The shoulder-fired weapons market is expected to exhibit a CAGR of over 6% during the forecast period (2020 - 2025).
- The demand for shoulder-fired weapons has increased at a steady pace in the past decade, mainly due to the rise in defense budgets of developed as well as developing economies. The market is being driven by the rapid advances in technology in the defense sector with several countries like the US, India, and China increasing their defense spending and this is creating a need for advanced weaponry.
- The increase in global demand for armor piercing weapons is propelling the market for man portable anti-tank weapon system. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems of Israel developed a new shoulder mounted Anti-Tanks missile Spike SR that weighs only 10 kilograms and can engage target and has a range of up to 2 kilometers.
Key Market Trends
Rise in the demand of MANPATS and MANPADS
The use of Man-Portable Anti-Tank Systems (MANPATS) and Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) give a huge advantage to troops by engaging targets without worrying about the accuracy of the strike and weight of the weapon. With the increasing use of sophisticated armored machinery in conflicts, many countries are increasing the use of MANPATS, and MANPADS. Modern Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) are equipped with ultraviolet sensors for radiation detection, infrared sensors for heat detection and smart control units. Some of the most widely used MANPADS are Stinger missile (United States), Strela (Russia), Igla (Russia), Qianwei (China, Pakistan), etc. In 2019, Rafael was awarded a contract worth USD 221 million to supply 1500 Spike Anti-Tank missiles to Germany. According to Rafael, 33 countries have more than 30,000 Spike missiles in their inventories. Ukraine bought 210 Javelin anti-tank missiles along with 37 launchers from the United States in 2018 and signed a contract in 2019 for the second batch of 150 Javelin missiles. With the increasing incidents of drone strikes and air space intrusions, forces around the world are seeking advanced MANPADS systems for air defense. However, recent incidents of surface-to-air missiles use against civil aviation aircraft and major military forces supplying MANPADS and MANPATS to rebels and insurgents have brought into force counter MANPAD programs and stringent export control norms and regulations that may hinder the market growth.
Asia-Pacific to Exhibit Highest Growth Rate During the Forecast Period
Asia-Pacific has some of the largest importers of arms such as India, China, Pakistan, South Korea, etc. China’s and India’s defense budgets for 2019 were USD 177.5 billion and USD 60.9 billion respectively. The market for shoulder-fired weapons in these two countries is driven by innovations and imports. India acquired 210 shoulder-fired Spike anti-tank missiles and 12 launchers for USD 39 million from Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. in 2019. In 2018, India also signed a USD 1.5 billion deal with Russia’s KB Mashinostroyeniya for procurement of Igla S shoulder fired surface-to-air weapon system as part of its Very Short Range Air Defense (VSHORAD) program. China is a major developer of shoulder-fired weapons and it is investing in the development of smart sensor based weapons that can differentiate between foe, friend and neutral target to reduce the accidental shooting civilian aircraft and vehicles, which is rising in the region. China’s shoulder-fired MANPADS FN-6 comes in 5 variants for different uses and it is exported to 10 countries including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, Sudan, Qatar, etc.
The market for shoulder-fired weapon systems is a fragmented one with prominent players such as Raytheon Technologies Corporation, Saab AB, General Dynamics Corporation, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., ROKETSAN, etc. dominating the market. Companies are partnering with local players to expand their market presence by securing new contracts with the respective countries. For instance, in 2018, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems formed a JV called Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems with Kalyani Strategic systems limited to manufacture anti-tank missiles for the Indian Army in India. Some of the companies are also working together to accommodate soldier’s needs, mainly by reducing weight and improving ergonomics.
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