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Military Satellite Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Orbit Type (LEO, MEO, and GEO), By Offering (Satellite Manufacturing, Launch Services, and Operational Services), By Type (Nano-Micro Satellite, Small Satellite, Medium Satellite, and Heavy Satellite), By Application (ISR, Communication, and Navigation), By Component (Structures, Payload, Electric Power System, Instrument Control Unit, Propulsion System, Thermal Control Subsystem, Communication System, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Last Updated: April 29, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI106401



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The global military satellite market size was USD 12.7 billion in 2020. The market is expected to grow from USD 13.6 billion in 2021 to USD 22.0 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 7.10% in the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with satellites witnessing a positive demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a stellar growth rate of 16.21% in 2020. The sudden fall in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.


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A military satellite is a satellite used for a variety of military applications. These are used for various missions such as military communication, intelligence gathering, and navigation. The data collected through these satellites have a direct impact on the operational capability of defense forces. It includes early warning related to movements, collecting and communicating intelligence information to the military forces.

The information of high-power military surveillance is transferred to forces through electronic and signal intelligence in remote areas. In October 2021, France launched a military communication satellite to allow all of France's defense forces across the globe to communicate smoothly and with improved security.

Increased Launch of Small Satellites to Stabilize Market Growth amid COVID-19

The space industry experienced significant disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic across the world. There was an increased number of Nano-micro spy satellites while the medium-heavy satellite launches reduced amid COVID-19.

  • In April 2020, Iran launched its first Noor-1 military satellite into orbit. The launch was conducted by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp’s (IRGC) space program using a new three-stage Qased launch vehicle.

  • In July 2020, South Korea launched its first military communication satellite by SpaceX. The ANASIS-II will enhance the South Korea’s ability to defend itself against the nuclear-armed North Korea.

  • On the other hand, due to COVID-19, the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) postponed the presentation of GPS navigation satellite, GPS III-3, created by Lockheed Martin Corporation from April to June 2020.

  • In addition to that, 47% of the U.K. Space sector companies witnessed a reduction in international demand over the last year.


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Increased Demand for Miniaturized Spacecraft Components for Weight Reduction

Weight is one of the most crucial aspects to be considered while designing or manufacturing any airborne machine. Miniaturization can not only save orders of magnitude in mass and volume of individual components, but it can also allow increased redundancy, and enable novel spacecraft designs and mission scenarios. These Nano-microsatellites are much cheaper and faster to design, build, and launch.

Microsatellites in 62- or 63-degree inclined orbits are able to find the location and characteristics of radars. When these spacecraft’s configured to coordinate with imaging satellites, they will provide a comprehensive picture of the adversary’s deployments and military movements.


Rising Security Concerns and Need for Reliable Surveillance to Propel Market Forward

Growing concern for terrorism, cross border conflicts, and political unrest is driving the demand for military satellite. Rising security concerns leads to growing need for tactical communication systems to be deployed by the defense forces across the globe. The tactical communication systems provide secured communication platform between the military forces. These satellites provide real time intelligence information, navigation, and communication that helps in various defense missions.

Increasing Use of AI in Satellite Manufacturing Propels Market Growth

The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) has brought about major transformations in the space sector. The newly developed military's reconnaissance satellites use artificial intelligence to analyze and sort captured images. Furthermore, AI-enabled automatic learning systems and intelligent ground station optimized the control of CubeSats constellations.

Enhanced data processing, laser communication systems, and transmission capacity drive the growth of the market. In November 2019, U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) signed a contract worth USD 731.8 million with General Dynamics Corporation for sustainment of the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS), a next-generation military satellite communication system.


Strict Government Restrictions and Issues Related to Cyber Threats Hampers Market Growth

The space industry is facing numerous restrictions from national as well as government agencies. On an international level, there are five United Nations Treaties on outer space, which are the Rescue Agreement, Outer Space Treaty, Registration Convention, Liability Convention, and Moon Agreement. In addition to that, the activities carried out by non-government organizations require supervision and authorization from the state. Such stringent norms hinders the military satellite market growth.

Furthermore, issues related to cyber-attacks and spoofing hampers the growth of the market. In July 2019, the UK’s Royal Institute of International Affairs published data, states that satellites face the threat of hackers using malicious code to disrupt automated missile-defense systems or jam battlefield communications.


By Orbit Type Analysis

Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Segment Dominated Market Share in 2020 Due to Data Transmission Delays

Based on the orbit type, the market share is split into LEO, MEO, and GEO.

Among these, the LEO segment acquired the dominant market share during 2020. Satellites in low earth orbit provides better resolution and detection as well as shorter transmission delays between space and Earth. Furthermore, less power is required to transmit signals to and from LEO compared to higher orbits.

The GEO segment is projected to record steady growth during 2021-2028. This growth will be influenced by benefits such as these satellites operate at higher altitudes which covers wide areas on earth.

By Offering Analysis

Satellite Manufacturing Segment Dominated Market Share during 2020 Due to High Cost of Components

In terms of the offering, the market share is segregated into satellite manufacturing, launch services, and operational services.

The satellite manufacturing segment accounted for the largest market share in 2020, and will showcase similar growth trend during 2021-2028. The growth is due to the rising demand for reconnaissance satellites for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions and the high cost associated of spacecraft components.

The launch services segment will showcase significant growth during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the increasing satellite launch contracts between military forces and space agencies. In February 2019, the U.S. Department of Defense signed a contract worth USD 441.7 million with United Launch Services to launch satellites into orbit.

By Type Analysis

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Small Satellite Segment to Record Highest CAGR Led by Wide Application in Military Communication

By type, the market share is divided into nano-micro, small, medium, and heavy.

The Nano-micro segment captured the largest market share during 2020. The dominance is due to the highest number of microsatellites launched between 2017-2021. Rising demand for spy satellites from military forces for real-time navigation data drives the segment growth.

Small segment is anticipated to exhibit remarkable growth during the forecast period. It is due to the rising demand for small satellites for C4ISR capabilities from the defense forces across the globe.

By Application Analysis

Communication Segment Held Dominant Market Share in 2020 Led by Growing Use in Military COmmunication

By application, the market share is broken down into intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), communication, and navigation.

The communication segment acquired the largest market share during 2020. This segment is expanding due to increasing demand for military communication for enhanced situational awareness and command, control, communications (C3) capabilities.

Navigation segment is estimated to show significant growth during the forecast period. Satellite navigation used to plan and track the movements of convoys and search and rescue operations of injured soldiers with less response time. It is used by defense forces for aviation navigation, ground navigation, and maritime navigation.

By Component Analysis

Payload Segment Held Highest Shares in Market in 2020 Due to Rising Demand for Earth Observation Imagery Payloads

By component, the market is segmented into structures, payload, electric power system, instrument control unit, propulsion system, thermal control subsystem, communication system, and others.

Among these, the payload segment held highest shares in 2020. The growth is due to growing demand for LEO-based satellite and earth observation imagery payloads boost the market growth.

Propulsion systems is anticipated to show remarkable growth during 2021-2028. Growing demand for medium and heavy satellites for military missions drive the growth of the market.


North America Military Satellite Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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The market is divided into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Rest of the World.

North America led the global market in 2020 with an annual valuation of USD 4.88 billion. The dominance of this region is accredited to the highest number of military satellites launched from the U.S. Augmented expenditure on space sector, and rising contracts between space agency and the U.S. Department of Defense drive the regional growth. In July 2021, Virgin Orbit has delivered four U.S. military satellites to low Earth orbit. Additionally, the existence of prime companies such as Northrop Grumman Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and L3Harris Technologies, Inc. fuel the regional expansion.

Europe is expected to record notable growth during the projected period. This growth will be influenced by the increasing investments from the space agencies in Russia, France, the U.K., and others. The presence of key players such as Airbus, Thales Group, and others drive the regional growth across Europe. In June 2021, Russia launched a next-generation satellite, Pion-NKS. It was built as part of the Liana electronic-intelligence network operated by the Russian military and serves both ground and naval forces.

Asia Pacific will showcase significant growth due to growing expenditure on space sector from government of India, China, and Japan propels the market growth across Asia Pacific. In August 2021, China launched the TJS 7 satellite in the geostationary orbit. It will be mainly used to carry out communication technology test missions. Furthermore, in January 2019, India launched Microsat-R, a satellite on board its Polar rocket PSLV C44. Thus, an increasing number of military communication satellite launches from the Asian countries drive the regional market expansion.

Meanwhile, the Rest of the World region is anticipated to grow at a steady CAGR in the forthcoming years. The growth in this region led by is owing to the increasing spending on space sector in Middle Eastern countries. In July 2020, Israel launched its Ofek 16 reconnaissance satellite to provide intelligence capabilities and technological superiority to the country.


Major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) Emphasize New Product Launches, Contracts, and Agreements with Space Agencies

Key players are emphasizing business growth and expansion through partnerships, agreements, and contracts with space companies and different governments. In October 2020, the U.S. the Space Development Agency (SDA) signed a contract worth USD 149 million with the SpaceX to build a new satellite for the U.S. military that can detect and provide early warnings of hypersonic missile launches. In addition to that, in October 2020, the U.S. Space Force signed a contract worth USD 298 million with Boeing to develop a military satellite communications system.



  • September 2021 – LIG Nex1 signed a contract worth USD 183 million with the SpaceX to produce communication terminals for a military satellite communication system linked to ANASIS-II.

  • August 2021 – In-Space Mission signed a contract worth USD 13.17 million with The UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) to explore the military utility of Low-Earth orbit (LEO) direct-to-earth free-space optical communications (FSOC).


An Infographic Representation of Military Satellite Market

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The market report provides a detailed military satellite market analysis and focuses on key aspects such as top space companies, types, components, and leading applications. Moreover, the report includes development trends, competitive landscape analysis, investment plan, business strategy, growth opportunities, and the status of regional development. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the market report encompasses several direct and indirect factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion)


Orbit Type; Offering; Type; Application; Component, and Geography

By Orbit Type

  • LEO

  • MEO

  • GEO

By Offering

  • Satellite Manufacturing

  • Launch Services

  • Operational Services

By Type

  • Nano-Micro

  • Small

  • Medium

  • Heavy

By Application

  • Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR)

  • Communication

  • Navigation


By Component

  • Structures

  • Payload

  • Electric Power System

  • Instrument Control Unit

  • Propulsion System

  • Thermal Control Subsystem

  • Communication System

  • Others

By Geography


  • North America (Orbit Type; Offering; Type; Application; Component, and Country)

    • U.S. (By Type)

    • Canada (By Type)

  • Europe (Orbit Type; Offering; Type; Application; Component, and Country)

    • U.K. (By Type)

    • Germany (By Type)

    • France (By Type)

    • Russia (By Type)

    • Rest of Europe (By Type)

  • Asia Pacific (Orbit Type; Offering; Type; Application; Component, and Country)

    • China (By Type)

    • India (By Type)

    • Japan (By Type)

    • South Korea (By Type)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Type)

  • Rest of the World (Orbit Type; Offering; Type; Application; Component, and Sub-Region)

    • Middle East & Africa (By Type)

    • South America (By Type)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 12.7 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 22.0 billion by 2028.

The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.10% during the forecast period (2021-2028).

The nano-micro segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period

Boeing is the leading player in the global market.

North America held the highest market share in 2020.

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