According to a research report "Ammunition Market by Application (Defense, Civil and Commercial), Caliber (Small, Medium, Large), Product (Bullets, Aerial Bombs, Artillery Shells, Mortars), Component, Guidance Mechanism, Lethality (Lethal, Less-lethal), Region - Forecast to 2026" published by MarketsandMarkets, the global ammunition market size is projected to grow from USD 24.3 billion in 2021 to USD 29.1 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 3.7% from 2021 to 2026. The factors such as the increase in the geopolitical tensions, territorial conflicts, and political unrest across the globe; rising military expenditure, leading to modernization and upgradation of armed forceschange in the nature of warfaremodernization programs undertaken by military forces in major economies, militarization of police forcesare driving factors assisting the growth of the ammunition market. Apart from its use in defense forces, ammunition also sees increasing importance in civil and commercial applications such as sporting, hunting, and self-defense, among others.
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COVID-19 has affected the ammunition market growth to some extent, and this varies from country to country. Industry experts believe that the pandemic has not affected the demand for ammunition in defense applications. However, due to continuous lockdown and social distancing measures, there has been a decrease in the demand for ammunition in civil and commercial applications. For instance, hunting and sporting activities (which are a major driving factor for civil and commercial applications) have been reduced significantly. According to an industry expert, the demand for ammunition is not expected to be affected to a great extent since ammunition is a key component of the frontline infantry. However, according to the International Monetary Fund, global GDP is expected to drop by approximately 3.0% in 2020. This would adversely impact the revenue generated from taxes. When taxes drop, governments are placed under tremendous pressure; the effect of which will be seen in the subsequent years. Since all initial budgets by countries were announced, voted, and passed in 2020 before the pandemic, none of the current budgets consider the economic impact of COVID-19. It is estimated that budget cuts and the real impact would reflect only once draft budgets for 2021 are released.
Modernization programs undertaken by military forces is driving the growth of the defense applications
The defense segment of the ammunition market has been classified into military and homeland security. The growth of the defense segment of the ammunition market can be attributed to the increased spending of countries on military modernization programs, as well as the rise in terrorist activities and civil disturbances in several parts of the world. The five top and biggest spenders were the US, China, India, Russia, and UK. The countries together accounted for 62% of world’s military expenditure.
This expenditure in 2021 increased approximately by 4.0% in Europe, by 2.5% in Asia and Oceania, with 3.9% in the Americas, and by 5.1% in Africa. However, military spending in the Middle East region decreased by 7.2%. The increase of military expenditure was largely due to the fact that most countries in the world experienced severe economic downturns in 2021 related to the Covid-19 pandemic, while military expenditure continued to rise overall to safeguard the nations from internal as well as external threats.
Surging demand for advanced ammunition from emerging economies
The rising hostility within and between countries of the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Africa has led these countries to enhance their military capabilities. Some of the leading economies of these regions, such as China, South Korea, India, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, have been investing increasingly in the procurement of advanced medium and large caliber ammunition, along with the development of innovative warfare equipment.
Factors such as the alleged degradation of the relationship of North Korea with its neighboring countries, the assertive nature of China in its territorial ambitions, which is a major player in the Asia Pacific region, and the rise in the incidences of intrastate and interstate conflicts in Syria and other parts of the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia are leading toward increased demand for advanced medium and large caliber ammunition. This, in turn, is expected to act as an opportunity for the growth of the ammunition market during the forecast period.
Based on caliber, the small caliber segment of the ammunition market is projected to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period
Based on caliber, the ammunition market has been segmented into small, medium, large, and others. The small caliber segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growth of this segment can be attributed to increased use of small caliber ammunition by military and homeland security personnel, owing to less lethality of this ammunition. Moreover, open online marketplaces for small arms and ammunition and increased procurement of small caliber ammunition by the defense and homeland security sectors to curb rising instances of armed conflicts are also contributing to the growth of this segment.
Since the COVID-19 crisis, a significant reduction in demand is being observed in civil and commercial applications across the world. Civil and commercial applications consist of hunting, sporting, self-defense, and others. A reduction in demand for hunting and sporting applications for small caliber ammunition has been observed due to the continuous lockdown regulations and social distancing measures. Small caliber ammunition is majorly used in civil and commercial applications, and therefore this dip in demand is set to affect the overall ammunition market to some extent during the forecast period.
Bullets segment of the ammunition market is projected to witness the highest CAGR owing to increasing focus on upgrading of air force inventory by armed forces
Based on products, the ammunition market has been segmented into bullets, aerial bombs, grenades, artillery shells, and mortars. The bullets segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR. In recent years, an increasing focus has been observed to upgrade land as well as air force inventory across the globe due to multiple reasons such as geopolitical tensions and air force applications. For instance, the US has ongoing F-35 fighter aircraft programs. Whereas the Indian air force is looking for multi-role aircraft to strengthen their armed forces, and hence new aircraft procurements will lead to an increased demand for related ammunition in the coming years. Hanwha Corporation (South Korea) and General Dynamics Corporation (US) manufacture aerial bombs for applications.
Defense application segment of the ammunition market is projected to dominate during the forecast period
Based on application, the ammunition market has been segmented into defense , and Civil & commercial. Further, the defense application is broken down into military and homeland security sub-application. The military sub-application is expected to grow at highest CAGR. The growth of the military sub-application can be attributed to the increased spending of different countries on military modernization programs as well as to the rise in terrorist activities and civil disturbances in several parts of the world, including North Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. Some infamous territorial conflicts include disputes between China and Japan over the East China Sea, India and Pakistan over Kashmir, and Israel and Palestine over the Gaza Strip. Terrorism and territorial conflicts are major drivers of continuous ammunition demand by militaries of various countries, while increasing military modernization programs globally also drive the growth of this segment.
The North American market is projected to contribute the largest share from 2021 to 2026
The ammunition market in the North American region has been studied for the US and Canada. Major factors that are expected to drive the growth of the market in the region include rising instances of terrorism, which have led to increased use of ammunition by armed forces and a growing number of drug cartels in Central America
North American countries are awarding a number of contracts to major players of the ammunition market for the delivery of ammunition, thus driving the growth of the ammunition market in the region. For instance, In July 2020, Northrop Grumman Corporation secured a contract from the US Army to deliver the next-generation airburst cartridge for the 30mm XM813 Bushmaster Chain Gun. The Bushmaster Chain Gun will be installed on the Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV). Also, the company has secured a contract worth USD 93 million from the US Army for the manufacture of multipurpose munition technology for destroying targets such as lightly armored infantry fighting vehicles. The munitions are expected to be compatible with the M4A1 rifle.
The ammunition market is dominated by a few globally established players such as Northrop Grumman Corporation (US), CBC Global Ammunition (Brazil), BAE Systems (UK), Thales Group (France), and General Dynamics Corporation (US), among others.
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