The global land-based smart weapons market was valued at USD 3.90 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach USD 7.79 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 8.0% during the forecast period (2022–2030).
Smart weapons are typically highly accurate bombs and projectiles guided by lasers and other technologies. The term "smart" has primarily been used to describe weapons that can acquire and attack targets with little assistance from the outside world. Most land-based smart weapons fall under the missile and ammo categories. The demand for land-based smart weapons has also grown due to the incorporation of smart weapons into the current land-based defense systems to increase their destructiveness.
Several nations have spent years developing smart weapons. Armed forces prioritize developing homegrown guided missiles and ammunition and acquiring an advanced arsenal to maintain their technological edge. Various nations began developing next-generation shells (and missiles) to reduce imports. Indigenous development also creates strategic and economic export opportunities. Several countries are developing smart weapons which could help allies transfer technology. BrahMos Aerospace is a partnership between India's DRDO and Russia's NPO, Mashinostroyeniya (DRDO). BrahMos supersonic ramjet cruise missiles can be fired from a submarine, ship, aircraft, or land. The BrahMos land variant's range is 400 km longer than the original (290 km). These developments are anticipated to boost the market during the forecast period.
As technological advancements progress, companies and nations are merging cutting-edge technologies into modern cruise missiles and ammunition for land, air, and sea. While some technologies aim to enhance the performance and accuracy of current systems, the industry has also seen several innovations in precision-guided weapons that are entirely distinct from existing systems. Artificial intelligence is used in contemporary RWS to identify objects. In addition, the fired programmable ammunition ensures proper impact on the target depending on the charge type and fuse built into each round.
Military superpowers like the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia, China, and India are improving their defense capabilities. Several weapon modernization programs and procurement contracts are in the works to address the changing threats to national security. Furthermore, the market for smart weapons for infantry and other land forces is anticipated to expand due to technological advancements in sensors, algorithms, and processors.
A sizable defense budget is necessary for every procurement program. Army acquisition efforts must improve lethality and stealth while maintaining extended lead-time programs. Costly weapons and missiles may require significant GDP expenditure expenditures. Also, many sectors were harmed by the global financial crisis of 2008, necessitating government involvement to safeguard administrative integrity. Massive spending and revenue loss led to trade deficits and defense budget cuts. Despite numerous ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, military spending is down, showing the global economy's fiscal pressure. Several European nations are delaying modernizing their armed forces and shifting spending to other areas and are also considering buying weapons together to save money.
Due to the evolving nature of the fighting environment, the armament needed to be upgraded and customized. Long-range rockets (LRRs), cruise missiles, and unmanned aerial systems (UASs) pose threats that need to be countered with effective weaponry that can launch smart munitions. Modern weapon systems are outfitted with connectivity and precise guidance technologies that give them the best possible situational awareness and real-time information. This is primarily attributable to the military infrastructure's integration of IoT and other connected technologies, which provides soldiers with access to more effective, powerful, and efficient weaponry.
Fully autonomous weapons are anticipated to be produced in the coming years due to ongoing sensor, algorithm, and processor developments, among others. The growth of advanced smart ammunition is expected to receive more funding due to these new systems. Countries are improving the capabilities of their shell and missiles in addition to their weapon technologies. To identify, track, and engage a target faster, avoid duplication of effort, lower the risk of fratricide, and increase the likelihood of hitting the target, weapon systems and munitions have been upgraded with the ability to exchange information with other nodes connected to the network. Big data analytics, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence (AI), among other cutting-edge technologies, are being incorporated by businesses to improve the accuracy of smart ammunition and reduce its impact on civilians.
The global land-based weapons market is segmented by product and technology.
Based on product, the global land-based weapons market is bifurcated into missile, ammunitions, and other products.
The missile segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.64% during the forecast period. As the role of missiles in modern warfare strategies has increased, nations have begun emphasizing maintaining missile systems in their arsenals. Deterrence and mutually assured destruction inspire countries to develop and stockpile more lethal missiles with greater ranges. Possessing such lethal missiles is a crucial strategic asset for keeping possible foes at bay. In recent years, rapidly developing technologies have significantly changed the balance of power. The main reason for the market's anticipated growth is the emphasis on the missile development and procurement activities carried out by militaries to gain a strategic advantage. However, this expansion depends on several ancillary factors, such as allocating money to purchase missile systems.
Elbit Systems' Stylet, Rapier, and Iron Sting guided mortar ammunition features a multi-mode fuse (Point Detonation, Point Detonation Delay, Height of Burst), blast and fragmentation warheads, and in some cases, penetrating warheads. These advanced operational capabilities significantly improve the brigade and battalion levels of firepower. These new capabilities enable precise firing at extended ranges with a near-vertical trajectory at line-of-sight (LOS) and non-line-of-sight (NLOS) targets in open or built-up areas and all-weather conditions. These developments and purchase orders are anticipated to fuel the segment's growth during the forecast period.
Based on technology, the global land-based weapons market is bifurcated into satellite guidance, radar guidance, infrared guidance, and laser guidance.
The satellite guidance segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.42% during the forecast period. ATK created a 120 mm guided mortar round called the XM395 Precision Guided Mortar Munition. The 120 mm smoothbore mortar rounds used in the XM395 munition are fitted with a GPS-guided kit with a nose and tail subsystem containing the maneuvering components. The first APSR cartridges were delivered to a US Infantry Brigade Combat Team in March 2011. The deployment of the APSR precision mortar to Afghanistan's Stryker Brigade Combat Teams was announced by the US Army in 2012. Before this, the rounds were fielded by dismounted troops stationed on combat outposts. Some major defense ammunition producers are creating or providing GPS-based guidance kits to convert a standard artillery shell into a precision-guided munition.
Latvia and Denmark signed a contract to purchase an unspecified number of Danish Stinger ground-to-air missiles in 2017. The FGM-148 missiles were bought to strengthen Latvia's defenses. Unlike wired-guided systems, the man-portable Javelin anti-tank missile uses automatic infrared guidance, allowing the user to seek cover immediately after launch. The United States gave Ukraine military hardware worth more than USD 60 million in June 2020, including more than 100 Javelin anti-tank missiles, ammunition, and communications gear. Such advancements and rising orders for such missiles will continue to fuel the segment's expansion during the forecast period.
North America Dominates the Global Market
By region, the global land-based smart weapons market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America is the most significant shareholder in the global land-based smart weapons market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.13% during the forecast period. The United States increased its investment in cutting-edge weapon systems due to the increased battlefield capabilities of China and Russia. The US military's increased acquisition of missiles and missile defense systems was significantly influenced by factors such as the Middle East's escalating violence brought on by geopolitical unrest and terrorism. The US has tested upgraded versions of the SM-3 and SM-6 missiles to improve the Aegis missile defense system's capabilities significantly. The Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system's capability and dependability will be enhanced as well, according to the US Department of Defense (DoD). The improvements include giving recently deployed GBIs a more powerful booster and an Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV).
Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.79%, generating USD 1.96 billion during the forecast period. The United Kingdom ranks among the top nations in NATO for defense spending. As planned, the nation spent 2% of its GDP on defense in 2017, 2018, and 2019. The government recently increased defense spending and is projected to reach GBP 41.3 billion in 2020. According to the UK Ministry of Defense, the United Kingdom spent more on defense in 2018 than it did in 2017, spending over USD 38 billion. The UK is currently lacking interceptors that can provide a reliable home defense. As a result, it still ultimately depends on NATO's capabilities.
In Asia-Pacific, China has strained relations with some of its neighbors and other countries worldwide can be attributed to the country's defense spending rise. China also has territorial disputes with Japan and India and the ongoing US-China trade war. North Korea and India, two of China's neighbors, have significantly progressed in developing missiles and armored vehicles. The Chinese Ministry of Defense has taken a comprehensive, step-by-step approach to modernize every facet of combat. As a result, the nation is actively creating new weapons to improve the capabilities of its armed forces today.
Brazil's defense spending, which amounts to about USD 28 billion and roughly 1.5% of the nation's GDP, has remained relatively stable over the last few years. Defense spending will likely rise during the forecast period as the Brazilian Ministry of Defense works to replace its outdated military hardware and software. Since 2015, a severe recession and unrest in the political system in Brazil have slowed down the country's defense procurement. As Brazil shares borders with ten nations, some of which have a history of rebel insurgencies, land-based threats are the country's leading security concerns rather than maritime ones. Since the Brazilian Armed Forces prefer to purchase their portable weapon systems from Saab AB, the company has a prominent presence in the nation. For instance, the Brazilian Army ordered RBS 70 VSHORAD systems from Saab AB as part of an ambitious program to improve its air defense capabilities.
Saudi Arabia is one of the nations with the highest defense budgets worldwide. Saudi Arabia has further cut its defense spending for FY 2020 compared to the approved defense spending for 2019 by about 4.7%. Saudi Arabia has decreased defense spending and budgetary allotment due to downward pressure from falling energy prices and increased attention to the education sector. Concerns about Saudi Arabia's territorial defensive capacity have been raised due to rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran and recent drone attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities. For decades, Saudi Arabia had heavily relied on weapons produced in the US, the UK, and France to protect its borders.
The global land-based smart weapons market’s major key players are
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