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SONAR System Market Size, Share and COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Product Type (Hull -Mounted, Stern-Mounted, Sonobuoy), By Application (Commercial, and Defense), By Platform (Ship Type, Airborne), By Solution (Hardware (Transmitter, Receiver, Control Units, Displays, Sensors (Ultrasonic Diffuse Proximity Sensors, Ultrasonic Retro-Reflective Sensors),and Software) By End-User (Line Fit, and Retrofit), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI101830



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The global SONAR system market size was USD 2,180.1 million in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with sonar products witnessing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market will exhibit a huge decline of -21.37% in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 2,091.6 million in 2021 to USD 3,642.4 million in 2028 at a CAGR of 8.25% in the 2021-2028 period. The sudden rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.

Sound Navigation and Ranging 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 trend in the market.

Dampened Shipbuilding Industry to Severely Impact Market during COVID-19 Pandemic

The coronavirus outbreak has had an adverse effect on major businesses across the world. Several companies are facing major supply issues, and this effect will continue to affect the naval industry. In addition, 90% of the global trade activities have been carried out overseas.

  • According to The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has led to a 4.1% drop in global trade in 2020. In addition, it indicates more than a twenty percent fall in commodity prices and a 7.5% fall in oil prices in March 2020.

  • According to Clarkson Research, an intelligence provider in the shipping industry, the Seaborne trade was dropped by USD 1 billion in 2020. In addition to that, the shipbuilding industry has seen a 20% decline in deliveries year on year.

  • India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC), INS VIKRANT’s delivery, was delayed by six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was built by Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) and has a capacity to carry 40,000 tons.


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Adoption of 3D Sonar Processing for Seabed Imaging and Charting is the Latest Trend in the Market

The growing adoption of 3D printing technology by major companies to fabricate a 3D printed sonar system is the latest trend in the market. The technology provides a lightweight and low-cost system. The 3D system is a technologically advanced acoustic imaging device. It is majorly used to provide wide-area, high-resolution pictures of the seabed. In March 2020, iXblue launched 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 an advanced system dropped/ejected from naval ships for underwater acoustic research. Sonobuoys use an advanced transducer and a radio transmitter to record and transmit underwater sounds. In addition, the special-purpose buoys provide additional information about the environment, such as wave height and water temperature.

In March 2021, The French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) signed a contract with Thales Group to design, qualify, and develop the SonoFlash air-droppable sonobuoy. The growing adoption of sonobuoy in defense vessels drives the market growth.

Growing Use of Sonar for Aquaculture Farms Drives the Market Growth

The deep neural network is used in the sonar system for fish monitoring. Fish monitoring in aquaculture farms is anticipated for the growth of fish resources. The deep neural network sonar consists of high-precision imaging sonar and an underwater optical camera. The system enables nighttime monitoring and helps to build more efficient fish farming. Therefore, rising demand for the system in aquaculture farms drives the growth rate of the market.

However, it is difficult for humans to monitor at night when conventional optical cameras are unable to capture the image. The Sound Navigation and Ranging can capture images by using a technologically advanced underwater optical camera. JW Fishers developed SCAN-650 sector scanning sonar is a popular tool widely used across the globe. 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 high cost associated with sonar development is a prime factor hampering market growth. The product consists of highly expensive data recorders, electronics, an inertial navigation system, and a Doppler velocity log system. The high installation and maintenance cost of the system hampers the growth of the market.

The direct effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the naval industry has slowed down the production of naval vessels due to the decreasing demand for maritime ships and slowed down trade activities. The COVID-19 effect will delay the expected deliveries of ship components, parts, and systems equipped in naval vessels, thus hampering the market's growth.


By Product Type Analysis

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Hull Mounted Segment Gain Momentum during 2021-2028 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 2020. 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 2021-2028. 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 2020. 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 Sound Navigation and Ranging suite for the French navy’s nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarines (SSBNS).

By Platform Analysis

Ship Type Segment Dominated the Market in 2020 Due to Growing Seaborne Trade Worldwide

Based on the platform, the market is classified into ship type and airborne. The ship type segment consists of defense and commercial ships. The ship type segment held the highest shares in the market in 2020. 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 driving demand for sonobuoys.

By Solution Analysis

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

Based on the solution, the market is segmented into hardware and software. The hardware segment includes control units, displays, data storage devices, alarms, sensors, etc. Sensor segment 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 2021-2028. The growth is attributed to the increasing use of ultrasonic sensors due to their applications such as loop control, liquid level control, thru beam detection for high-speed counting, and others.

An increase in demand for advanced multifunctional sonar software is estimated to drive 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 2021-2028. This growth is attributed to the increase in the up-gradation of connected systems for conventional naval ships.


North America SONAR System Market Size, 2020 (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 sonar systems market dominated with size of USD 693.6 million in 2020. The dominance of North America is due to an increase in naval shipbuilding in the U.S. In 2020, the United States 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 market includes Latin America, Middle East and Africa will witness a moderate growth owing to the increase in maritime trade and ship overhauling in the Middle East & Africa and Latin America. However, COVID 19 impact on the oil and gas industry in the region have affected the demand for Sound Navigation and Ranging system and sensors in the region.


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. Surveillance network sonar, diver detection systems, dual-axis sonar (DAS), and chirp technology are the latest sonar system industry trends. 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 world’s 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 is designed to suit all possible sound navigation configurations for naval vessels.


  • ASELSAN A.Ş. (Turkey)


  • DSIT Solutions Ltd. (Israel)

  • EdgeTech (The U.S.)


  • Japan Radio Co. (Japan)

  • KONGSBERG (Norway)

  • Lockheed Martin Corporation (The U.S.)

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

  • NAVICO (Norway)

  • Raytheon Technologies Corporation (The U.S.)


  • Teledyne Technologies Incorporated. (The U.S.)

  • Thales Group (France)

  • Ultra (The U.K)


  • In February 2021, Ultra signed a contract with the Royal Canadian Navy to provide a variable depth sonar (VDS) system for the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) programme. The system is known as Towed Low Frequency Active Sonar (TLFAS) which is designed to identify and track stealthy submarines in harsh sea environments.

  • In February 2021, Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of Raytheon Technologies (RTX) signed a seven-year contract worth USD 64 million with the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Indiana, to provide sonar domes for surface combat ships for the US Navy and Allied forces.

  • In April 2021, The U.K Ministry of Defense signed a ten-year contract worth USD 34.78 million with SEA, a part of Cohort Group to manage and upgrade in service SONAR equipment.


An Infographic Representation of Sonar System Market

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The 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 developed market over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Million)


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)

    • The 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)

    • The 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)

    • The 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 2,180.1 million in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 3,642.4 million by 2028.

Registering a CAGR of 8.25%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).

The hull-mounted in the product type segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period due to the 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 2020.

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Sonar System Market Size, Share and Global Industry Trend Forecast till 2026
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