The global artillery systems market size was valued at USD 3,910.24 million in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 5,570.31 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 4.01% during the forecast period (2022-2030). Heavy military weapons known as artillery can launch explosives far farther and more powerfully than infantry rifles. Military forces employ artillery systems as their primary means of high-level tactical and strategic mobility. The most often employed artillery systems are mortars, howitzers, multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), air defense weapons, man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS), and rocket artillery. They are employed to attack targets, neutralize enemy gun emplacements, and support the fighting arms with fire. Artillery systems offer improved precision, accurate firepower, quick response, and shorter reload times compared to conventional artillery weapons.
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Rising Defense Expenditures
The growing hegemonism, unilateralism, and influence politics that have fueled numerous global crises as a result of the fundamental shifts in the international strategic landscape have undermined the architecture of the international security system. One of the main factors upsetting the geopolitical environment is the ambiguity surrounding many nations' territorial claims, such as the Cold War between Saudi Arabia and Iran in the Middle East. The most common response from governments in this area is to increase military spending in order to improve national security. Military superpowers, including the US, UK, China, and India, have improved their military weaponry and battle capabilities. Some development and procurement activities are now in progress to update the weapon systems utilized by the armed services to ensure the combat preparedness of the current defensive systems. A desire for indigenization also influences how these systems are developed locally in various nations.
Compared to the developments seen in other military platforms and guided weapon systems over the years, artillery system technology developed comparatively slower. The majority of older artillery systems had trouble striking their targets accurately. However, the development of modern guiding systems has allowed users to raise the likelihood of neutralizing targets by 50–60% in the first round, giving them a tactical edge.
Additionally, several players are creating precision guidance kits (PGK) to transform conventional ammunition into precision ammunition. Armed forces are deploying newer artillery systems with improved capabilities as modernization efforts gain momentum. On the other hand, organizations like Rheinmetall are concentrating on creating artillery weapons systems that extend projectile firing ranges. The Singapore ST Engineering Land Systems Super Rapid Advanced Mortar System (SRAMS), one of the most modern 120 mm mortars, has a load assist system that lifts the mortar bomb, places it over the barrel, and then discharges the mortar bomb.
Delays in the Development and Procurement Plans of Artillery Systems
Artillery system development and acquisition for the armed forces are often drawn-out, complex processes. Even though these projects are planned years before the start of the actual procedures, unexpected events have frequently affected such programs, leading to delays and cancellations. Several problems have been noticed recently while artillery platform development and acquisition plans were being carried out. These problems have caused program schedule delays, some of which have lasted for many years. The M109A7 self-propelled howitzers produced by BAE Systems for the US Army have had delivery delays and assembly line issues. Creating the new howitzer has presented the firm with several difficulties. Despite "modest improvements during manufacture," the company's howitzer production and deliveries remained uneven.
Increasing Defense Expenditure
The design of the international security system has been compromised by the expanding hegemonism, unilateralism, and power politics that have stoked multiple current global crises due to the dramatic changes in the international strategic landscape. Countries' significant investments to modernize their military may support the artillery systems market growth during the forecast period. Countries are focusing on developing long-range fire capabilities to achieve a tactical advantage on the battlefield. To develop long-range precision fire capabilities, countries like the United States are initiating the procurement of artillery systems. As the threats for the countries become higher, enhancing the militaries' firepower capabilities becomes important for every country. For this reason, a portion of defense budgets is allocated to these initiatives, and this expansion is the primary factor propelling market expectations.
The global artillery systems market is segmented by type and range.
Based on type, the global artillery systems market is bifurcated into howitzer, mortar, anti-air artillery, rocket artillery, and other types (naval and coastal artillery).
The howitzer segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.42% during the forecast period. The armored mobile artillery system known as a howitzer is frequently utilized as a combat support weapon. These systems often take advantage of their capacity for shoot-and-scoop style attacks to evade counter-battery fire. Additionally integrated into the SIAC self-propelled howitzer (SPZ) are the Automatic Gun Laying System (AGLS), the Digital Navigation Aiming and Pointing System (DINAPS), and the Fully Automatic Ramming System (FIRS). These systems enable quick deployment, increased lethality with a high chance of hitting its target on the first shot, and a short "shoot and scoot" capability for improved survivability. The People's Liberation Army introduced an assault vehicle-based howitzer in December 2020 that gives greater mobility than truck-based howitzers and can function in rugged off-road terrains where other forms of artillery cannot.
The greater use of weapon systems that can eliminate the threat of aerial attacks on ground troops during a conflict scenario has been made necessary by developments in aerial combat technologies. Due to the availability of armor, which increases its survivability by offering improved protection against aircraft, artillery fire, and small arms during battlefield deployment, rocket artillery uses both trucks and other heavy combat vehicles, such as APCs and tanks. HIMARS is a compact mobile launcher that can be transported by C-130 and launch both ATACMS and guided multiple launch rocket system (GMLRS) rockets. To provide additional safety for the three crew members operating the system, it also contains a launcher loader module and fire control system installed on a five-ton truck chassis. The armed forces also work with defense companies to create cutting-edge technology while researching and developing experimental weapons like DEWs.
Based on range, the global artillery systems market is bifurcated into short range (5-30 kilometers), medium range (31-60 kilometers), and long-range (> 60 kilometers).
The short-range (5-30 kilometer) segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 1.95% during the forecast period. Short-range artillery systems have established a range of 5 km to 30 km. When efficiency and accuracy are essential to secure the survival of the deployed soldiers, short-range artillery guns are helpful against close-range, lower-flying targets. The need for such systems has multiplied recently as most Asia-Pacific nations struggle with a geopolitical split. One of the Army's options for replacing the outdated Avenger short-range air defense system is the M-SHORAD system. The IM-SHORAD is undergoing preliminary testing to determine the system's operational capabilities and can be placed on a Stryker armored vehicle. Germany also intends to install three Bofors 57 Mk3 guns on three of its new 86-meter offshore patrol vessels (OPVs). The contract also covers support for systems integration and auxiliary fire control systems.
Medium-range artillery systems' operating range is between 31 km and 60 km. 155 mm guns have been used as an all-purpose standard since the late 1900s because they balance range and destructive force while utilizing a single caliber streamlines logistics. The Australian government revealed plans to purchase 30 K9 "Thunder" self-propelled howitzers and related support machinery, including 10 K10 ammunition resupply vehicles (ARVs). The Mod 4 configuration has a more robust gun mount with a 50% increase in firing energy and a fully digital control system with a touch-screen user interface and much more processing power. Such changes give a clear picture of the medium-range market segment under consideration during the forecast period.
The global artillery systems market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
North America Dominates the Global Market
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North America is the most significant shareholder in the global artillery systems market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.31% during the forecast period. The inventory of the US land forces consists of 1,365 rocket projectors, 1,340 pieces of towed artillery, and 1,500 pieces of self-propelled artillery. The M777 howitzer, the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System, and the M109A7 Paladin 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzers are also in their arsenal. Similar to the Army's plans, the US Navy intends to replace its fleet of outdated naval ships in the upcoming years with new and cutting-edge naval vessels, creating a demand for advanced artillery systems over the forecast period. Large Surface Combatants (LSC), frigates, and destroyers are among the purchases. Canada is assessing the future artillery requirements for the Army as part of the Indirect Fire Modernization (IFM) program. The C-3 and LG-1 howitzers used by the Army could be one piece of equipment that has to be replaced and could be covered by IFM. The useful life of this equipment, purchased in the late 1990s, is about to expire.
Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.39%, generating USD 1,463.33 million during the forecast period. While the government's issues with its land-based neighbors are driving it to upgrade and increase its artillery capacity, the disputes in the South China Sea involving both islands and marine regions are pressing the country to strengthen its naval capabilities. China is improving its ability to produce ground systems, including air defense systems, towed and self-propelled artillery systems and pieces, and armored vehicles. China has recently enhanced its military infrastructure and deployed new artillery weapons due to tensions along land-based boundaries and the escalating South China Sea disputes. The 130mm Self Propelled M-46 Catapult Guns and 160mm Tampella Mortars, two of the Indian Army's longest-serving artillery weapons, were removed from operation in March 2021 to make place for new equipment, particularly the Dhanush artillery system and the ATAGS. To replace its outdated Bofors L 70 40mm single barrel and Soviet-era ZU-23-2 towed 23 mm twin-barrel weapon systems, India aims to introduce more than 900 homegrown Self-propelled Air Defence Gun Missile Systems (SPAD-GMS). For the Indian Army, the state-funded Ordnance Board Factory (OFB) in India has created a high rate of fire guns.
The inventory of the British ground forces consists of 109 tanks, 35 rocket launchers, 126 towed artillery pieces, and 89 self-propelled artillery pieces. The British military does not have as much artillery firepower as the US and Russian armies. However, the UK has kept using its outdated artillery systems despite intentions to replace them within the next ten years. The upcoming howitzer is not anticipated to achieve initial operating capability until the first quarter of 2029, causing at least a two-year delay in the initiative to replace the British Army's outdated AS90 self-propelled artillery. The first operational capability of the new British heavy artillery was scheduled to occur in the fourth quarter of 2026. The British military forces will have to postpone the decommissioning of the AS90s due to the wait for a modern howitzer. As a result, until 2032, a component of the howitzer force will still be in use. In 1992, the British Army began using AS90. Currently, the British Army is working with Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land's Challenger 2 Life Extension Program to improve its MBT capability (RBSL). According to current plans, Challenger 2 will receive an upgrade to keep the tanks operational until 2040. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann's Leopard 2A7+ next-generation main battle tank (MBT) was initially tested by the German Army (KMW). By 2023, Germany will have 104 modernized 2A7 MBTs.
The War Arsenal of Rio de Janeiro created the 120mm M2 RAIADO heavy mortar for the Brazilian Army's artillery, and Brazil maintains a sizable stockpile of them. Any 120 mm ammunition produced to international standards is compatible with the RT-M2. The towed mortar's effective firing range is 6.5 kilometers with a typical projectile. Additionally, the Brazilian Army is buying VBTP-MR versions to replace its outdated EE-9 Cascavel and EE-11 Urutu vehicles. The agreement calls for the supply of 2,044 cars over 20 years and logistical assistance. Demand for 105mm cannon, 30mm turret and 120mm mortar systems will result from purchasing several variants of this vehicle. The Saudi Arabian land forces inventory consists of 1,062 tanks, 705 pieces of self-propelled artillery, 1,800 pieces of towed artillery, and 300 rocket launchers. In recent years, the nation has concentrated on improving its capacity to produce defensive weapons and ammunition to decrease its reliance on the sale of military hardware and weaponry, keeping with the Saudi government's Vision 2030.