Global Smart Weapons Industry

Global Smart Weapons Industry

  • September 2020 •
  • 396 pages •
  • Report ID: 5689850 •
  • Format: PDF
Death by Algorithm! The $120.8 Billion Smart Weapons Market Brings Us Closer to that Reality

The global market for Smart Weapons is projected to reach US$120.8 billion by 2025, trailing a CAGR of 11.3% over the analysis period 2018 to 2025. The projected growth will be driven by the escalating global arms race and the ensuing focus on defense spending by countries across the world. Defense spending have and will continue to be supported by rapidly mushrooming hotspots of terrorism, civil strife, cross-border hostilities, expansionist and aggressive protective economic policies; and spike in insurgency. Military weaponry has evolved considerably from the rudimentary cannons and muskets of the 18th century to sophisticated weaponry in sync with the varying dynamics of modern warfare. Nations across the globe are vying to augment their military might with leading-edge weapons technologies, systems, and components, as well as state-of-the-art microelectronics, and advanced nuclear, biological, chemical, cyber
and space-based warfare capabilities. As a result, the priority of military commands is shifting from acquiring advanced hardware to acquiring the capabilities that enable the most strategic deployment of military hardware. Geopolitical and economic factors are driving the commoditization of these technologies that were once the exclusive dominion of a handful of global superpowers, and making such capabilities available to almost every state and non-state organization in the world representing the primary growth driver for the smart weapons market.

Smart Weapons, also called Precision-Guided Munitions (PGMs), are a category of weapons systems designed for striking pre-decided targets with pinpoint accuracy in order to maximize the application of explosive force on the target, while minimizing collateral damage and military personnel casualties. PGMs incorporate on-board computer systems and laser, TV or satellite guidance systems that enable the smart weapon to lock-on to a target specified by military personnel, and steer themselves along the trajectory towards the target. Germany was pioneer in the use of PGMs for combat, with the introduction of the 1,400-kg MCLOS-guidance Fritz X weapon in the attack on an Italian battleship Roma in mid-1943. Following a brief hiatus, the US military also restarted the development of radio-guided rockets during the Korean War. Various benefits of sophisticated, digital, intelligent, and accurate smart weapons that is driving its widespread adoption include its extraordinary efficiency and effectiveness in achieving higher target rate; higher mobility; reduced direct contact; the minimal need for human operators; and the superiority it offers over opposing military forces.

Major trends in the market influencing growth include growing interest in imaging infrared technology in IR missile guidance; rising demand for precision guided weapons and munitions as the future battlefield requires more smarter firepower, greater range and reduced risks to military personnel; rising demand for airborne and surface-to-air missile systems, self-propelled artillery and sensor-fused sub-munitions for defeating armored vehicles; and substitution of unguided cluster bombs with sensor fused weapons. Given the high cost of missed targets in warfare, the market is expected to benefit from innovations critical to future battle space needs such as weapons effective even in RF
and GPS-denied environments; rugged network connectivity including adaptive processing and signals intelligence; and scalability for future upgrades. The United States represents the largest market worldwide by virtue of being a political superpower with advanced military force, presence of leading advanced technology developers, large military budget allocations and favorable regulatory environment. Asia-Pacific including China ranks as the fastest growing market supported by mounting defense spending for supporting large-scale military modernization programs in China and India; escalating cross-border skirmishes, and the increasing threat of militants and extremists in the region.