further propel the demand for laser guidance weapons in the coming years.
North America Held the Highest Market Share in 2019
In terms of geography, North America currently holds a major market share. The United States accounts for the largest share in North America, owing to factors, such as high spending by the government on the modernization of military equipment, R&D by major players to enhance the military power, and the increasing procurements of naval vessels, like frigates, destroyers, and aircraft carriers, among others. For instance, in May 2019, Boeing was awarded a USD 139.8 million modification contract to manufacture and supply the US Navy with 12,000 additional precision laser guidance sets for Joint Direct Attack Munition. The contract was scheduled to be completed by April 2020. Also, in March 2020, Lockheed Martin successfully completed a Critical Design Review (CDR) for the High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance (HELIOS) system onboard Arleigh Burke destroyer. Moreover, the presence of several smart weapons manufacturers and increasing government investments are accelerating the development of new and enhanced weapons.
The naval smart weapons market is fragmented, with several players accounting for significant amounts of shares in the market. Some of the prominent companies in the market are BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and General Dynamics. Several companies have formed long-term partnerships with the armed forces to upgrade and enhance battlefield capabilities. Also, companies are investing heavily in the research and development for the innovation of new and advanced products and technologies that may help develop tactical advantages over the rivals. For instance, the US Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a contract worth USD 175 million in mid-2019 for updating components of the Long-range Anti-ship Missile System. The system involves a long-range, precision-guided anti-ship missile, which includes multimodal sensor suite, weapon data link, and enhanced digital anti-jam GPS to detect and destroy specific targets among numerous ships at sea. The contract is expected to come to an end by the end of 2022. The modernization of navigation kits and aids to upgrade the existing missiles is anticipated to support the growth of companies.
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