This report titled ‘Global Military Robots Market 2016-2020‘, provides a comprehensive overview of the market along with market segmentation by platform (airborne, naval, and land-based) and growth prospects by region (the Americas, EMEA, and APAC).
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“Remote sensors equipped with unmanned vehicles or robots are widely used for tracking, targeting, and intelligence gathering. These are finding wide applications in visual cameras, day and night surveillance, thermal imaging, and large area scans by radar. The need for remote sensors have emerged from the critical strategic changes in military security missions such as the shift to net-centric warfare (NCW), an increase in low-intensity conflicts (LIC), and the need for persistence,” said Abhay Singh, one of Technavio’s lead industry analysts for defense.
“Rapid advancements in technologies and the evolution of drones have led the US DOD and Pentagon to reduce armed personnel and expedite adoption of more robots over the forecast period. In 2015, the US Army intended to reduce 17,000 army civilian employees and more than 40,000 troops. In addition, it is also expected that the US Army would shrink from 540,000 soldiers in 2015 to 420,000 by 2019. These trends are testament to the growth of the market over the forecast period,” added Abhay.
Some of the other driving forces behind the growth of the global military robots market are as follows:
- Growing demand for drones
- Improved cross-border surveillance
- Integration of advanced warfare systems in naval fleets
Growing demand for drones
Drones or unmanned systems are smaller in size and cost-effective, compared to their manned counterparts. They provide secure, reliable, and modernized digital communication with the help of various systems that are equipped with them. These systems include engines, autopilots, navigation systems, sensors, and communication links. In addition, they feature on-board sensors such as LASER light, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), inertial measurement unit (IMU), and GPS.
Currently, unmanned systems are being increasingly used for electronic attack (EA), destruction of enemy air defense (DEAD), suppression of enemy air defense (SEAD), communication transfer, combat, search, and rescue (CSAR), and ISR operations.
China, one of the biggest spenders in the defense market, is expected to procure 42,000 UAVs (some of them being attack-capable) worth USD 10.5 billion by 2023. This will strengthen its military communication systems and equipment for aerial, as well as land, and sea-based operations. In 2015, US Marine Corps ordered 75 man-portable ground vehicle robots from iRobot, worth USD 9.8 million. The small, unmanned ground vehicle (SUGV) robot systems that are a lighter version of the iRobot PackBot will be used for disarming roadside bombs. They can enter inaccessible areas and provide situational awareness for infantry troops. There are many similar military developments that are envisaged to drive the growth of the global military robots market until 2020.
Improved cross-border surveillance
The growing demand for better cross-border surveillance is a major factor for the increased procurement of military robots. Of late, developed countries such as the US and Japan are investing heavily on ISR payloads to enhance their military intelligence, communication, and border security. It has reduced the number of human casualties, as compared to Afghanistan and Iraq wars, which caused over 6,800 US army casualties. This development has drawn many contracts globally for the development and procurement of UAVs or military robots to gather intelligence and for surveillance.
In 2015, the Japanese Air Force purchased an RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial system, two Northrop Grumman aircraft, and an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, an EW system, worth USD 488.3 million to strengthen the country's cross-border surveillance capabilities. The frequency of such acquisitions is likely to increase over the next four years.
Integration of advanced warfare systems in naval fleets
Growing technology and investments have resulted in the evolution of many advanced automated combat systems such as underwater acoustic weapons, electro-optic detection systems, virtual fence, multi-static anti-submarine warfare capability enhancement (MACE) systems, and integrated security systems. These automated systems ensure safety and efficiency in naval operations, and it is vital for combat ships and maritime patrol aircraft.
The integration of electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) technologies, advanced radar systems and underwater weapons in combat ships reduce the workload of the naval crew and assure the availability of essential maritime information with enhanced protection. Such robots within naval vessels are anticipated to add a new dimension to maritime warfare.
With growing maritime security concerns and cross-border conflicts, increasing investments in naval fleets and procurement of advanced automated systems available on ships will drive the market over the next four years.
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