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The global 155mm ammunition market size was valued at USD 3.37 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 3.44 billion in 2022 to USD 4.33 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 3.33% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with 155mm ammunition experiencing higher-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a higher growth of 5.80% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
155mm ammunition includes a separate loading ammunition consisting of four separate components, projectiles, primers, propellants, and fuse that are issued separately. Two separate operations are required to load the projectile and propellants into the artillery system for firing preparation. The number of propellant increments equipped with artillery ammunition is directly proportional to the propellant required. The intended target range and the tactical situation decide the charge to be loaded. 155mm ammunition is a part of the large caliber ammunition family, which includes artillery ammunition (155mm, 152.4mm, 122mm, and 105mm), tank ammunition (100mm, 105mm, 115mm, 120mm, 125mm), and mortar ammunition (60mm, 81mm, 82mm, and 120mm), and others. This market holds approximately 44% of the global large caliber ammunition market.
After World War II, most NATO countries and their global allies and partners have adopted a 155mm ammunition and artillery system that provides the optimum destructive power and range. It is also logistically viable to operate only single caliber munitions. The countries depending upon their existing artillery fleet from erstwhile Soviet Union use 152.4mm or 122mm ammunition while the countries with diverse artillery procurement method and have variety in their existing artillery systems utilize 155mm. It makes logistically easy to use universal ammunition for various artillery systems.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the market has witnessed a moderate demand for 155mm ammunition due to the rise in cross-border disputes and terrorism, and military spending. Also, the heightening demand for long-range, precision, programmable munitions for the existing and future artillery systems worldwide and the development of next-generation 155mm artillery ammunition are the factors influencing the 155mm ammunition market growth during the forecast period. The development of artillery ammunition enhancement kits for the existing 155mm munitions is also another factor driving the market growth during the forecast period. This is one of the strategies adopted by countries for performance enhancement of their existing ammunition stockpiles.
Despite the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, Moderate to High Demand for 155mm ammunition Worldwide Had Long Term Impact on the Market Growth
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted the space industry, but the market research has showcased moderate growth in 2020 and is anticipated to grow during the forecast period.
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Utility of Precision Guidance Components to Enhance Existing Artillery Munitions with Range and Lethality to Drive the Market Growth
Howitzer munitions are based on a highly adaptable mechanism. Various key players are adopting these mechanisms, and one of them, BAE Systems, launched the Long Range Precision Guidance Kit which is a perfect example of such a product. It is an innovative guidance system equipped with anti-jam GPS technology, which helps in performance enhancements of existing and future artillery systems for military applications.
It also facilitates long-range precision firing capabilities by reducing its ballistic errors, reducing ordnance dispersion, efficiency, operational and maintenance cost reduction. For instance, in September 2019, BAE Systems demonstrated its Long Range Precision Guidance Kit. It can deliver any land forces’ modernization by keeping LRPGK with modular architecture for upgradeability and low-cost, large-scale production.
Development of Low Drag Hypervelocity Munitions for Extended Range Capabilities to Propel the Market Growth
In recent years, major customers have widely demanded hypervelocity munitions in the market. Hypervelocity munitions provide a next-generation multi-role, low drag, guided munition with high lethality and range, high precision and penetration depth against the next-generation armor, and military surface and underground structures.
Moreover, with exchangeable enhancements, it can be utilized for land and naval platforms fire power enhancement, reducing its R&D, production, and ownership costs. BAE Systems has developed The Hypervelocity Projectile as a prime defense contractor of the US Department of Defense for US Armed Forces and its allies which has low drag, high lethality and range which can be launched through naval guns & Army 155mm artillery systems.
Rising International Security Threats and Disputes Among Neighboring Countries to Boost Demand for Large Ammunition
The rising terrorist activities, political unrest across the globe, and geopolitical tensions with neighboring countries have increased demand for next-generation ammunition and associated equipment to enhance national security. The key manufacturers are increasing spending on R&D activities to develop technically advanced, cost-effective, extended range and high-precision ammo.
Therefore, the increased development and demand for howitzer and advanced ammunition by armed forces to improve defense capabilities would drive the growth of this market. In January 2021, Rheinmetall AG announced that it had awarded a USD 30.34 million (EUR 25 million) contract to deliver a modern high range 155mm artillery ammunition to an undisclosed NATO member state from December 2020 to May 2021.
In November 2021, Eurenco, a France-based company, announced that it had received a long-term contract from an unnamed customer to manufacture and supply more than 200,000 modular charges and base bleed units for 155mm artillery systems. The large-caliber ammo is mostly used in defense forces for combat operations as it has a performance range between 20 km to 40km.
Increasing Defense Budget for Military Modernization to Fuel the Market Growth
Growing terrorist activities worldwide, weighing on the countries to enhance their defense budget and strengthen military capabilities. Thus, the emerging economies are increasing their defense expenditure to modernize their defense capabilities by procuring advanced weapons and ammunition. In September 2021, the Defense Ministry of the Czech Republic declared 52 new Caesar artillery pieces from French group Nexter Systems for USD 395.6 million to replace older howitzers.
In November 2019, the defense ministry of Polish announced that it had signed two agreements worth USD 203.74 million. The first agreement included the procurement of 24 thousand 155mm artillery rounds for the Krab howitzers. In April 2021, according to new data published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), all NATO members increased their defense budget. Thus, 12 NATO members spent 2% or more of their GDP on their militaries.
According to the same SIPRI report, the U.K. military expenditure increased by 2.9% in 2020 to reach USD 59.2 billion and became the fifth largest military spender in 2020. Growing military spending for R&D activities and rising ammunition procurement contracts have increased significantly across Europe and the rest of the world.
Differences in Legal and Political Regulations from Different Government Agencies to Impede the Market Growth
The stringent government rules and regulations for the use of firearms are the major factor hampering the market growth. Government rules and regulations regarding the ownership of guns and ammunition vary by country. Thus, the key large arms and ammunition Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) encounter many stringent government norms and lengthy certification processes.
These strict weapon laws impact the contract with key players and procurement processes for all European countries. The international trade of large-caliber ammunition is highly restricted by regulatory authorities such as law enforcement agencies and homeland security. Thus, hampers the growth of the market. In addition, due to the spread of coronavirus across the globe, sales have decreased in most countries. Due to lockdown, the ammo manufacturing companies stopped production, which, in turn, would result in a decrease in the howitzers, artillery guns and ammo sales. Thus, it would hamper the growth of the market.
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Unguided Segment Dominated the Market Owing to Increasing Deployment of Howitzers for Military Operations Worldwide
By technology, the market is segmented into guided and unguided. The unguided segment is estimated to be the largest market share of 61.52% in 2021. The presence of many howitzers fleet and growing spending on defense sector from major countries drive the market growth. For instance, Leonardo Defense Systems provides OTO VULCANO, a family of unguided Ballistic Extended Range (BER) 155mm and 152mm ammunition with multi-function programmable fuse.
The guided segment is projected to be the fastest-growing segment with a CAGR of 4.00%. The segment's growth is due to the increasing use of guided projectiles to improve accuracy and provide 155mm caliber howitzers to extend their operative range and precision beyond the actual limits. For instance, in November 2017, the Swedish Defense and Material Administration signed a contract with BAE Systems to supply 254 rounds of Bofors 155mm BONUS ammunition to the Swedish Army.
Propulsion System Segment Will Show Significant Growth Due to Growing Adoption of Advanced Propulsion System
The market is classified into projectiles, primers, propellant, propellant, and fuse based on component. The propellant segment is estimated to be the largest market share of 31.39% in 2021. Increased demand for artillery guns and howitzers due to growing security concerns, political disputes among neighboring countries, and cross-border issues between Russia and Ukraine drive the market's growth.
The amount of propellant to be fired with artillery ammunition varies by the number of propellant increments. The propellant charge is selected based on the range to the target and the tactical situation. Green bag M3A1 propellant is designed for firing charges 1 through 5, and white bag M4A2 propellant is designed for charges 3 through 7. For instance, in November 2021, France-based Eurenco received a contract to supply more than 200,000 modular charges and base bleed units for 155mm artillery systems.
The projectiles segment is projected to be the fastest-growing segment with a CAGR of 4.21%. A projectile comprises a high explosive charge packed into a thick casing constructed of hardened steel. Increasing demand for artillery shells drives the market growth. For instance, in October 2021, the Netherlands signed a contract with Rheinmetall AG to supply 155mm illumination rounds, respectively M1808 Base Bleed and M1809 Boat Tail projectiles. The company also supplies the RH1901 Base Bleed and RH1902 Boat Tail smoke rounds.
Asia Pacific 155MM Ammunition Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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The market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America.
Asia Pacific region dominated the market in 2021 and was valued at USD 1.35 billion, growing at the highest growth rate. The growth is attributed to the increased military expenditure, large 155mm howitzer fleets, and high demand for next-generation, programmable, precision, 155mm munition & munition kits for extended-range precision strike capabilities. Other factors include the rise in 155mm howitzers contracts between regional & domestic market players and regional armed forces. Also, the key players in the market, such as ST Engineering Ltd., China North Industries Corporation, Munitions India Ltd., and Solar Group, are anticipated to drive the market growth during the forecast period.
The Middle East is projected to show the second-largest market share at a second-highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to increasing military expenditure, procurement of the next-generation extended range ammunition and precision guidance kits, modernization of existing howitzer fleet and ammunition, and change in operational requirements. 155mm munitions manufacturers, such as Elbit System Ltd., Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd., and Roketsan Roket Sanayii ve Ticaret A.S., are anticipated to further propel the market growth.
Europe is expected to witness significant growth during 2022-2029. The growth is due to rising advanced howitzer fleets and their development & modernization programs, rise in the procurement of the next-generation, programmable, precision 155mm projectiles for extended-range precision indirect fire capabilities. Also, other factors such as the life extension and capability enhancement programs of existing 155mm ammunition have influenced the region's market growth.
North America is estimated to show moderate growth during the forecast period. The regional market growth is due to the technological advancement in the next-generation artillery ammunition for their existing and future artillery systems, the high adoption rate of advanced technological components, and programmable kits for performance enhancements of the artillery systems and their munitions. Also, other factors such as 155mm projectile manufacturers such as Raytheon Technologies Inc., General Dynamics Corporation, BAE Systems Inc., Northrop Grumman Corporation to propel the regional market growth and increase the demand during the forecast period.
Africa is projected to grow at a moderate growth rate during the forecast period. The growth is owing to the moderate adoption rate of the advanced artillery systems and their munitions from Elbit Systems, Hanwha Defense, and Norinco, and the rise in the utility of howitzers due to rise in cross-border disputes.
Latin America has showcased slower growth during the forecast period. This growth is owing to the high adoption rate of the Soviet Union/Russian Federation 152.4mm ammunition and howitzers by the regional countries, and the low number of 155mm ammunition and artillery systems due to high utilization of 105 or 122mm howitzers as well.
Key Market Players Focusing on Business Expansion through Contracts, New Product Launches, and Partnerships with Space Agencies
155mm ammunition manufacturers focus on business expansion through new partnerships, agreements, and contracts with government and defense companies. For instance, in January 2022, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems have announced that it has tested its XM1210/XM1113ER systematic high explosive rocket-assisted extended-range projectile (S-HE-RAP-ER) on US Army’s next-generation extended-range cannon artillery (ERCA) systems with an effective range of more than 70 km under U.S. Army’s long-range precision fire modernization program. For instance, in September 2021, Nexter Group has inked a licensing agreement with STV Group to certify locally manufactured munitions and charges for the utility of the Czech Armed Forces.
An Infographic Representation of 155mm Ammunition Market
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The global 155mm ammunition market research report provides a detailed analysis of this market and focuses on key aspects such as top defense companies, ammunition technologies, and components. Moreover, the report includes market trends, market dynamics, investment plan, business strategy, growth opportunities, and regional development status. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses several direct and indirect factors that have contributed to the market growth in recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
By Technology, Component, and Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 3.37 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 4.33 billion by 2029.
The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 3.33% during the forecast period.
The unguided segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
Northrop Grumman Corporation, KNDS N.V., Thales Group, and Raytheon Technologies Inc. are the leading players in the global market.
Asia Pacific held the highest market share in 2021.
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