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The global main battle tank market size was valued at USD 5.35 billion in 2022. The market is projected to grow from USD 5.54 billion in 2023 to USD 6.90 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 3.2% during the forecast period.
Main Battle Tank (MBT) consists of an armored vehicle that provides direct fire and maneuverability. MBT became a prime battleground fixture decade ago. During the conflict, land forces depended on a mix of heavy, medium, and light tank types to fulfill various conditions. The MBT conception can achieve the same results through a single design. With the arrival of more lightweight compound armor, engineers produced a new fighting machine that has remained dependent on modern armies. It is usually equipped with a powerful gun, advanced fire control systems, and armor protection and can operate in various terrains and combat scenarios.
Nations are developing advanced new generation main battle tanks to make their military strong amid increasing geopolitical tensions, which is driving the main battle tank market growth during the forecast period. Additionally, increasing procurement and upgrading programs of many emerging countries will likely aid the market growth in the coming years.
Surging Demand for Battle Tanks for Border Protection Amid the Russia-Ukraine War to Drive Market Growth
Main battle tank has played a significant role in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Russia employs its T-72 and T-90 tanks while Ukraine has relied on its fleet of aging T-64 tanks and newer models such as the T-84 and Oplot-M. Additionally, both sides suffered significant tank losses in the conflict, each claiming to have destroyed hundreds of enemy tanks. Furthermore, Russia increased its military budget by 2.9% when it deployed its military forces along the Ukrainian border.
To support Ukraine, the other allies and major NATO countries are helping the Ukrainian Forces with military equipment. For instance, the U.S. Department of Defense (U.S. DoD) has declared further security aid worth more than USD 400 million to meet the Ukrainian Armed Forces' urgent and long-term requirements. Further, Spain is committed to delivering HAWK launchers to Ukraine under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI). USAI funding will likewise ensure the delivery of 45 revamped T-72B tanks with streamlined optics, communication systems, and armor bundles. Similarly, according to Pentagon, T-72 B tanks will be supplied to Ukraine under a trilateral deal between the U.S., the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic.
In addition, according to Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), Ukraine will demand additional armor capabilities, including MBTs, if it’s to reacquire territory taken by Russia in the east of the country, with hints that Kyiv is seeking around 300 battle tanks. Meanwhile, the Russian invasion of Ukraine creates lucrative growth opportunities for MBTs in the forecast period.
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Development of New Ballistic Protection Solutions for Battle Tank to Aid Market Proliferation
Urban warfare over the last decades has deflated the character of main battle tanks, with heavy losses in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Ukraine furnishing stark lessons over the applicability of battle tank in urban warfare. Consequently, numerous countries are looking to accelerate the effectiveness of heavy armor on the battlefield while still retaining the capability to engage peer targets at a distance.
Major countries’ governments and OEMs are carrying out a number of upgrading programs for MBT's lethality and survivable capabilities. For instance, EODH, a manufacturer of ballistic protection solutions, is working on developing an advanced protection conception solution for armored vehicles. They have created a new multi-layered armor system which can be used in unborn armored vehicles. The new multi-layered armor system is weightless and offers safety from STANAG 4569 Level IV to Level VI armor protection. In addition, EODH is currently running an upgrading program on Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 battle tank. This program aims to improve survivability over armor packages, which will be helpful to 68 Leopard 2A4s and 16 Leopard 2A6 vehicles and 20 newly built Leopard 2A7Vs.
Increasing Procurement of MBTs by Developing Nations for Border Conflict Protection to Aid Market Growth
With increasing border-related issues between emerging countries, the government is procuring a high number of main battle tanks for border protection on the frontline. Nations are developing new generation tanks to equip their military forces amid rising geopolitical tensions. Apart from the solid demand for tanks, they have a robust customer base overseas, driving the market growth. For instance, General Dynamics Abrams tank is one such tank, and thus its demand continues to soar. The military forces of several major nations, such as Kuwait, Australia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other NATO and European countries, are the primary customers for this tank.
In addition, the Russia/Ukraine war is crucial in anticipating the demand for MBTs near both countries' borders. For instance, in June 2022, the State Department of Poland announced the procurement of the M1A2SEPv3 Abrams battle tank with direct fire and maneuver. The government has approved a contract worth USD 6 billion. Under this agreement, Poland will procure 250 tanks and other military equipment as tensions on the eastern flank of Europe remain high over Russian aggression aimed at Ukraine. Moreover, other countries across the globe are increasing military expenditure, creating a lucrative opportunity for the battle tank procurement program in the forecast period.
Upgrading of Existing Fleet with Advanced Technological Base Equipment to Facilitate Market Expansion
Emerging nations are carrying out an upgrade program for existing fleet of tanks. The program includes the upgrading of the engine, weaponry systems, situational awareness systems, and so on. The older systems need to be upgraded to match advanced lethality and combat capabilities. Hence, this market is anticipated to grow significantly during the forecast period. For instance, in February 2023, Turkey awarded South Korean firm SNT Heavy Industries a contract to supply an automatic transmission mechanism for Altay tank engines. The company will provide a 12-cylinder, V-type, water-cooled, and turbo diesel power unit to produce 1,500 horsepower and 4600 N-m of torque. The agreement is worth USD 217.9 million and the delivery will be completed by 2030.
Moreover, in December 2022, Allison Transmission received a contract from the U.S. Army for X1100-3B1 transmission and technical support for the Abrams Tank. The total value of the contract is worth around USD 51 million. Each country carries out several more upgrade programs, which is fueling the market growth.
Increasing Demand for Advanced Anti-tank Missile Weapon Systems to Hamper Market Growth
Anti-Tank Missiles (ATMs) are guided missiles aimed primarily at destroying or damaging heavily armored vehicles and tanks. They are guided missiles with various guiding algorithms such as wire-guided and laser companion-guided missiles. Perhaps, the topmost advantage of anti-tank missiles is their range and ease to use. They are relatively weightless (between 10-25 kg depending on the model), can be used by a single soldier, and demand minimum training to handle. Due to being lightweight and easy to carry anywhere in harsh environments, they are also extremely delicate to detect due to their size and mobility and highly effective for High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warheads to defeat Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) protected armored vehicles. The increasing demand for anti-tank missile systems will hamper market growth. For instance, in February 2023, Swedish manufacturer SAAB was expected to ramp up their Next-generation Light Anti-tank Weapon (NLAW) system production. Further, SAAB is expecting an annual production of 400,000 units.
Even in Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. made Javelin anti-tank missiles and NLAW missiles saw significant results against Russian battle tanks. In addition, the combination of various advantages such as being transported by a single soldier, guided missiles rely on an electro-optical imager (IIR), fire-and-forget type missile system, High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warhead, the ability to defeat Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) protected armored, and other such specifications make theses missiles more advanced and effective weapon against the battle tank. This is anticipated to act as a catalyst for the decline in market proliferation during the study period.
Turret System Dominates the Market Due to its Broad Functionality and Overall Cost
By component, the market is divided into turret system, internal combustion engine, wheel & tracks, situational awareness, weaponry systems, and others.
The internal combustion engine segment is the fastest-growing segment by component. The increasing demand for IC engines for new and older versions of MBT for upgrading is anticipating segment growth. For instance, the U.S. Army awarded Honeywell International a contract to modify and supply the main battle tank Automotive Gas Turbine 1500 engine. Under the agreement, the company will provide engines to the U.S. army till 2025, and the value of the contract is around USD 1 billion.
Further, the weaponry system segment is the second fastest growing segment as most of the army are upgrading their existing fleet. Conventional weapons are replacing technological-based weapons. For instance, in March 2022, Swedish Armed Forces awarded a contract to Elbit Systems to supply M339 rounds, a 120mm ammunition for its Leopard battle tank. The total value of the contract was USD 27 million.
The turret system segment holds the largest market share as turret is a combination of parts mounted on it and a rotating bearing so that it can rotate 360 degrees. These systems include weapon systems, situational awareness systems, and optronics. Emerging countries are embossing the turret systems with new weapon systems and other protection equipment. For instance, in May 2022, Curtiss-Wright Corporation secured a contract from Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land to provide a battle tank weapon system with its turret drive stabilization gear.
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Heavy Weight Segment is Dominating Due to its Technological Capability over Other Tanks
The heavy weight segment is the dominant segment in the MBT market. The increasing demand for heavy tanks for frontline security purposes is resulting in the growth of the market. For instance, according to SIPRI in 2018, Finland ordered 100 Leopard-2A6 from the Netherlands. The total value of the agreement is around USD 200 million.
The medium weight segment is the second-highest growing segment, creating lucrative procurement opportunities in the forecast period. For instance, in 2019, India started manufacturing the T-90 battle tank produced under license in India. The total volume is undisclosed, but until now, around 200 T-90 have been made and delivered to the Indian armed forces.
The light weight segment is the fastest growing segment due to the increasing demand for light weight tanks by various countries, thereby driving the market growth. Light weight tanks work in harsh environments or mountain or hill areas due to less weight than heavy battle tanks. For instance, in October 2022, the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) announced they would develop and manufacture the Zorawar light tank. In addition, in June 2022, the U.S. Army selected General Dynamics Land Systems to simulate light weight tanks. According to the U.S. army, the total contract was around USD 1.14 billion, and the military is expected to deliver the first batch by 2025.
Increasing Procurement Under License Production in Many Countries is Driving the Market Growth
By solution, the market is classified into line fit and retro fit.
Retro fit is the fastest-growing segment. The increasing demand for license production by various nations is evolving. Most countries rely on manufacturing trends over procurement from other OEMs or governments, creating lucrative growth during the forecast period. For instance, according to the SIPRI database, Indonesia manufactures the MMWT battle tank consortium with Turkey under licensed production.
Furthermore, retrofitting has witnessed great opportunity in the forecast period. Developing nations are upgrading their existing fleet with new systems to become more capable in combat. For instance, according to the U.S. army, the armed forces, engineers, and scientists are developing technology prototypes manufactured as part of the Advanced Targeting and Lethality Aided System (ATLAS) program. This system will be able to detect an automatic target recognition system powered by artificial intelligence.
Furthermore, in August 2022, Elbit Systems got a contract from an undisclosed client from Asia Pacific to upgrade the main battle tank. Elbit Systems will provide advanced electronic suites, improving operational capabilities, control and communication platform upgrades, weapon systems installation, new sensor deployment, and so on. Elbit System will address all the aspects of turning MBT into a next-generation combat vehicle. The contract value was around USD 240 million.
The line fit segment holds the largest share of the market. Emerging countries, such as the U.S., Russia, India, South Korea, Germany, and others, are focused on increasing indigenous production of MBT. For instance, in March 2022, DRDO & Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) started manufacturing under license the light tank Project Zorawar consortium with the Russian government. India will manufacture 350 light tanks, and the contract will complete by 2027-2028.
Asia Pacific Main Battle Tank Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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The global market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America.
Asia Pacific is the largest and the fastest-growing region in the MBT market during the forecast period. Due to border and geopolitical conflicts, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Pakistan are increasing their procurement plan. For instance, in September 2021, the Indian Defense Ministry sealed a contract to procure 118 Arjun Mk-1A. This tank will come up with more than 70 new features and more indigenous content. India is looking forward to boosting its combat capabilities. Furthermore, according to the Indian Defense Ministry, the government is in talks with Russia about procuring the next-generation T-14 Armata Tank. The increasing investment to expand the fleet is predicted to propel the main battle tank market share in Asia Pacific during the forecast period.
North America is expected to have significant growth during the forecast period. Major players are present in this region. The increased growth is owing to modernization and development of main battle tanks. Additionally, the industry is anticipated to grow during the forecast period due to the region's widespread export of battle tanks worldwide.
Europe is the second fastest-growing region in this market. With the ongoing war between Russia/Ukraine, the demand for battle tanks is increasing. In addition, the existing fleet to turn into the next generation is anticipating market growth. Russia, France, and Hungary contribute more to the market. For instance, Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) awarded a contract to Curtiss-Wright to supply Turret Drive Servo System (TDSS) for the upcoming British Army’s Challenger 3 main battle tank.
The Middle East market will record moderate growth in the forecast period. The countries in this region look forward to strengthening their borders with ground support. Turkey, Morocco, Kuwait, and others primarily focus on the upgrading program of the existing fleet of battle tank. For instance, Turkey awarded a contract with South Korean firm SNT Heavy Industries to supply an automatic transmission mechanism for the Turkish Altay battle tank. Under this contract, SNT Heavy Industries will deliver BMC, a 1.500-horsepower automated transmission system with total contractual value around USD 217.9 million.
Africa and Latin America are contributing less revenue in this market. However, their latest initiatives and implementations in battle tank development will propel the market growth in the forecast period. For instance, the Egyptian Ministry of Defense signed a deal with Russia’s Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) to license-build 500 T-90MS tank and will assemble them till 2021.
The market includes national and international major players across the globe. Various players are consistently developing advanced strategies to take a competitive advantage. Many companies are forming mergers & acquisitions and partnership & collaboration strategies to enable market growth. The MBT market's players focus significantly more on research and development activities. In addition, battle tank market players are expected to have profitable growth opportunities in the forecast period with the growing demand for main battle tanks in the global market.
An Infographic Representation of Main Battle Tank Market
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The research report brings a comprehensive market analysis and emphasizes key aspects such as key players, objects, offerings, and end-users of satellite imaging. Moreover, the report deals with insights into the market trends, market competition, product pricing, regional analysis, market players, competitive landscape, and the market status and highlights key industry growths. In addition to the factors stated above, the report encompasses several direct and indirect influences that have subsidized the sizing of the global market in recent years.
CAGR of 3.2% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Billion)
Fortune Business Insights says the market size was USD 5.35 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to reach USD 6.90 billion by 2030.
Registering a CAGR of 3.2%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period.
During the forecast period, the line fit segment will likely be the fastest-growing segment in this market.
Asia Pacific dominated the market in terms of share in 2022.
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