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SONAR System Market Size, Share and Industry Analysis, By Product Type (Hull-Mounted, Stern-Mounted, Sonobuoy, and DDS), By Application (Commercial and Defense), By Platform (Ship Type and Airborne), By Solution (Hardware (Transmitter, Receiver, Control Units, Displays, Sensors (Ultrasonic Diffuse Proximity Sensors, Ultrasonic Retro-Reflective Sensors, Ultrasonic Through-Beam Sensors, VME-ADC, and Others), and Others), and Software), By End-User (Line Fit and Retrofit), and Regional Forecast, 2022-2029

Last Updated :April 01, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI101830



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The global SONAR system market size was valued at USD 2.09 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 2.20 billion in 2022 to USD 3.76 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.96% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with SONAR system experiencing demand lower-than-anticipated across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of -21.4% in 2020 as compared to 2019.


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Sound Navigation and Ranging (SONAR) is an advanced technique utilizing sound propagation to navigate and communicate with objects located inside the water. Increasing naval ship procurement and up-gradation activities and rising commercial ship deliveries worldwide are estimated to drive the SONAR system market growth. Diver detection systems, surveillance network SONAR, synthetic aperture SONAR, and twin inverted pulse SONAR are the latest technological trends in the market.

Russia-Ukraine War Crisis Impact on Market

  • Russian and Ukrainian ports are the largest export hubs of crude oil, wheat, and corn. The current war situation has shut down the cargo import and export through the sea, resulting in sluggish growth in the marine sector.

  • On the contrary, several European countries have increased their defense budget in 2022 according to the NATO recommendations. NATO has recommended the countries increase their defense budgets to 2% of their GDP.

  • For instance, Poland officials declared to increase the defense budget to 2% of GDP in 2022 and 3% of GDP in 2023. The increase in the defense budget is expected to increase the procurement of naval vessels, which will support the market growth.

  • In March 2022, the Polish National Defense Minister announced that Warsaw would procure three new Mine Countermeasure Vessels (MCVs) to boost its naval capabilities in the Baltic Sea.

  • In January 2022, Russia deployed 140 combat and supply ships while NATO deployed over 100 jets and 120 allied ships to the Mediterranean region.

  • Moreover, new submarine procurement has also been initiated by the Indonesian and Israel’s Navy in 2022, which will facilitate the growth of this market.

  • Thus, with growing funding on procurement of naval vessels and submarines and increased spending on the upgrade of naval vessels, the market will witness significant growth during the 2022 – 2025 period.


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Adoption of 3D SONAR Processing for Seabed Imaging and Charting is the Latest Trend

Major organizations' increased usage of 3D printing technology to build a 3D printed SONAR system is a prominent trend in the market. The manufacturing technique provides a system that is both light and inexpensive. The 3D system is a state-of-the-art acoustic imaging gadget. Its primary function is to provide wide-area, high-resolution images of the seafloor.

  • In March 2020, iXblue launched a new SeapiX-C solid-state 3D multibeam SONAR. The new SONAR offers enhanced safety and efficiency. It provides real-time geo-referenced static bathymetry capabilities to marine work operators for real-time monitoring and decision-making.


Increasing Demand for Sonobuoy for Tactical Defense Operations Will Aid Growth

A sonobuoy is a sophisticated underwater acoustic research system dropped or ejected by naval ships. Sonobuoys record and transmit underwater sounds using a sophisticated transducer and a radio transmitter. The special-purpose buoys also provide other environmental information, such as wave height and water temperature. The market is anticipated to grow due to the increasing use of sonobuoy in military vessels.

  • The French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) awarded Thales Group a contract to design, qualify, and develop the SonoFlash air-droppable sonobuoy in March 2021.

Growing Use of SONAR for Aquaculture Farms Drives Market Growth

The SONAR system for fish monitoring employs a deep neural network. For the expansion of fish resources, demand for fish monitoring is expected to grow in aquaculture farms. A high-precision imaging SONAR and an underwater optical camera make up the deep neural network SONAR. The device allows for nocturnal monitoring and aids in developing more efficient fish farming. As a result, increased demand for the system in aquaculture farms propels the market forward.

On the other hand, humans find it difficult to monitor at night when traditional optical cameras are unable to record the image. The increasing development of a technologically advanced underwater optical camera that can capture images by the SONAR is expected to fuel the market growth. For instance, the SCAN-650 sector scanning SONAR, developed by JW Fishers, is common equipment used worldwide. It provides a detailed image of the aquatic environment regardless of the water visibility.


COVID-19 Pandemic will Slow Down Trade Activities and Hamper Market Growth

The expensive cost of SONAR development is a major impediment to business expansion. SONAR data recorders, SONAR electronics, an inertial navigation system, and a Doppler velocity log system make up the product. The market's expansion is hampered by the SONAR's high installation and maintenance costs.

The immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the navy industry has delayed naval vessel production due to lower demand for maritime ships and slowed down trade activities. The COVID-19 effect will cause delays in the delivery of ship components, parts, and systems for navy vessels, stifling the market growth.


By Product Type Analysis

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Hull Mounted Segment Gain Momentum during 2022-2029 Owing to Increasing Focus of Defense Forces to Improve their ASW Capabilities

Based on product type, the market is segmented into hull-mounted, stern-mounted, sonobuoy, and DDS. The hull-mounted segment consists of forward-looking SONAR, echo sounders, and Omni-directional SONAR. The hull-mounted segment held the highest shares in 2021. The growth is attributed to the increasing demand for forward-looking SONAR in the defense vessel. Such systems are used for vessel traffic management services to increase the efficiency of naval ships.

The Sonobuoy segment will witness remarkable growth owing to an increase in the efficiency of the navy against submarine attack threats. The stern-mounted segment is estimated to show significant growth due to increasing demand for towed array SONAR systems for surveillance & reconnaissance activities.

By Application Analysis

Defense Segment Dominate the Market Due to Growing Use of SONAR Systems for Mine Detection and Countermeasure (MCM) Operations

By application, the market is divided into commercial and defense. The commercial segment is anticipated to show the fastest growth during 2022-2029. This growth is attributed to the rising demand for increasing oil & gas survey applications for hydrographic surveys, fish chirp SONARs, and boosting overall ship delivery and retrofitting operations.

The defense segment held the highest shares in 2021. This growth is due to the growing use of SONARs for mine detection, countermeasure operations, and port security.

  • In February 2021, Thales Group signed a contract with French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) to provide a next-generation SONAR suite for the French navy’s nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarines (SSBNS).

By Platform Analysis

Ship Type Segment Dominated the Market in 2021 Due to Growing Seaborne Trade Worldwide

Based on platform, this market is classified into ship type and airborne. The ship type segment consists of defense and commercial ships. It held the highest shares in the market in 2021. The growth is due to the increasing demand for SONARs on a gas tanker, bulk carrier, passenger cruise, research vessels, dry cargo, aircraft carriers, destroyers, and amphibious ships. The airborne segment will witness significant growth during the forecast period. Sonobuoys and dipping SONARs are majorly used in the airborne segment early detection of opponents' submarines to prevent attacks and loss of resources, thereby surging the demand for sonobuoys.

By Solution Analysis

Hardware Segment Dominated the Market Due to Increasing Use of Ultrasonic Sensors

Based on solution, the market is segmented into hardware and software. The hardware segment includes control units, displays, data storage devices, alarms, sensors, and others. Sensors segment is further divided into ultrasonic diffuse proximity sensors, ultrasonic retro-reflective sensors, ultrasonic through-beam sensors, VME-ADC, and others.

The hardware segment is anticipated to hold the largest market share during 2022-2029. The growth is attributed to the increasing use of ultrasonic sensors due to their applications such as loop control, liquid level control, through-beam detection for high-speed counting, and others.

An increase in demand for advanced multifunctional SONAR software is estimated to drive the market growth.

  • In April 2018, EdgeTech launched Discover Blue, a new side-scan SONAR software package used for search & recovery (SAR) efforts.

By End-User Analysis

Line fit Segment Will Grow with Highest CAGR Due to Rising Demand for Advance Naval Vessels

By end-user, the market is divided into line fit and retrofit. The line fit segment is anticipated to showcase the fastest growth during the forecast period. The growth is due to the rising demand for naval vessels equipped with an advanced SONAR system. The retrofit segment is estimated to hold the largest market share during 2022-2029. This growth is attributed to the increase in upgrade of connected systems for conventional naval ships.


North America SONAR System Market Size, 2021 (USD Million)

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The market is segmented based on regions, namely, North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the rest of the world.

North America dominated the market with a market size of USD 665.5 million in 2021. The dominance of North America is due to an increase in naval shipbuilding in the U.S.

  • In 2020, the U.S. government proposed a shipbuilding plan in which 82 new ships that cost up to USD 147 billion will be added in the five years between 2022 and 2026.

Asia Pacific will showcase remarkable growth due to increased spending in the naval sector and a rise in domestic ship production in South Korea and China. Growing deliveries of commercial ships in Japan and integrating automation to ship systems by various shipbuilding players in South Korea propel market growth.

In Europe, retrofitting autonomous ship technologies in vessels and introducing advanced threat detection and identification technologies in naval ships are anticipated to drive the market. In the U.K., increasing investment in the up-gradation of marine systems is expected to propel the market. The Rest of the World will witness moderate growth owing to the increase in maritime trade and ship overhauling in the Middle East & Africa and Latin America.


Key Players are Focusing on Advanced Technologies and Next Generation SONARs Through Research and Development

The market is fragmented as several players are involved in the development of SONAR systems. The latest trends are surveillance network SONAR, diver detection systems, dual-axis SONAR (DAS), and chirp technology. A diversified product portfolio coupled with research & development activity is the prominent factor responsible for the dominance of these key market players. In March 2020, Impact Subsea launched the ISS360 SONAR, the smallest imaging SONAR. It provides excellent image quality with a range of up to 90 meters/295 feet.

Teledyne Technologies Incorporated offers 2D and 3D SONARs, acoustic modems, and data visualization/charting software. This technology suits all possible sound navigation configurations for naval vessels.


  • ASELSAN A.Ş. (Turkey)


  • DSIT Solutions Ltd. (Israel)

  • EdgeTech (U.S.)


  • Japan Radio Co. (Japan)

  • KONGSBERG (Norway)

  • Lockheed Martin Corporation (U.S.)

  • L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (U.S.)

  • NAVICO (Norway)

  • Raytheon Technologies Corporation (U.S.)


  • Teledyne Technologies Incorporated. (U.S.)

  • Thales Group (France)

  • Ultra (U.K.)


  • February 2022 – ELAC SONAR was awarded a contract worth USD 58 million by Leonardo SpA to provide SONAR systems for two new submarines supplied by Fincantieri for the Italian Navy.

  • January 2022 – SyQwest was awarded a contract worth USD 10 million by Naval Surface Warfare Center to build TR-343 SONAR transducer ceramic stack assemblies for the U.S. Navy Submarine Acoustic Systems Program.


An Infographic Representation of Sonar System Market

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The global SONAR system market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, different platforms, product types, solutions, and applications of SONAR systems. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation  



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion)


By Product Type

  • Hull-Mounted

  • Stern-Mounted

  • Sonobuoy

  • DDS

By Application

  • Commercial

  • Defense

By Platform

  • Ship Type

  • Airborne

By Solution

  • Hardware

    • Transmitter

    • Receiver

    • Control Units

    • Displays

    • Sensors

      • Ultrasonic Diffuse Proximity Sensors

      • Ultrasonic Retro-Reflective Sensors

      • Ultrasonic Through-Beam Sensors

      • VME-ADC

      • Others

    • Others

  • Software

By End-User

  • Line fit

  • Retrofit

By Geography

  • North America (By Product Type, Solution, Platform, Application, End-User, and Country)

    • U.S. (By Product Type, Solution, Platform, Application, End-User)

    • Canada (By Product Type, Solution, Platform, Application, End-User)

  • Europe (By Product Type, Solution, Platform, Application, End-User, and Country)

    • U.K. (By Product Type, Solution, Platform, Application, End-User)

    • Germany (By Product Type, Solution, Platform, Application, End-User)

    • France (By Product Type, Solution, Platform, Application, End-User)

    • Russia (By Product Type, Solution, Platform, Application, End-User)

    • Italy (By Product Type, Solution, Platform, Application, End-User)

    • Rest of Europe (By Product Type, Solution, Platform, Application, End-User)

  • Asia Pacific (By Product Type, Solution, Platform, Application, End-User, and Country)

    • China (By Product Type, Solution, Platform, Application, End-User)

    • India (By Product Type, Solution, Platform, Application, End-User)

    • Japan (By Product Type, Solution, Platform, Application, End-User)

    • South Korea (By Product Type, Solution, Platform, Application, End-User)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Product Type, Solution, Platform, Application, End-User)

  • Rest of the World (By Product Type, Solution, Platform, Application, End-User, and Sub-Region)

    • Middle East & Africa (By Product Type, Solution, Platform, Application, End-User)

    • Latin America (By Product Type, Solution, Platform, Application, End-User)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 2.09 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 3.76 billion by 2029.

Registering a CAGR of 7.96%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2022-2029).

Hull-mounted in the product type segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period due to increasing focus of defense forces to improve ASW capabilities.

KONGSBERG is the leading player in the global market.

North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2021.

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