The X-band radar market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of more than 6% during the forecast period.
- Aviation is one of the major industries that extensively use X-band radars. X-band radars are deployed for a plethora of applications in the industry, including weather detection, bird activity detection, and anti-icing remote sensing. Growth in commercial air travel, advanced missile technology, and increasing adoption of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) continue to drive the demand for multi-functional airborne, ground, and naval X-band radar architectures.
- The stringent guidelines that need to be adhered to for obtaining operational certification as well as the high development costs associated with developing a high-functioning X-band radar are some of the few challenges that plague the market players.
- The emerging trends such as the accelerated development of dual-band radar, the miniaturization of radar architecture, and the increasing scope of application of X-band radar in space-based applications is anticipated to have a positive effect on the market in focus in the upcoming period.
Key Market Trends
Network Centric Warfare Driving the Adoption of X-band Radar in The Defense Sector
The Defense sector is anticipated to continue its dominance in the market in focus during the forecast period due to the increasing use of network-centric warfare (NCW) technologies. NCW was devised by the US military during the 1990s and requires a thorough integration of sensors, communication networks, command centers, and associated platforms to achieve complete situational awareness and perfect synchronization between sensors and responders in a fast-paced environment. The focus of NCW is the assimilation of minimum information that needs to be exchanged. Therefore, effective ways to capture that information and best portray it into actionable intelligence require the integration of precise navigation sensors to triangulate the position of a military platform for effectively serving the mission. Most X-band radars are used along with airborne, naval, and satellite platform radars for target integration. Militaries around the world are making considerable long-term strategic investments in X-band radar and are promoting NCW as part of military transformation. In April 2017, the US Missile Defense Agency awarded a USD 10 million contract to Raytheon Technologies Corporation to continue the development of hardware and software that will add gallium nitride or GaN semiconductor technology to the AN/TPY-2 ballistic missile defense X-band radar. The GaN enhances the range, search capabilities, and Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) capabilities of the AN/TPY-2 radar.
North America to Dominate the Market During the Forecast Period
The US defense forces aim to achieve total technological dominance over their rival nations and hence are frequently fielding state-of-the-art technologies to gain a tactical advantage on the battlefield. In November 2017, the US Navy initiated the improvement process of the current AN/SPQ-9B X-band radar and create a next-generation low-cost, lightweight, active phased array radar by 2027. The new radar system is envisioned to have multiple capabilities, including anti-aircraft search and tracking, surface target search and track, detecting submarine periscopes, and identifying unidentified targets. The US Navy envisions to equip these systems, with an estimated cost of around USD 30 million per unit, on its entire fleet. The US Navy wants to develop baseline concepts for FXR, come up with realistic SWAP-C and effective isotropic radiated power, or EIRP estimates based on flyaway cost. Hence, the US research agencies are actively engaging in R&D activities to develop a proof of concept of sophisticated software programmable X-band radar systems using low-cost antenna array technology with digital beamforming architecture based on multiple receiver channels.
Various players, such as Raytheon Technologies Corporation, Japan Radio Co., Ltd., FURUNO ELECTRIC CO., LTD., Northrop Grumman Corporation, Saab AB, IAI Group, Terma A/S, Detect Inc., ProSensing, Inc., and Thales Group hold significant market share during the forecast period. Various initiatives and product innovations are being made by companies, which have led them to strengthen their presence in the market. In December 2019, FURUNO ELECTRIC CO., LTD. showcased its new IMO-compliant X-band solid-state marine radar at the Marintec China 2019 event. In February 2020, the company introduced a new NXT solid-state options for its commercial FAR2xx8 radar and FAR3000 chart radar series, available in both X-Band and S-Band configurations. The NXT solid-state radars rely on electronic components rather than magnetrons to generate their microwave pulse, requiring less power than traditional radars. Since the requirement of the pre-heating of a magnetron is eliminated, the startup time of solid-state radar is significantly reduced. Furthermore, since there are no consumable components, maintenance costs of NXT solid-state radars are also drastically reduced.
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