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The global active protection system market size was valued at USD 3.01 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 3.23 billion in 2022 to USD 5.69 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 8.41% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with active protection system experiencing higher-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global active protection system market exhibited a growth of 7.22% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report, Department of Defense (DOD) Directed Energy Weapons (DEW), directed energy weapons can destroy a vast array of electronic systems, which may include both commercial and military systems. They can disable, incapacitate, or destroy any electronic system that falls under their electromagnetic cone. This factor is expected to drive market growth owing to the demand for weapon systems based on high-energy lasers and high particle beams on naval, airborne, and land platforms.
Rising Global Conflicts Owing to Interrupted Peace Negotiations and Deployment Reduction of Forces Boosted the Market During the Pandemic
New security alliances by countries were formed during the pandemic. For instance, Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. announced a new tri-lateral security partnership, AUKUS, for the Indo-Pacific region. They will work together to produce hypersonic missiles. To consider another example, France reorganized its strategic involvement in Sahel in Africa and focused on the Takuba counter-terrorism mission.
The pandemic interrupted peace negotiations and reduced the footprint of international forces. However, the market for Active Protection System (APS) was not much affected since countries did not decrease their defense spending. Further, with the second and third waves of the pandemic and continued regional disturbances, most nations resorted to modernization programs for their militaries. In the defense industry, a significant impact was felt from the inability to procure critical components due to the disrupted supply chains.
Operational Implications and Losses Incurred to Surge the Demand for Deployment of APS on Future Military Platforms
The Russia-Ukraine war has renewed the debate regarding the deployment of APSs by armed forces on their military platforms for armored vehicles. The war initiated a domino effect in the increase in defense spending worldwide, especially by the European continent. The conflict has severely impacted military budgets and also changed the procurement priorities of the European Armed Forces.
In the war, Ukrainian troops challenged the Russian armored vehicles and destroyed several tanks with javelins and Next Generation Light Armored Vehicles (NLAW). Several tanks had old APS and could not counter modern guided missile systems. Due to this, several countries renewed their modernization programs for their infantry fighting vehicles. The lack of DIRCM (Directional Infrared Countermeasures) installation on helicopters served as a lesson for NATO and other European Non-NATO Armed Forces. The development has increased the demand for APS and its subsystems in the NATO region.
For instance, in July 2022, General Dynamics Land Systems was awarded an Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contract worth USD 280.1 by the U.S. army. The move was intended to provide Trophy Modular Ready Kits as a self-protection system for the U.S. army M1A2 SEPv2 & SEPv3 Abram main battle tanks.
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Growing Adoption of Next-generation Modular Countermeasure Kits and Missile Countermeasure Devices to Bolster Demand
The base modular kits combine sensors and countermeasures in an open, common framework to detect, follow, organize, and defeat emerging and existing threats surge rocket-propelled projectiles and anti-tank guided munitions.
The scalable and open MAPS base kit is prepared to succeed with existing combat vehicles and sustain the capabilities of next-generation armored vehicle protection systems. The open-architecture controller features open standard interfaces and readily incorporates sensors and countermeasures compliant with the integrated MAPS architecture framework. It provides fast and secure processing power to drive multiple applications and future vehicle protection system capabilities. Further, Modular Active Protection Systems (MAPS) protect armored vehicles and crews from rockets and missiles, which is a major factor impelling industry growth.
Rising Deployment of Next-generation Countermeasures and Decoys to Drive Active Protection System Market Growth
Armed forces worldwide are moving toward a modular framework for their next-generation self-protection system requirements. The next-generation modular APS kits will enhance the capability to provide future solutions tailored to address a wide range of platforms and can be easily upgradeable. The forces emphasize on maximizing vehicle survivability by integrating advanced and next-generation multi-layered protection systems.
With increased prominence of APSs, market players and military operators are currently focusing on multiple, coordinated layers of active and passive sensors and countermeasures. APS has been the most-demanded technology to address modern situational awareness and survivability challenges. This is in light of threats from projectiles such as Rocket-propelled Grenades (RPGs), loitering munitions, and Anti-tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs).
For instance, in November 2021, Leidos Inc. announced plans to continue the development of an advanced active acoustic countermeasure to help defend the U.S. and allied submarine forces against modern acoustic-homing torpedoes. This countermeasure will lead to noise generation to mislead the sonar guidance systems of arriving torpedoes zeroing in on the sounds created by target submarines.
Surging Advancement in Electronic Warfare Countermeasures and Missile-based Hard Kill Systems to Bolster Market Growth
Electronic countermeasures are adopted on account of the escalated demand for threat detection, threat suppression, and threat neutralization on various military platforms such as land-based, airborne, and marine. Therefore, several regulatory bodies and industry players are launching a series of projects that are focused on product development.
For instance, the Precision Electronic Warfare (PREW) project by DARPA emphasizes the development of a low-cost EW countermeasures system with several airborne jamming pods synchronization to replicate AESA avoiding collateral jamming of non-targeted receivers.
To consider a few other instances:
High Complexity and Overbearing Cost for Implementation and Installation to Hamper the Market Growth
In the defense sector, the protection system is significant for protecting from air defense systems, situational radars, and platform detection. The high cost associated with implementing and installing an active protection system is a prime factor hampering the market growth. This active protection system consists of highly expensive systems owing to complex installation and integration with existing military assets
A high maintenance cost is required to upgrade the APS to improve the main battle tanks’ defending capacity, light-protected vehicles, and an amphibious armored vehicle. Therefore, the necessity to upgrade APS is hampering market growth during the forecast period.
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Land-based Systems to Record Surging Demand Due to Burgeoning Product Requirement on Armored Vehicles
By platform, the global active protection system market is divided into land-based, airborne, and marine.
The land-based segment held the largest share in 2021 and is expected to record appreciable expansion during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the high demand for APS on land-based platforms and rising technological advancements in soft-kill systems. A few instances include electronic and laser-based jamming coupled with smoke dispensers.
The marine segment recorded the second-largest share in 2021 and is set to register commendable growth from 2022 to 2029. This is being driven by the growing need for advanced and next-generation countermeasures against infrared detection, laser ranging, visual observation, UAV swarm attacks, and laser weapons.
The airborne segment is estimated to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. This can be credited to the high adoption rate of electronic warfare strategies and technologies to electronically jam the enemy situational awareness system and weaponry from detection and attack.
High Adoption of APS amid Increased Procurement and Modernization of Main Battle Tank (MBT) to Bolster the Segmental Market Growth
Based on land-based, the market is further segmented into Main Battle Tank (MBT), Light Protected Vehicles (LPV), Amphibious Armored Vehicles (AAV), Mine-resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP), Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV), Armored Personnel Carriers (APC), and others. The MBT segment was estimated to be the largest segment by market share in 2021, owing to the high adoption rate of hard-kill and soft-kill APS amid the rise in the procurement and modernization of main battle tanks. For instance, in July 2022, the U.S. Armed Force was awarded General Dynamics Land Systems an Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract worth USD 280 million to procure Trophy Active Protection System for its M1A2 SEPv2 and SEPv3 Abrams Tanks.
Mine-resistant ambush-protected segment is estimated to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. According to SIPRI publications and DefenseiQ Report, the armed forces worldwide are heavily investing into the procurement of mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles and modernizing their existing MRAPs. The increased procurement of MRAPs are driving the installation and procurement of APS on these platforms amid rising IED attacks on armored columns by enemy armed forces, terrorists or non-state actors.
Heightened Procurement of DIRCM and Chaff Technology Onboard Fighter Aircraft Worldwide by Air Forces to Propel the Market Growth
On the basis of airborne, this market is further classified into fighter aircraft, helicopters, special mission aircraft, and others. The fighter aircraft segment was evaluated to be the largest segment by market share in 2021. The growth is attributed to the rise in procurement of soft- and hard-kill APSs onboard this airborne platform, which is anticipated to bolster the segmental growth during the projection period. For instance, in April 2022, the Indian Air Force has tied up with India’s Defense Research Development Organization to induct CHAFF technology to protect fighter aircraft from enemy radar-guided missiles during war scenarios.
Special mission aircraft segment is estimated to be the fastest-growing segment during the projection period. The growth is due to the increased hard-kill APS such as Directed IR Countermeasures (DIRCM) and other hard-kill APSs on these platforms which are propelling the segmental market growth during the forecast period. For instance, in July 2022, Elbit Systems Ltd was awarded a contract worth USD 80 million by an undisclosed Asia Pacific Country to supply airborne EW (Electronic Warfare) systems and direct infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) for airborne platforms such as special mission aircraft.
Modernization of Destroyers amid Rise in Naval Skirmishes and Anti-Piracy Operations to Drive the Adoption of APS in the Market
The market is further divided into submarine, frigates, destroyers, aircraft carriers, and others based on marine. Destroyers segment was evaluated to be the largest segment by market share in 2021. The growth is attributed to the growing market penetration of the key global players into Asia Pacific and North America markets amid the heightened adoption rate of APS by regional naval forces. For instance, in May 2022, Raytheon Missile & Defense, a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies Corporation, was awarded a contract worth USD 423 million to produce SPY-6 radars for the U.S. Navy Vessels such as Destroyers and Aircraft Carriers.
Frigates segment is anticipated to be the fastest-growing segment during the projection period. Asian Naval Forces such as the Indian Navy, PLA Navy, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, and South Korea are heavily investing in the naval shipbuilding of Frigates owing to the operational requirements of their naval forces. This development will drive the segmental growth in the global market.
Soft Kill System Segment to Record Considerable Growth
Based on kill system type, the market is classified into soft kill system, hard kill system, and reactive armor. The soft kill system segment held the largest share in 2021 and is estimated to record commendable growth during the projected period. The growth is attributed to the high demand for soft-kill self-protection systems owing to heightened investment in RDT&E of electronic warfare countermeasures and C-UAS (Counter-Unmanned Aerial System) systems.
Hard kill system segment held the second-largest share in 2021 and is poised to register appreciable expansion during the forecast period. The segmental growth is driven by the high demand and investment increment in developing the next-generation hard kill system. These include Directed Energy Weapons as Counter-Hypersonic Air Defense or Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD).
The reactive armor segment is anticipated to be the fastest-growing segment during the 2022-2029 period. This can be credited to the rising threats from anti-tank guided missiles, Molotov cocktails used in the Russia-Ukraine war, and loitering munitions.
Modular APS Suites to Drive the Active Protection System Market Growth During the Forecast Period
By solution, the global market is classified into hardware and software. Hardware segment accounted for the largest segment share in 2021 and will record a substantial surge during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the high demand for APS hardware and the increment in RDT&E investment in hardware required for APSs. For instance, in July 2020, Leonardo UK announced that it had completed the ICARUS Technology Demonstrator Programme (TDP) contract to field automatic agile APSs on its current and future armored fighting vehicle platform. The development will enhance their survivability from a wide range of incoming threats.
Software segment is estimated to be the fastest-growing segment during the projected period owing to the high adoption rate of self-protection system software suite to support its hardware systems. For instance, in May 2022, BAE Systems Australia was awarded an export contract worth USD 50 million to provide software and hardware sub-assemblies for the NATO Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) program.
North America Active Protection System Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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Based on region, the global market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and the rest of the world. North America dominated the global market with a valuation of USD 1.02 billion in 2021. The rising threat of anti-tank guided missiles and loitering munitions has driven the U.S. Armed Forces to develop platform self-protection systems such as MAPS, Quick Kill, Iron Curtain, and Directed Energy Weapons to safeguard its platforms, personnel, and heighten its situational awareness from existing and emerging threats.
Europe accounted for the second-largest share in 2021 and is poised to register commendable growth during the forecast period. European Union members have increased their investment in next-generation self-protection systems for their armed forces platforms owing to their traditional procurement programs and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. The rest of Europe, especially Eastern European countries, is anticipated to adopt self-protection systems for their armed forces and homeland security forces during the forecast period. This development is expected to positively influence the market growth of the meteorological device market in the region during 2022-2029.
Several countries in the Asia Pacific increased investment in the armed forces platforms such as airborne, naval, and land. The regional growth is fueled by the burgeoning demand for hard kill systems such as directed energy weapons in the region.
The active protection system market is highly fragmented among various regional players. The top five players in the market are SAAB AB, Rheinmetall AG, Raytheon Technologies Corporation, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., and Hensoldt AG, which comprise 54.2% of the total market.
An Infographic Representation of Active Protection System Market
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The market research report provides a detailed analysis of various aspects such as key players, their product offerings, and end-users of active protection systems. Moreover, the report offers insights on market trends, competitive landscape, market competition, product pricing, and the market status and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aspects mentioned above, it encompasses several direct and indirect factors that have contributed to the sizing of the global market in recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
By Platform, Land-based, Airborne, Marine, Kill System Type, Solution, and Region
By Kill System Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 3.01 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 5.69 billion by 2029.
Registering a CAGR of 8.41%, the market will exhibit steady growth over the forecast period (2022-2029).
Based on kill system type, the soft kill system segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
Rafael Advanced Defense System Ltd., Raytheon Technologies Corporation, and Aselsan A.S. are the leading players in the global market.
North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2021.
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