The market for Remote Weapon Stations is projected to grow with a CAGR of 12.48% during the forecast period.
- The use of remote weapon stations has grown over the recent past, particularly driven by the growth in asymmetric warfare. Non-state actors have started employing the techniques and tactics of asymmetric warfare, and conventional forces require new capabilities to become successful in modern combat situations and post-conflict scenarios. In this regard, the use of remote weapon systems is becoming widespread in several anti-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations.
- There are several advancements in RWS and unmanned turrets in recent years, ranging from the protection of the systems, lethality to the support to larger calibres. Such developments are expected to help the growth in the procurement of new weapon systems and upgrades of the existing platforms in the years to come.
- Though RWS acts as a viable option for providing defensive firepower to the armed forces, there are certain installation and operational challenges that are influencing the global militaries to prefer manned turrets over the remote weapons. However, addressing some of these design issues aren’t expected to be a tedious task, especially with the amount of research that is being done in the RWS industry.
Key Market Trends
Land Segment is Projected to Grow with the Highest CAGR During the Forecast Period
As of 2019, the Airborne Segment has the largest share in the RWS Market. While many countries have dedicated attack helicopters that possess a wide range of armaments including the RWS, the Weapon Systems are also attached to utility and transport helicopters. Customization of aircraft to include the RWS as a retrofit, are being widely adopted by the countries that lack the funds for procuring dedicated attack helicopters, making the segment grab the highest market share currently. However, the Land segment is projected to grow with the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The land segment encompasses the RWS that is stationary and also mounted on land vehicles. The increase in attacks on the military bases and outposts in the recent past have increased the demand for Remotely Operated Stationary Weapon Stations for protecting the vulnerable areas. Stationary RWS, especially sentry guns, are also being used to guard the borders of some countries. In addition, the growth in the procurement of armored vehicles and unmanned ground vehicles has necessitated the demand for the RWS installed on these ground vehicles. With the increasing adoption of unmanned land vehicles, a high adoption of these systems is expected in the forecast period. All these factors are contributing to the growth of the Land segment currently.
North America Held the Highest Market Share in 2019
The United States and Canada are avid users of remote weapon systems in North America. They are currently focusing on upgrading their existing vehicle fleet and their corresponding capabilities. The US’ FY2020 defense budget prioritizes modernization of military systems to compete with China and Russia on the global front while emphasizing on day-to-day operations for ongoing conflicts, crisis response, and allied engagement. As per the provisions of the 2020 defense budget, the defense contractors are anticipated to pursue the production of existing remote weapon systems, while conducting extensive R&D for future systems. The need for upgrading the capabilities of the existing fleet to counter emerging threats has resulted in a flurry of contracts being awarded to cater to the diversified needs of the armed forces. For instance, in September 2019, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, a part of Kongsberg Gruppen ASA (KONGSBERG), was awarded a USD 48 million contract for manufacturing and supplying of remote weapon systems, under the US Army’s Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) program. Such procurement programs, along with other upgrade programs are anticipated to be initiated in the upcoming period and are envisioned to enhance the business prospects of the North American segment of the market in focus during the forecast period.
The remote weapon systems market is fragmented due to the presence of many global as well as regional defense manufacturers and suppliers that cater to the requirement of remote weapon systems of armed forces around the world. About 13 players in the market account for approximately 50% of the market share. Thales Group, BAE Systems plc, Rheinmetall AG, Leonardo SpA, and ASELSAN AS are the dominant players in the market. Some of the other prominent players in the local and regional markets are China Ordnance Industries Group Corporation Limited, Rostec State Corporation, L3Harris Technologies Inc., Israel Aerospace Industries, Patria, and KMW+Nexter Defense Systems, among others. With the growing demand for remote-control weapon systems, innovation of new systems with advanced sensor systems and optronic equipment in fire control systems to target, track and hit the target, is anticipated to increase, thereby helping the companies expand their geographical presence in the emerging markets. The collaboration of local players and global players to develop remote-control weapon stations for the respective militaries through technology transfer is anticipated to strengthen the capabilities of local players, and in the long term, support the local manufacturing industry of those regions.
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