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The global naval gun market size was valued at USD 2.41 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 2.56 billion in 2023 to USD 4.45 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 8.2% during the forecast period.
Naval guns are mounted on a warship, small patrol crafts, attack crafts, and others. These are used for naval warfare and more specialized roles in sea and land surface warfare such as naval gunfire support (NGFS), anti-aircraft warfare (AAW) engagements, anti-piracy operations, and other operations.
The main advantages of the gun are its deployment versatility against all types of targets (aerial, sea, and coastal targets) and short reaction time (which is very important for engaging surprise targets). Additional major advantages include relatively small dimensions and weight, their potential modular arrangement to be fitted on virtually all types of surface ships, and no dead zones of engagements.
With the current evolutions in medium calibers, light weight, faster fire rate, and high power ammunition for longer ranges, guns are now utilized for multi-purpose role. The weight of the canon mount will continue to decrease as technologies progresses and there will be an increased rate of fire, which will further catalyze the global market growth.
Ongoing Russia-Ukraine Conflict has Increased the Demand for Naval Guns to Protect Maritime Borders
The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine is having a major impact on various markets. The conflict increased the demand for warships and related equipment, including modern naval type of guns, as both sides seek to improve their maritime capabilities.
Russia has increased its naval presence in the Black Sea region, recently investing heavily in its naval fleet and artillery. This included the modernization of existing vessels as well as the development and deployment of new vessels. For instance, on November 29th, 2022, Russia deployed 12 warships into the Black Sea, including one vessel equipped with eight caliber missiles and advanced gun systems.
Additionally, Russia is working on developing new technologies and weapons systems for naval vessels, including hypersonic missiles, artillery, and unmanned underwater vehicles. In addition, in July 2020, a subsidiary of Rostec’s concern, Uralvagonzavod, developed an AU-220M 57mm marine variant of a remotely operated gun for naval ships. Furthermore, in September 2023, the Russian army was utilizing 80-year-old guns, which its marines had driven to the front lines of Ukraine over 70-year-old armored tractors.
The conflict also had a negative impact on the navy. Sanctions imposed on Russia by the international community and Western countries have had a major impact on the country's defense industry, impacting supply chains.
Integration of Laser Based Weapons with Naval Artillery is an Ongoing Trend in the Market
The development and adoption of high-energy laser weapons to deal with various threats has become one of the advanced directed energy technologies. These weapons will increasingly be incorporated into naval equipment. In recent years, multiple defense manufacturers and integrators have been conducting research on laser weapons and are increasing their operations.
For instance, in August 2021, according to the CRS Report on U.S. Army Weapons-Related Directed Energy Programs, Directed Energy Weapons Programs are in the developing phase and include ongoing testing for the U.S. Navy’s LaWs (Laser Weapon System) program.
Furthermore, in September 2023, the German Navy completed laser weapon demonstrator (LWD) trials. MBDA and Rheinmetall demonstrated that the directed energy weapon systems were used for maritime applications with over 100 test firings in the previous year. The LWD has demonstrated its capabilities in increasingly demanding scenarios, under existing operational conditions and with a variety of targets on the basis of six trials that lasted almost one year.
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Various Upgradations in Existing Naval Guns and Ammunition to Aid Market Growth
The capabilities of the existing generation of seaborne guns have rapidly decreased. This has led to a radical change in the core approach for dealing with these issues, as it puts limitations on tackling an advanced air threat from aircraft and missiles. With developments in medium caliber and features of light weight, high rate of fire, and long range ammunition, advanced navy guns have found applications in multiple roles.
The improvements in shipborne antiaircraft fire, including an increase in range effectiveness, improvement in projectiles that are more destructive, higher rate of firing, increasing volumes of weapons, and automated shooting control, will be beneficial for naval artillery.
Moreover, advancements in ammunition could provide cost-effective solutions to combat ballistic missile threats. For instance, in March 2023, the U.S. Department of Defense and BAE Systems have been working on a Hypervelocity Projectile (HVP) for the U.S. military and its allies. The projectile would increase the lethality and performance of existing or future weapon systems while allowing technology to grow in a way that reduces development costs, production costs, and the overall cost of ownership. The above factors are anticipated to promote the growth of the global naval gun system market.
Growing Demand for Electromagnetic (EM) Railgun over Conventional Guns to Catalyze the Market Growth
Global manufacturers and research institutions are taking initiatives for the development of electromagnetic railguns. These steps are being deployed to cope with the increasing need for highly precise and high speed weapons that provide enhanced lethal efficiency as well as low collateral damage. By providing hypervelocity projectiles for pinpointing accuracy and extended ranges, the EM weapon may revolutionize naval strike operations.
In addition, the major OEMs and manufacturers are focusing on unique and practical method for accelerating bullet velocity to its muzzle at a distance of more than 2000 meter per second compared with conventional chemical propellant guns, and it is known as electromagnetic railgun technology. For instance, in September 2023, the Chinese Navy claimed to have developed an extremely strong electric rail gun that can carry projectiles at very high velocity and accuracy. At a speed of 435 miles (700 kilometers) per hour and in less than 0.05 seconds, the weapon can fire 124 kilograms of projectiles.
High Development, Overhaul Cost of Guns, and the Introduction of New Technologies the Hampers Market Growth
There are elements that could impede market growth. These factors include the inefficiency of this type of gun systems and their high development cost. Further, the concept of guns has changed as a result of technological developments and changes in naval warfare doctrine so that it is no longer an essential weapon for ships.
The guns’ shortened range and lower accuracy have diminished their importance due to the development of radar technology, smart missiles, and intelligent ammunition. Moreover, the high cost of handling guns and ammunition leads to the huge cost of naval exercises. For instance, in April 2019, according to the U.S. Navy, the country has commissioned its newest and most futuristic warship, equipped with two massive cannons that can attack targets 80 miles away. The service is eliminating the gun projectiles, citing excessive costs that cost more than USD 800,000 per shot.
Fully Automatic Guns Segment Dominated the Market in 2022 Due to Increased Adoption Rate
Based on technology, the market is segmented into fully automatic and semi-automatic.
The fully automatic segment accounted for the highest market share in 2022 and is estimated to be the fastest growing during 2023-2030. The growth is attributed to the increasing demand for fully automatic guns over conventional and manual guns for various applications. For instance, in November 2022, Leonardo offered Indonesia the latest generation of the marine defense system, the Marlin 40. The Indonesian Navy's fast patrol vessels PC60 and torpedo landing ships would be fitted with Leonardo's independent line of sight ILOS variant 40 mm turret.
The semi-automatic segment holds a moderate market share as most of the existing fleets of naval vessels mounted semi-automatic guns over the past periods. In addition, the adoption of semi-automatic guns is increasing in small surface combatants, patrol or rescue vessels, attack crafts, and others due to their low weight and small size.
50 - 100 mm Segment Dominated the Market Due to Rising Adoption of Large Ammunition
Based on caliber, the market is segmented into below 50 mm, 50 - 100 mm, and above 100 mm.
The 50 - 100 mm segment held the highest share in 2022. Further, the segment is anticipated to be the fastest growing segment during the forecast period. The rising demand and significant adoption of large ammunition in heavy and medium caliber guns are driving the segmental growth. Furthermore, the increasing technological advancement in ammunition such as better armor piercing, heavy explosions, and so on aids the adoption of new state-of-war ammunitions for advance naval guns. For instance, in July 2022, Egypt received Super Rapid 76mm guns for 4 Gowind frigates made in France. Italy supplies these Super Rapid 76mm guns.
The above 100 mm segment is estimated to witness remarkable growth during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the growing demand for large and heavy guns and ammunition for large and medium ships such as destroyers, frigates, and cruisers. For instance, according to the SIPRI database, Italy supplied 127/64LW 127mm guns to the 4 F-125 frigates produced in Germany in 2022. The total value of the contract awarded was around USD 76.4 million.
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Large Surface Combatants Segment Dominates the Market Owing to Increased Indigenous Manufacturing in Emerging Economies
Based on platform, the market is classified into large surface combatants and small surface combatants.
The large surface combatants segment covers naval ships such as cruisers, destroyers, frigates, and amphibious & mine countermeasure vessels. The segment is expected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period and also to hold the largest market share. As emerging demands for lethal and technologically robust ships, emerging countries are focusing on domestic shipbuilding, this is expected to drive the segment's growth in the future. For instance, in February 2023, the U.S. Department of Defense has awarded a contract to shipbuilder Gibbs & Cox to design and conceptualize a new type of destroyer. Its work primarily focuses on support for DDG(X) program, and vessel will be equip with a next-generation guided missile destroyer, and other new ship concepts, as well as feasibility studies as part of broader U.S. The total contract was around USD 39.6 million.
The small surface combatants segment is growing moderately as emerging countries focus on the modernization and upgradation of their small naval fleet with next-generation technologies. Under the small surface, combatants, corvettes, patrol craft and vessels, fast attack crafts, and others are covered. For instance, in June 2023, Austal Australia delivered its fifth Cape-class Advanced Patrol Boat (ECCPB) to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The 58-meter aluminum mono-hull patrol vessel is the fifth of eight vessels delivered to the Royal Australian Navy since the beginning of May 2020. The ship would be equipped with a 30mm cannon, a 12.7mm machine gun, and a 7.62mm machine gun.
Radar Systems Segment Dominated Owing to Automatic Treat Detection over Long Range
By component, the market is classified into turret systems, radar systems, tracking systems, ammunition drums, and others.
The radar systems segment dominated the global market share in 2022. The growing adoption of technologically advanced radars for the monitoring and detection of threats is anticipated to drive the segmental growth. For instance, in August 2022, BAE Systems introduced an upgraded version of Mk 45 127mm (5-inch) gun. This gun is with the new combat management system, Sea Eagle FCEO system, and Artisan radar.
The tracking systems segment is estimated to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period (2023-2030). The rising awareness about accurately tracking air or surface targets, generating required target data for predicting weapon aiming points and engaging targets will catalyze market growth. For instance, in October 2021, BAE Systems won a contract to install fully automatic 57 mm HKT 110 marine guns on Constellation class frigates for the U.S. Navy. The deck gun of choice for the Constellation class is the Mk 110 gun system, internationally known as the Bofors 57 Mk 3. This is a multi-mission, medium-caliber shipboard weapon that can deal effectively with air, surface, or ground threats without the need for several types of rounds.
Based on region, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America.
Asia Pacific Naval Gun Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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The Asia Pacific market holds the highest market share and is estimated to be the fastest growing CAGR during the forecast period due to its undergoing ambitious modernization program, increasing acquisition of small and large caliber guns, growing indigenous productions, and so on. The market in Asian region is witnessing a surge in technological innovation, including remote weapon, laser weapon integration, and improved automation. Moreover, the increasing adoption of remote weapon system with integration of artificial intelligence for enhanced target acquisition is propelling the regional market growth during the forecast period.
North America is estimated to exhibit significant growth during the forecast period of 2023 - 2030. The region’s rapid growth can be attributed to the highest spending on the procurement of naval vessels and naval weapons systems and the strengthening of naval forces. In October 2021, BAE System signed contract with U.S. Navy includes technical support and calls for the delivery of two Mk 110s to the USS Constellation (FFG 62) and USS Congress (FFG 63). The new Constellation-class multi-mission Mk 110 gun system is known internationally as the Bofors 57 Mk 3 and is the deck gun of choice for the Constellation class.
Europe region is estimated to be the second-fastest growing region. Countries like France, U.K. Russia, Italy, and others are focusing on rehabilitant program for this type of guns and vessels. Through organizations like European Defense Agency (EDA), collaborating programs and joint procurement initiatives drive the market dynamics. Moreover, the ongoing conflict between Russia/Ukraine will create more opportunities in the region for naval forces across the region. Thus, Europe's market share is anticipated to grow significantly during the forecast period.
The increasing geopolitical tensions and territorial disputes within the region drive a significant demand for naval guns and associated equipment in Middle East & Africa region. Countries are investing in upgrading their naval fleets to defend coastlines, secure maritime borders across the region. Many navies in the region are undergoing modernization programs replacing old guns with newer and more sophisticated Western systems. Moreover, focusing on features such as increased range, accuracy, and fire rate ad integration with advanced fire control systems are catalyzing the regional growth during the forecast period.
The Latin America naval gun market to have a moderate growth in the forecast period driven by the regional security concerns, focus on local production, increasing defense budgets, and so on. Countries like Brazil, Chile, and Colombia are actively modernizing their naval fleets, replacing older and aging guns with newer advanced systems. Concerns about illicit activities in territorial waters drive investments in smaller caliber guns for patrol boats and coastal defense.
Major Companies Deploy Merger & Acquisition Strategies to Focus on Business Expansion
The market is consolidated as only a few key players are involved in developing naval weapons. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) introduce advanced technologies in guns and are focused on indigenous-made naval weapons and equipment, driving the market growth. Rheinmetall AG, Leonardo S.p.A., Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Thales Group, and BAE Systems were some of the major players in 2022. Established players acquiring smaller companies with niche technologies or expertise. For instance, in March 2022, Rheinmetall will consider purchasing a stake in Leonardo's OTO-Melara division as part of its long-term commitment to the Italian market.
An Infographic Representation of Naval Gun Market
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The market research report provides an in-depth market analysis. It focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, supply chain analysis, different platforms, systems, and applications of naval artillery. Besides this, the report offers insights into the global market trends and highlights key industry developments and market sizing. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.
CAGR of 8.2% from 2023-2030
Value (USD Billion)
As per Fortune Business Insights, the global market size was USD 2.41 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 4.45 billion by 2030.
Registering a CAGR of 8.2%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2023-2030).
By platform, the large surface combatants segment is expected to be the leading in this market during the forecast period due to rising focus of emerging countries on indigenous ship manufacturing.
BAE Systems plc is the leading player in the global market.
Asia Pacific holds the highest share in the global market.
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