The laser systems are expected to pave the way for next-gen weapon systems. The laser-based weapons could be used as a defense system for manned and unmanned aircrafts, to save it from heat-seeking missiles. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in cooperation with Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin has been actively working towards the development of such systems. It aims to develop such laser weapons to defend the aircraft from EO/IR guided surface-to-air missiles. Ultimately, the goal is to develop a next-gen laser weapon system, that would be ten times lighter and more compact than the current high-power chemical laser systems, and which could be mounted on a pod to the manned aircraft and UAVs.
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The government and research agencies, across the globe, are involved in the R&D activities for development of military laser systems. The R&D spending on such military laser systems has also been increasing which has helped the growth of the global military laser systems market. For example, in the US, the R&D activities are focused around many projects related to military applications such as rangefinders, infrared countermeasures, illuminators, and DEW researches. Similarly, the Horizon 2020 program in Europe (the European funding plan), also has a substantial amount of funding towards the ‘photonics programs’ which includes the lasers and is expected to fund more than US$137 million per year through 2020. The rise in terrorism and conflict has also increased the R&D efforts for such military laser systems and weapons.
Similarly, the Indian Ministry of Defense has regarded the development of advanced weapon and DEWs as a top priority for its roadmap till 2020-2025. India has been working on the development of such laser weapons and aims to make it accessible to fighter aircrafts, naval destroyers and submarines by 2025. It is also working on DEWs to improve anti-ballistic missile capability. India’s LASTEC, a laboratory developing lasers and related technologies, belonging to the DRDO, has been working to develop such laser weapons for the Indian Armed Forces.
The global military laser systems market is segmented in to 4 key dynamics for the convenience of the report and enhanced understanding;
Segmentation by Product Type: Laser Designator/Rangefinder, LiDAR, Laser Weapon, Pointers, Others.
Segmentation by Technology: Fiber Laser, Chemical Laser, Diode Lasers, CO2 Laser, Semiconductor Laser, Solid-State Laser.
Segmentation by Application: Marking targets, Guiding munitions, Missile defense, Electro-optical countermeasures (EOCM), Blinding troops, Others.
Segmentation by Regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America.
The global military laser systems market has been segmented into North America, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, Europe, and Latin America. North America leads in global military expenditure and technological advancements, and thus, generates very high demand for military laser systems, across the globe. Although, Canada makes some investments in the development of such advanced systems, yet the market is primarily dominated by the US. The region accounted for the largest share in the global market in 2017, primarily due to the presence of major manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. Likewise, the Middle East & Africa is an emerging defense market in the world, with Saudi Arabia leading the region’s military expenses. According to SIPRI, Saudi Arabia and the UAE collectively contributed over 5% of global military expenditure in 2017, and it is anticipated that the defense expenditure would rise fourfold in the coming years. The military laser systems market is growing in the Middle East, and it can be attributed to the increase in deployment of the regional armed troops in the war against terrorism. In addition, the changing landscape of war over the years is also one of the major factors driving the market.
BAE Systems (UK), L3 Technologies (US), FLIR Systems Inc. (US), Lockheed Martin Corporation (US), Northrop Grumman Corporation (US), Elbit Systems Ltd (Israel), Safran Electronics & Defense (France), Saab AB (Sweden), Raytheon Company (US), and Thales Group (France) are some of the prominent players profiled in MRFR Analysis and are at the forefront of competition in the global military laser systems market.
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