According to a research report "Missile Seekers Market by Technology (Active Radar, Semi-active Radar, Passive Radar, Infrared, Laser, Multi-mode), Missile Type (Interceptor, Ballistic, Cruise, Conventional), Launch Mode, and Region (North America, Europe, APAC, & RoW) - Forecast to 2026" published by MarketsandMarkets, the missile seekers market size is projected to grow from USD 5.3 billion in 2021 to USD 6.8 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 5.2% from 2021 to 2026. The market is driven by various factors, such as geopolitical instabilities, changing nature of warfare, increasing defense expenditure of emerging economies and technological advancements in missile seekers.
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The missile seekers market includes major players BAE Systems (UK), Boeing (US), Leonardo S.p.A. (Italy), Raytheon Technologies (US), Safran Group (France), Thales (France), and Northrop Grumman Corporation (US). These players have spread their business across various countries includes North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World. COVID-19 has impacted their businesses as well. Industry experts believe that COVID-19 has slightly affected missile seekers production and services globally in 2020.
Changing nature of warfare will drive the demand for missile seekers
The major factor driving the missile seekers market is the changing nature of warfare. The advancements in technology have led to the development of new and advanced defense systems, including air defense systems and guided missiles for hitting moving targets. The changing nature of warfare across the globe has led to the acquisition of advanced missile firing and defending capabilities by militaries of various countries. These militaries are increasingly engaged in low-intensity battles.
One example of the changing nature of warfare was the Indian military’s reply to the Pulwama attack, where the Indian Air Force fighter planes destroyed a terrorist camp in Balakot (Pakistan) using guided missiles.
Advanced missile defense capabilities help countries in defending themselves against rocket and missile attacks. For instance, Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system prevented more than 2,500 missile and mortar attacks with a success rate greater than 90%. The missile seeker in such a system plays the most important role of making sure the missiles fired by the defense system hit the targets accurately. This fueled the development of more advanced air defense systems, which use ground-to-air missiles with guided seekers, with a success rate greater than 90%.
Thus, the changing nature of warfare has resulted in the increased demand for highly advanced seekers for missiles from militaries across the globe.
The multi-mode technology is projected to witness a higher CAGR during the forecast period
Based on technology, the multi-mode technology are projected to grow at the highest CAGR rate for the missile seekers market during the forecast period. Multi-mode guidance systems make use of two or more missile seeker technologies to improve accuracy. Terrestrial Guidance (TERCOM) is one such hybrid system that uses radar, global positioning system (GPS), and digitized scene mapping area correlator (DSMAC) together. Multi-mode missile seeker is used for guidance of cruise missiles like AGM-86B (US), C-602 (China), Hyunmoo-III (South Korea), etc.
The interceptor missiles is projected to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period
Based on the missile type, the interceptor missiles is projected to grow at the highest CAGR for the missile seekers market during the forecast period. Interceptor missiles are anti-ballistic missiles used to counter ballistic missiles like intercontinental and intermediate-range ballistic missiles launched from any enemy country and to counter aircraft and other missiles. S400, Arrow 2, Arrow 3, THAAD, Patriot missile defense system, and Barak 8 are interceptor missiles used to defend against any kind of airborne threats, such as helicopters, aircraft, UAVs, anti-ship missiles, and ballistic missiles. The increasing procurement of interceptor missiles by countries such as India, South Korea, and Israel due to rising geopolitical instabilities is driving the growth of the interceptor missile segment. For instance, in 2018, the Indian government signed a contract worth USD 5.43 billion with the Russian government to procure five regiments of the S-400 missiles.
Air-to-air launch mode projected to witness highest CAGR during the forecast period
The air-to-air segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR rate for the missile seekers market during the forecast period. Air-to-air missiles are launched from aircraft, helicopters, or unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) to destroy enemy aircraft. The warhead types of air-to-air missiles are fragmentation warheads or continuous rod warheads. These missiles detect their targets using radars or infrared guidance systems and can fly at a very high speed. These missiles are long and have narrow cross-sections to reduce drag.
The North American market is projected to contribute the largest share from 2021 to 2026
North America is projected to be the largest regional share of the global missile seekers market during the forecast period. Major companies, such as Raytheon Technologies, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and SemiConductor Devices, and small-scale private companies, such as Excelitas Technologies Corp, Marotta Controls, and KODA Technologies Inc., are based in the US. These players continuously invest in the R&D of new & improved missile seeker designs.
The missile seekers market in North America is driven by the increasing need for advanced defense systems from the US military. Missile seekers are the systems used in missiles to guide them on the right trajectory to accurately hit the desired targets. Recent technological developments in defense systems, including guided missiles, have led to the increased demand for more efficient missile seekers.
Canada has shown no interest in developing its own missile systems; the country relies on the US for its defense systems, including missile systems.
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