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The global medium and large satellite market size were USD 8.22 billion in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 11.21 billion in 2021 to USD 14.98 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 4.20% during the 2021-2028 forecast period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with medium and large satellites witnessing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market had shown a decline of 21.2% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
The significant rise in the demand for medium and large satellites in recent years has facilitated the satellite manufacturers to invest in the design and development of technologically advanced satellites. According to our analysis, in total 96 medium and large satellites were manufactured globally in 2017. In 2018, the total number of these satellites manufactured was 107. Thus, an increase in the number of satellites was observed in 2018. However, in 2019 and 2020, the total number of satellites manufactured was 69 and 37 respectively. The major reason for the decrease in satellites manufacturing in 2019 was the delay in the U.S and European satellite missions. Similarly, in 2020 a lesser number of systems were manufactured due to the outbreak and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, post-2021, the situation will improve, and the rise in satellites is estimated.
Medium-Heavy Satellite Witnessed Negative Demand Due to COVID-19 Outbreak
India's first GEO Imaging Satellite (GISAT-1) launch was delayed due to coronavirus spread across the country. It is the country's first earth observation satellite to place in geostationary orbit. In addition to that, 47% of 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 the 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.
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Development of 3D Printed Light Weight Satellite Component May Improve Overall Efficiency of Satellite Propulsion System
The use of 3D-printed parts in the satellites can reduce the overall cost of the satellite. Components manufactured with the 3D printed technology comprises material features such as lightweight properties, can operate under high temperature, 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 and 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 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, there has been surplus demand of satellites for communication and military reconnaissance applications. The governments, space agencies, defense agencies, private defense contractors, and private space industry players are emphasizing on the enhancement of 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 have 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 to emphasize the expansion of the satellite network and improvisation of satellite capabilities. Thus, these developments are anticipated to drive the medium and large satellite market growth.
Moreover, the increase in defense expenditure in countries such as the U.S., India, China, other European and Asian 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.
In 2021, the U.S. Space Force was funded with USD 15.4 billion out of USD 704 billion defense budget. The U.S. Space Force was established in December 2020 as an independent service under the Department of the Air Force.
Rising Utility of Satellite Imaging for Homeland Security and Defense May Rise Demand for Market
The rising security threats and concerns have influenced governments worldwide 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 are heavily investing in medium and large military satellites owing to the high demand for its defense applications. This development is anticipated to drive market growth in this market.
In April 2021, Lockheed Martin has announced that they are unveiling 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 which can enable 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 to show higher growth numbers in near future.
In April 2021, United Launch Alliance has launched its Delta 4-Heavy rocket to orbit a classified U.S. government spy satellite for National Reconnaissance Office from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The satellite will 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 variety of satellite 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 these satellites have 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 the 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 the 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 the developing countries in the space industry.
Such development has driven the micro-and nano-satellite market and hampered the medium and large satellite market growth.
Heavy Satellite Segment to Dominate Market Owing to Increasing Demand for Satellite Communication
By type, the market can be segmented across medium-sized satellite (500 to 1000 Kg Launch mass) and large satellite (More than 1000 kg Launch Mass).
The large satellite segment is estimated to be the largest segment with a market share of 79.5% in 2020. The growth is attributed to the growing demand for large satellites as these are suitable for satellite radio, communication technologies, remote sensing, planetary security, weather forecast, and other application.
The medium satellite segment is projected to be the fastest-growing segment. The rising need for improved internet connectivity and technological advancement in the telecom industry supports the demand for medium satellites.
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Payload Segment to Dominate Market Owing to Increasing Demand for LEO based Satellite and Earth Observation Imagery Payload
By component, the market can be broken down into structures, payload (Data Handling and Transmission subsystem PDHT), electric power system (EPS), instrument control unit (ICU), thermal control subsystem (TCS), propulsion system, communication systems, & others (Solar Array & Drive Mechanism)
The payload segment is registered the largest market share in 2020 and is anticipated to remain dominant throughout the forecast period. Growing demand for LEO-based satellite and earth observation imagery payloads are making lucrative opportunities for component manufacturers. Rising investments in space exploration missions and the adoption of software-defined radios in communication satellites drive the segment growth.
In February 2021, L3Harris Technologies signed a contract worth USD 137 million with Lockheed Martin for four navigation payload Mission Data Units (MDU) for future GPS III Follow-on (GPS IIIF) satellites.
The propulsion type segment accounted for 12.5% market share in the base year. Bipropellant propulsion systems are mainly used on medium to heavy satellites such as space agency mission and commercial satellites thus driving the growth of the market. Satellite structures provide its shape, secure all components and sub-systems, and protect it from mechanical stresses during launch, radiation while in-orbit and vibration at all stages.
Satellite electric power system (EPS) consists of backup batteries, fuses, bus voltage regulators, and load switches. Thus, the increasing number of its missions, in turn, creates demand for electric power systems. An Instrument Control Unit (ICU) is used to control and monitor satellite instruments. The ICU communicates with other elements of the instrument and the main Control and Management Unit (CDMU) of a satellite. Thus, the growing number of satellites creates demand for ICU systems.
Thermal control subsystem (TCS) is a satellite used to preserve all subsystems and payload components within their required temperature limits for each mission phase. Introduction of advanced TC systems drive the market growth.
Commercial Segment to Dominate Market Owing to Demand of Satellite Navigation
By end user, the market can be segmented into commercial, military, civil, & government.
The commercial segment is estimated to be the largest segment with market share in 2020. This growth is attributed to the increase in demand for satellite navigation, commercial satellite imagery, and satellite television.
In February 2021, India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C51 launched Amazonia-1 along with 18 co-passenger satellites. Amazonia-1 is an earth observation satellite of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE). It will provide remote sensing data to users for analysis of diversified agriculture across the Brazilian territory and monitoring deforestation in the Amazon region.
Military satellites to provide mission-critical information such as intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), navigation, and military communications drive the market growth during the forecast period.
North America Medium and Large Satellite Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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North America to Gain Largest Market due to Increasing Presence of Dominant Players
The global market is segmented based on region into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the rest of the world.
North America medium and large satellite dominated the market in 2020. The market size is stood at USD 3.63 billion in 2020. Increased spending on the space sector from the United States government, and the presence of key players such as Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman, L3Harris Technologies, Inc., Boeing, and others drive the market across the region.
The market in the Asia Pacific is expected to grow at the fastest growth rate. The growing expenditure from the government of China, India, and Japan on the space sector propels the market demand across the Asia Pacific. The Indian government spent USD 17.66 billion on the space sector in 2020. Moreover, large satellite constellations by the regional player will boost the growth of the market.
In March 2021, South Korea launched a next-generation medium-sized observation satellite to provide accurate observation videos of the Earth. The south Korean government spend USD 139 million on satellite projects since 2015.
Europe market is expected to grow significantly from 2020, rise 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.
Rest of the world market is at growing stage and the market for space industry anticipated to grow during forecast period.
Key Players Are Investing in Technological Advancements and Lighter Satellite Materials
The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Airbus SAS, Northrop Grumman Corporation and others are some of the key players in the market. These major players are investing in new technologies, such as 3D printed components and lighter materials for the satellite manufacturing. The main focus is to create mission specific satellites integrated with satellite market for space latest technology along with cost-effective components. 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 market report provides a detailed analysis of the industry and focuses on key aspects, such as key players and service of medium and large satellite. Moreover, the research methodology and report offers insights on the market trends, competitive landscape, market competition, product pricing, market status, and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, it encompasses several direct and indirect factors that have contributed to the sizing of the global market over recent years.
Value (USD billion)
Type, Component, End User, and Geography
By End User
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 8.22 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 14.98 billion by 2028.
Registering a CAGR of 4.20%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2021-2028).
The large satellite segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.
Airbus SAS is the leading player in the global market.
Asia Pacific dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.
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