Weapons & munitions constitute the prominent part of military and law enforcement arsenal. Weapons can be broadly categorised into lethal and non-lethal weapons. Lethal weapons can cause causalities whereas non-lethal weapons are only used to destabilize individuals with minimum or no injury. Non-lethal weapons are majorly used by law enforcement agencies primarily to disperse crowd during civil riots or other protests. Conversely, lethal weapons are used in military operations and they can be categorised into small arms and light weapons, also known as SALW.
Small arms are lower-end calibre arms exclusively designed for individual use. Small arms include revolvers, handguns, pistols; shoulder arms such as rifles, carbines, sub and light machine guns and grenade launchers. On the other hand, light weapons are designed to be used by group of two or three. Light weapons includes: Anti-aircraft guns, heavy machine guns, recoil less rifles, mounted grenade launchers, portable anti-tank missile and rocket systems, mortars, light cannons, etc. Depending upon usage, ammunitions can be divided into large, medium, and small calibre; artillery; and mortar ammunitions.
Reduction of military budgets is going to impact the weapons & munitions market globally. Precision and lethality of weapons & munitions will drive investment across advanced laser guided and smart weapons with technologies such as radar, laser, infra-red, microwave and global positioning systems. Growth of smart weapons is impeded by stricter transfer regulations on import and export.
3D-printed guns and corner shot rifles are major emerging trends in SALW market. The reason for popularity of 3D printed guns is that they are untraceable during security checks. Corner shot rifles are very useful during urban combats as they enable soldiers to fire at 90-degree angle without getting exposed to the target.
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