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The global medium and large satellite market size was valued at USD 7.90 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 6.91 billion in 2023 to USD 9.52 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period.
Medium and large satellites weigh more than 1000 kg, including all types of payload. Medium satellites are designed to perform tasks such as providing communications and monitoring services, navigation, high-bandwidth data connectivity to service providers, government agencies, and commercial enterprises, among others. These satellites are placed in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), Low Earth Orbit (LEO), or Geostationary Orbit (GEO). The significant rise in the demand for medium and large satellites in recent years has facilitated satellite manufacturers to invest in the design and development of technologically advanced satellites.
Large satellites are typically used for complex missions requiring extensive capabilities such as advanced scientific research, global communication, deep space exploration, military surveillance, and others. Such satellites carry a variety of instruments and sensors and are placed at higher orbits such as GEO or beyond. The global market growth increased during the forecast period due to the rising demand for space based services in communication, navigation, and remote sensing for earth and deep space exploration.
Medium-Heavy Satellite Witnessed Negative Demand Due to COVID-19 Outbreak Due to Cancellation/Suspension of Space Missions
Since the COVID-19 outbreak in December 2019, the disease was spread to almost 100 countries around the globe, with the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a pandemic. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic significantly declined the market in the year 2020 and 2021.
India's first GEO Imaging Satellite (GISAT-1) launch was delayed due to the coronavirus spread across the nation. It was the country's first earth observation satellite that would be placed in geostationary orbit. In addition, 47% of the U.K. space sector companies witnessed a reduction in international demand over the last year.
In March 2021, the Department of International Trade (DIT) launched the Space Sector COVID Support Plan (SSCSP) to ensure that U.K. space manufacturers build back better in the future. The plan includes investment promotion, government coordination, and export support. Furthermore, due to COVID-19, the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) rescheduled the launch of the GPS navigation satellite, GPS III-3, developed by Lockheed Martin Corporation from April to June 2020. Owing to similar delays, there was a decline in the overall market expansion during the year 2022.
Russia Ukraine War Negatively Impacted the Market Due to Security Concerns for Satellite Operators
The Russia-Ukraine war has disrupted satellite communication (SATCOM) infrastructure negatively. Due to the war, satellite ground stations, antennas, and other facilities have been damaged in certain affected areas. Furthermore, the conflict raise security concerns for the respective satellite operators. Large satellites in orbit may be at risk due to the potential threat from anti-satellite weapons. The war has also created tension for collaborative space projects, joint space missions, and others. In March 2023, Kazakhstan took control of the Vyaterek launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Russia's most important launch site since 1955. The Kakaji government has seized Russian assets from the Roscosmos subsidiary, Center for Terrestrial Space Infrastructure Utilization (TsENKI). It will also prevent Russian officials from leaving the country or liquidating Roscosmos assets. This incident is another example of the collateral damage to the Russian space program from the war in Ukraine.
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Development of 3D Printed Lightweight Satellite Components May Improve Overall Efficiency of Satellite Propulsion Systems
Using 3D-printed parts in satellites can reduce their overall costs. Components manufactured with the 3D printed technology comprise material features such as lightweight properties, ability to operate under high temperatures, high reliability, compatibility, and high strength.
These properties can assist to save huge manufacturing costs. Moreover, the aerospace and defense industry is using 3D printed parts for various applications. It can facilitate the growth of the space industry as many sub-systems can be procured from these companies at low cost.
Airbus Defense and Space uses EOS-based technology for the manufacturing of satellite components. The company claims that the use of 3D-printed parts save around 20% cost of the product. These factors can improve the overall efficiency of the market.
Increased Demand for Military Reconnaissance and Communication Applications to Drive Market Growth
In the last few years, satellite demand for communication and military reconnaissance applications has been surplus. The governments, space agencies, defense agencies, private defense contractors, and private space industry players are emphasizing enhancing the communication network capabilities for public and military reconnaissance applications such as intelligence, surveillance, and target and data acquisition applications.
In September 2021, Hanwha Systems and LIG Nex1 announced that they had secured contracts worth USD 307 million from South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) linked to ANASIS-II, the country's first dedicated military communications satellite.
Key players, such as Boeing and Airbus SAS, are investing in R&D initiatives to emphasize the expansion of the satellite network and improvising satellite capabilities. These developments are anticipated to drive the market growth over the study period.
Moreover, the increase in defense expenditure in the U.S., India, China, and other Asian and European countries and increased spending on a year-on-year basis on satellite-based advanced technology for worldwide coverage will provide ISR capabilities that provide accurate, coherent, and high-resolution intelligence information for critical missions. Such developments are expected to propel market growth over the forecast period.
In 2021, the U.S. Space Force was funded with USD 15.4 billion out of the USD 704 billion defense budget. The U.S. Space Force was established in December 2020 as an independent service under the Department of Air Force.
Rising Utility of Satellite Imaging for Homeland Security and Defense to Impel Market Growth
The rising security threats and concerns have influenced governments across the globe to heighten the utility of satellite imaging technology since the beginning of the Cold War, and it is still a force multiplier in defense and homeland security applications. Recently, governments and defense agencies, and industries have been heavily investing in medium and large military satellites owing to the high demand for its defense applications. This development will be driving the medium and large satellite market growth over the ensuing years.
In April 2021, Lockheed Martin unveiled a brand new series of mid-sized or medium satellites for space-based military surveillance through satellite imaging technology. The mid-size military space bus would be interoperable with military and homeland security weapons systems such as air defense systems, fighter jets, and intelligence agencies. The mid-size satellites will be an alternative to aerial imaging platforms such as drones or fighter jets. This development is expected to propel the market growth.
Satellite imaging maximizes security programs, enabling local governments to better assess and understand how to develop programs to save lives, protect property, and enhance the future economic stability of their communities. Thus, the reliance of government agencies and on these modern-day satellite technologies will lead to higher growth numbers in near future.
In April 2021, the United Launch Alliance launched its Delta 4-Heavy rocket to orbit a classified the U.S. government spy satellite for National Reconnaissance Office from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The satellite would be utilized for military ISR missions as well as Homeland Security by the U.S. Intelligence Community.
High Cost Related to Satellite Components and its Installation to Hinder Market Growth
The space systems and infrastructure of medium and large satellites require a range of components to deliver signals, communications, imaging solutions, and other solutions which enhance the capabilities of the satellites. Since the advent of micro, nano, and small satellites, the conventional satellite components for medium and large satellites has become costlier than earlier, as it also requires more space infrastructure such as ground monitoring stations and their associated components. This development is anticipated to hamper market growth. However, a very high cost is required for new space network stations or relevant space infrastructure. These high initial space infrastructure investments with satellite components and their installations onboard the satellite and on the ground stations are anticipated to restrict the market growth.
According to the UNOOSA (United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs), the high cost relevant to satellite components and their installations has witnessed declining trends in the developing countries worldwide, as the procurement of such satellite components and their installation can be delayed owing to the ongoing pandemic across the globe. The relevant cost escalation due to delaying of the launch or supply of the mission-critical components for large or medium satellites may lead to debt on developing countries in the space industry.
Such development has driven the micro-and nano-satellite market and hampered the market growth.
LEO Segment to Dominate the Market Owing to a Large Number of Missions Targeting the LEO
By orbit, the market is segmented into LEO, MEO, GEO and others. The LEO segment dominates the market and is anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR due to the growing tourism industry. The LEO orbit is the closest to the earth and is important for applications requiring real-time data for communication, earth observations, and others. Due to this, there are a large number of missions targeting the LEO and is a major reason for the segmental growth during the study period.
The GEO segment has the second largest share during the forecast period. A geostationary satellite orbits the earth at the same speed as the earth's rotation. Therefore, the satellite is always in the same place on earth. Owing to this, the GEO orbit is ideal for satellite applications requiring continuous communication or broadcasting connections.
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Earth Observation Segment to Command the Market Owing to the Rise in Environmental Monitoring Activities
By application, the market is segmented into earth observation, navigation and global positioning, communication, and others. The earth observation segment dominated the market in 2022 and is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The increase in satellite launches for earth observation has increased due to the growing concerns about environmental and climate change. Earth observation data helps scientists and policy makers develop strategies to reduce the impact of climate change.
The communication segment is anticipated to witness significant growth during the study period owing to the rise in demand for broadcasting services and real time data by various stakeholders and companies which leads to higher demand for medium and large satellite.
Military Segment to Dominate Owing to High Cost and Improved Features
Based on end user, the market is categorized into commercial, government, and military. The military segment is projected to dominate the market with the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The rise is on account of the enhanced features and high cost compared with government and commercial satellites.
The government segment is projected to grow significantly during the forecast period. The growth is due to the increase in government budget for space missions targeting communication and broadcasting services. Another factor propelling industry expansion is the increase in space exploration capabilities by various countries that are contributing to the growth of the market.
Up to 5,000 kg Segment to Dominate the Market Owing to Increasing Demand for Efficient and Miniaturized Components
By payload, the market is divided into up to 5,000 kg, 5,000 to 10,000 kg, and above 10,000 kg. The up to 5,000 kg segment dominated the market and is anticipated to grow at a higher CAGR throughout the forecast period. This is due to the rise in technological advancements to reduce the overall weight with miniaturized components enabling construction of satellite with low cost.
The above 10,000 kg segment will witness significant growth during the forecast period. The need for large satellites is driven by the growing demand for high resolution imaging, improved data collection, and expanded coverage.
North America Medium and Large Satellite Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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In terms of geography, the market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa. The North America market was valued at USD 3.36 billion in 2022. The increasing demand for satellite launches along with increased spending on the space sector by the U.S. government and the presence of key players such as Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman, L3Harris Technologies, Inc., Boeing, and others drive the market growth across the region.
The Europe market is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period. The rising expenditure on space exploration missions from the U.K., Germany, France, and other European countries supports the market growth across Europe in near future. In February 2021, Russia launched its first Arctic monitoring satellite, Arktika-M-satellite. It is designed to monitor the climate and environment in the Arctic region.
The market in Asia Pacific is expected to grow at the fastest rate. The soaring expenditure from the government of China, India, and Japan on the space sector propels the market across Asia Pacific. In May 2023, the Indian Space Research Organization conducted its fifth launch of the year 2023, lifting a 2,232-kilogram satellite that is part of the NavIC series. NVS-1 was launched on a GSLV F12 from Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota. NVS-1 is the first next-generation NavIC satellite designed to improve the country's navigation capabilities. The system was developed in light of the growing needs of the domestic civil aviation sector for better positioning, navigation, and scheduling.
Latin America will witness significant growth during the forecast period. The rise in space programs in the region is the main driving factor for the market. Furthermore, the rise in launch activities in Brazil is anticipated to propel the market growth.
The Middle East & Africa will hold a significant medium and large satellite market share. The focus for improving the space sector will boost the market growth in the region. In April 2023, Israel successfully launched a new spy satellite called Ofek-13. Launched from Palmachim Air Force Base in central Israel, the Ofek-13 satellite is designed to provide enhanced intelligence capabilities to the Israeli military and intelligence services.
Satellite Manufacturers are Diversifying their Portfolio to Provide Advanced Satellites to their Customers
The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Airbus SAS, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and others are some of the key players of medium and large satellite. These major players are investing in new technologies, such as 3D printed components and lighter materials, for satellite manufacturing. The main focus is to create mission specific satellites integrated with satellite market for the latest space technology along with cost-effective components. The companies are also focused in diversifying the satellites for various applications. Key players are also collaborating to create supply chain synergies within their ecosystems and clusters.
An Infographic Representation of Medium and Large Satellite Market
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The report provides a detailed analysis of the industry. It comprises all major aspects, such as R&D capabilities and optimization of the manufacturing process. Moreover, the research report offers insights into the market forecast, trends, and primarily highlights key industry developments, porter’s five forces analysis, and others. In addition to the above-mentioned factors, it mainly focuses on several factors that have contributed to the global market growth in recent years.
CAGR of 4.7% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Billion)
By Orbit; Application; End User; Payload; and Geography
By End User
As per a study by Fortune Business Insights study, the market size was USD 7.90 billion in 2022.
The market is likely to grow at a CAGR of 4.7% over the forecast period (2023-2030).
The LEO segment is expected to lead the market due to increasing satellite launches for communication applications
The market size in the U.S. stood at USD 3.13 billion in 2022.
The rising utility of satellite imaging for homeland security and defense is expected to propel market growth.
Some of the top players in the market are Airbus SAS (Netherlands), Lockheed Martin Corporation (U.S.), L3Harris Technologies Inc. (U.S.), SpaceX (U.S.), NASA (U.S.), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) (India), and Northrop Grumman Corporation (U.S.).
The U.S. dominated the market in 2022.
The high cost related to satellite components and their installation may hinder market growth to some extent.
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