Home Aerospace And Defense Directed Energy Weapons Market Share & Revenue by regions,segments till 2032

Directed Energy Weapons Market

Directed Energy Weapons Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Laser Type (Fiber, Chemical), By Application (Homeland Security, Military), By Platform (Land, Airborne, Naval Space), By Product (Lethal Weapons, Non-Lethal Weapons), By Range (Less than 1 km, More than 1 km), By Region (North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, The Middle East and Africa) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2024-2032

Report Code: SRAD1507DR
Study Period 2020-2032 CAGR 25.4%
Historical Period 2020-2022 Forecast Period 2024-2032
Base Year 2023 Base Year Market Size USD 6.1 billion
Forecast Year 2032 Forecast Year Market Size USD 47.1 billion
Largest Market North America Fastest Growing Market Asia-Pacific
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Market Overview

The global directed energy weapons market size is valued at USD 6.1 billion in 2023. It is expected to reach USD 47.1 billion by 2032 at a CAGR of 25.45% between 2024–2032. Directed energy weapons are gaining traction globally (North America CAGR 25.7%, Asia-Pacific CAGR 25.9%, Europe with significant growth). US military spending fuels North American market with projects like the 50-kilowatt laser Stryker vehicle. China's military spending boosts Asia-Pacific market, while Japan invests $100 million to deploy 150 weapon systems in five years. Europe sees growth with laser weapon research and navy investments.

Factors driving the growth of the directed energy weapons market include increased demand for directed energy weapons for precision targeting and less collateral damage, increased security concerns posed by terrorist organizations, and a surge in the deployment of directed energy weapons in the navy. However, technological limits, as well as ethical and health issues, impede commercial growth. Furthermore, technological developments, ongoing research, and integration of directed energy weapons with conventional weapons provide significant growth opportunities for participants in the required energy weapons industry.

Market Dynamics

Market Drivers

Precision and Accuracy

Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs) provide a significant advantage in terms of precision and accuracy in military applications. DEWs, unlike typical kinetic weapons, operate at light speed, allowing for nearly immediate engagement and pinpoint accuracy. This feature makes DEWs especially effective when accuracy is required, reducing the possibility of collateral damage and allowing for a more controlled application of force. For example, high-powered lasers can be accurately targeted at specific targets, such as approaching missiles or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Lockheed Martin's ATHENA (Advanced Test High Energy Asset) is an example of a high-energy laser system intended for precise targeting. In a series of tests, ATHENA demonstrated its capacity to target and disable UAVs precisely, demonstrating the accuracy of DEW.

Additionally, directed energy weapons have exceptionally high accuracy rates, with some systems achieving nearly flawless precision in engagements. According to reports from the US Department of Defense and defense companies working on DEW development, accuracy rates in controlled testing situations surpass 90%. The precision and accuracy of directed energy weapons are significant advances in military technology, providing strategic advantages in modern warfare scenarios marked by quick tempo and asymmetric threats. As DEW systems advance and mature, their position as accurate, responsive, and practical tools for improving military capabilities will grow even further, catering to the Directed Energy Weapons market trend.

Market Restraints

Cost of Development and Implementation

The creation and execution of directed energy weapons (DEWs) incur significant costs, including research, technological development, testing, and deployment. The complexity of DEW systems, which frequently require advanced laser technology, power production, and beam control mechanisms, contributes to their high initial costs. Laser weapons, a type of DEW, can be expensive to design, but their per-shot cost can be as little as USD 1. A single missile can cost more than USD 1 million. Furthermore, the infrastructure required to integrate DEWs into existing military arsenals increases the overall cost. For example, In April 2023, the US Department of Defense (DOD) announced that it would invest approximately USD 1 billion annually to develop directed energy weapons. 

Similarly, the UK Ministry of Defence has set aside USD 1122.2 million to develop sophisticated focused laser energy weapons. The industry team, led by missile manufacturer MBDA, has made a 100 million Pound joint investment with the ministry to create directed-energy weapons. Further, DEWs must be rigorously tested and evaluated for reliability and effectiveness. The costs of comprehensive testing in controlled conditions and operating scenarios add to the overall financial outlay. Testing frequently requires specialist facilities and equipment, which increases costs.

Market Opportunity

Military Application

The key opportunity for directed energy weapons (DEWs) is to increase their employment in various military applications. These weapons, which use lasers, microwaves, or particle beams, have distinct advantages in terms of precision, speed of engagement, and decreased logistical requirements. The possibility includes the integration of DEWs across several military platforms to improve overall military capabilities. The deployment of the Laser Weapon System (LaWS) by the United States Navy is a concrete example of DEWs in military use. Laws installed on the USS Ponce are intended to fight threats, including uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) and small boats. During operational tests, LaWS effectively engaged and destroyed targets, demonstrating the military applicability of DEWs in a maritime situation.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), global military spending in 2022 will hit a new high of USD 2240 billion, representing a 3.7% increase in real terms. This marks the ninth consecutive year of growth, with worldwide spending increasing by 19% between 2013 and 2022. This significant investment in defense highlights the potential for modern technologies, such as DEWs, to be integrated into military capabilities. Furthermore, military forces are investigating the integration of DEWs across several platforms, such as ground vehicles, aircraft, and naval vessels. Diversification of DEW platforms increases their versatility and potential applications in various operational conditions.

Regional Analysis

The global directed energy weapons market analysis is conducted in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America.

North America's directed energy weapons market share is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 25.7% over the forecast period. The use of directed energy weapons in government offices is growing, particularly in the North American region. Directed energy weapons eliminate or turn off a target while causing minimal damage to the surrounding area. This weapon can destroy weapons of mass destruction and nuclear facilities while causing no harm to the surrounding areas or people. The United States Department of Defense and Armed Forces have embraced guided energy weapons to counter long-range missile threats. Other military countries use these in places such as Canada and Mexico.

Furthermore, the US military budget is the largest, at USD 876.9 billion in 2023. For example, in June 2022, the United States Army plans to develop and field directed-energy weapons, including prototypes such as the Multi-Mission High Energy Laser. This prototype is a modified Stryker vehicle equipped with a 50-kilowatt laser. The United States military is also working with numerous agencies, services, and business partners to enhance the technology further and develop even more powerful solid-state lasers and high-powered microwave weapons with 100 kW or more energy levels. As a result, the market will likely grow as cooperation between the defense industry and manufacturers increases to produce new, high-efficiency laser weapons.

Additionally, manufacturers work with the defense sector to test and deploy sophisticated laser weapons. As of June 2023, Raytheon Technologies had developed a palletized high-energy laser weapon known as the "H4." The United States Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, in collaboration with Raytheon Technologies, successfully tested the Air Force's first palletized high-energy laser weapon. This weapon is designed to emit a 10-kilowatt laser beam and was created to satisfy the unique needs of the United States military.

Asia-Pacific is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 25.9% over the forecast period. Asia-Pacific states have been growing the region's directed energy weapon business to ensure the security of their citizens. China is the next largest military spender, with USD 292 billion in 2023. Furthermore, they have used directed energy weapons for military purposes. Governments in the area are working on government grants and policies to help the local market grow. Japan's government has chosen to support the energy security push by allocating USD 100 million to fund the nationwide deployment of directed energy weapon systems. The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry leads this organization. It entails expanding the development of directed energy weapon frameworks and deploying them to promote a more secure and safer environment. The organization hopes to introduce 150 weapon systems in the next five years.

Europe holds a significant market share. The market research covers Europe, which includes the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and other European countries. The market for directed energy weapons is predicted to rise in the region as laser weapons are researched, developed, and tested to improve security. Furthermore, navy forces in many regional countries are actively studying and investing in directed energy weapons (DEWs). For example, in January 2021, Rheinmetall, a defense technology provider, and MBDA Deutschland, a European defense business, formed an ARGE collaboration to develop and test a high-energy laser weapon system for the German Navy.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
By Laser Type
  1. Fiber
  2. Chemical
By Application
  1. Homeland Security
  2. Military
By Platform
  1. Land
  2. Airborne
  3. Naval Space
By Product
  1. Lethal Weapons
  2. Non-Lethal Weapons
By Range
  1. Less than 1 km
  2. More than 1 km
By Region
  1. North America
  2. Asia-Pacific
  3. Europe
  4. Latin America
  5. The Middle East and Africa
Company Profiles BAE Systems Thales Group Northrop Grumman MBDA Lockheed Martin Corporation Leonardo S.p.A. Boeing Rheinmetall AG RTX QinetiQ
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Singapore Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turky Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global directed energy weapons market is segmented based on laser type, application, platform, product, and range.

The laser type is further segmented into Fiber and chemical.

Fiber generates the most revenue in the market. The fiber sector has gained significant market share since they are portable, battery-powered, non-lethal weapons that a single person may carry. Fiber lasers are directed energy weapons (DEWs) that use optical fibers to generate and magnify laser beams. These lasers are well-known for their high efficiency, compact design, and adaptability. Fiber lasers produce laser beams by passing light through an optical fiber frequently doped with rare-earth elements such as ytterbium. The emitted laser beams are coherent, enabling accurate targeting and efficient energy delivery. 

Chemical lasers are directed energy weapons that generate laser beams using a chemical process. These lasers work by releasing energy held in chemical molecules, which is commonly achieved by gas reactions. The chemical process produces excited molecules, which emit coherent laser light. Chemical lasers are noted for their strong energy output and extended operating range. They have long been studied for their potential in military applications, particularly long-range conflicts.

The market can be bifurcated by application into Homeland Security and Military.

The military is a significant contributor to the market. The military industry is predicted to expand at a faster CAGR. DEWs have numerous military applications, including air and missile defense, anti-satellite operations, maritime defense, and ground-based combat. DEWs provide advantages over traditional kinetic weapons, such as quick target engagement, excellent precision, and the potential for lower logistical loads. Military DEW uses include combating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), missile defense using laser weapon systems, and providing a scalable reaction to various threats. The military application of DEWs is consistent with the changing character of modern warfare, where new technologies are critical for preserving strategic superiority and responding to emergent threats.

These applications aim to ensure civilian populations' safety, security, and vital infrastructure. In homeland security, DEWs can be used for border protection, counter-drone operations, riot control, and facility defense. DEWs' precision and non-lethal qualities make them ideal for situations in which limiting collateral damage and guaranteeing public safety are critical.

Based on the platform, the market is sub-segmented into Land, Airborne, and Naval space.

Naval Space holds a significant market share. Naval and space platforms include directed energy weapon systems fitted into ships and spacecraft. DEWs are used in naval defense systems to provide capabilities such as anti-missile defense and fighting aerial and maritime threats. Space-based DEWs, on the other hand, are intended for operations beyond Earth's atmosphere and can be used for satellite defense, shielding crucial space assets from adversary attacks. Incorporating DEWs into maritime and space systems improves the overall defensive capability of armed forces in these areas. Airborne platforms are aerial vehicles that carry directed energy weapons, such as fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. Airborne DEWs are designed to engage targets from the air, providing speed, mobility, and coverage area benefits. Examples include airborne laser weapon systems mounted on airplanes for anti-aircraft or anti-missile defense. Airborne DEWs help to air superiority by enabling a quick and dynamic response to a wide range of threats in both offensive and defensive roles. The airborne part demonstrates DEWs' adaptability to the specific requirements of aerial warfare scenarios.

Based on product, the market is fragmented into Lethal and non-lethal Weapons.

Lethal Weapons occupies the largest share of the market. The lethal weapons market is expected to increase at a rapid pace. Deadly weapons are intended to cause physical injury or damage to their targets. These weapons are designed to incapacitate, injure, or destroy enemy assets using fatal force. Lethal DEWs may include high-energy lasers or particle beam systems designed to kill or turn off military targets such as vehicles, aircraft, or critical infrastructure. The deployment of lethal DEWs is typically intended to eliminate threats immediately and permanently.  Non-lethal DEWs can incapacitate or deter enemies without inflicting permanent or substantial damage. These weapons are used to control or influence the behavior of individuals or groups to minimize casualties and the risk of collateral harm. Non-lethal DEWs can include laser dazzlers, microwave weapons for crowd control, and other systems that temporarily impair or disorient people.

By range, the market is subdivided into Less than 1 km and more than 1 km.

More than 1 km influenced the market growth. DEWs in the "More than 1 km" range category are designed to engage targets at greater distances. This range enables greater reach in various operational settings, including open terrain and maritime circumstances. Applications for DEWs with a range more than 1 km may include anti-aircraft defense, counter-missile operations, and naval conflicts in which the ability to engage threats at a distance is critical. The "more than 1 km" range section corresponds to scenarios where pressing concerns are essential to maintaining a safe standoff distance, strategic positioning, and covering large areas. Less than 1 km is intended for close-range confrontations. These systems are designed for situations when precision and quick target engagement at close ranges are critical. This range includes urban warfare, perimeter defense, and vital infrastructure protection. DEWs with a range of less than 1 km are ideal for missions in which the proximity of targets needs quick and accurate responses, making them useful in limited or inhabited locations.

Market Size By Laser Type

Impact of covid-19

Before the pandemic, the defense sector was manufacturing and maintaining military weapons systems, subsystems, and parts. They had bagged many advanced projects based on directed energy weapons by collaborating with other weapon or mechanical organizations. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the projects were postponed. There was a brief closure of production units, but they were given the approval to resume production since these are defense-related gear.

Post COVID-19 pandemic, the interest for directed energy weapons is ascending because the states and privately owned businesses worldwide have been putting resources into the advancement of these types of weapons, mostly to be utilized in the war zone. A significant pattern that shapes the market and the public authority is contributing to expanding research on improved directed energy weapons. One organization that has been exceptionally dynamic in advancing the use of such weapons is C-LAS.

Market Recovery Timeline and its Challenges

The market is recuperating by consistently expanding ventures through direct capital infusions like investments, loans, and grants, increasing activity through public-private partnerships, and increasing direct government spending on public-use assets such as heavy infrastructure facilities. The development of the market will be aided by lowering costs like taxes and other duties and giving government incentives on the production of directed energy weapons.

The difficulties faced by the directed energy weapons market are the necessity of general capital use for innovative technologies that are mature enough to implement, long-distance targeting, and the absence of a full-proof framework for military applications.

Recent Developments

  • February 2024- Northrop Grumman completes the first production delivery of the US Army's Integrated Battle Command System.
  • January 2024- The U.S. Navy granted Data Link Solutions, a joint venture between BAE Systems and Rockwell Collins, Inc., a contract to provide small form factor (SFF) Link 16 radios. The contract will utilize BAE Systems' FireNet™ Link 16 tactical systems. FireNet is a scalable, secure, and open system architecture communications solution that uses a unified tactical network to support Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) operations.
  • January 2024- The European Commission signed a Grant Agreement to begin the LATACC project (Land Tactical Collaboration Combat), which Thales will coordinate to increase the collaboration capabilities of European coalition forces.
  • March 2023- Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhuri stated that India has tested and deployed Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs) and hypersonic weapons.

Top Key Players

BAE Systems Thales Group Northrop Grumman MBDA Lockheed Martin Corporation Leonardo S.p.A. Boeing Rheinmetall AG RTX QinetiQ Others

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the estimated growth rate (CAGR) of the Directed Energy Weapons Industry?
Directed Energy Weapons Industry size will grow at approx. CAGR of 25.45% during the forecast period.
Top prominent players in Directed Energy Weapons Market are,  BAE Systems,  Thales Group, L3Harris Technologies, Raytheon Technologies Corporation,  Northrop Grumman Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, The Boeing Company, etc.
Asia Pacific has been dominating the Market, accounting for the largest share of the market.
The Europe region is projected to exhibit the highest rate of growth in the Market.
The global Market report is segmented as follows: By Laser Type, By Application, By Platform, By Product, By Range

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