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The global radar simulator market size was valued at USD 2.36 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 2.41 billion in 2023 to USD 3.31 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period.
A radar simulator is a software or hardware that imitates the operation of a radar system. It is used for training, testing, and development in various fields such as aviation, military, meteorology, and others. The purpose of the simulator is to recreate the functionality and behavior of a real radar system in a controlled environment. It allows users to simulate radar functions, including target detection, tracking, and measurement, without the need for actual radar hardware.
Simulators provide a cost-effective alternative to real radar systems for training and testing purposes and also provide a safe environment for simulating complex and dangerous scenarios that may be impractical or risky to recreate in real-world situations. Physical radar installations can be expensive to build and maintain, while simulators eliminate the need for expensive hardware for training and testing purposes. The rising demand across military and commercial sectors is expected to catalyze the market of radar simulator globally.
Reduction in Demand for Civil Aviation Adversely Affected the Market Growth
The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on this market. It resulted in reduced demand for civil aviation, leading to reduced air traffic and limited airport infrastructure growth in 2020. However, simulator suppliers managed to secure contracts for simulators with various military forces around the world.
Such instances allowed players to enter the simulator market and influence its growth. However, the turnover in 2020 was lower than in 2019. In addition, the lockdown measures caused a huge disruption to the supply chain across the globe, which further caused a huge backlog of orders. According to a European Union report, demand for aircraft and space products fell by 43% in 2020, and airlines are also struggling to recover ever since. Thus, the declining demand has curbed the growth of the simulator market in the world.
Augmentation of Active Electronically Scanned Arrays in Radar Simulator to Drive Market Growth
As radio frequency (RF) and digital hardware have evolved over the years, radar capabilities have evolved to provide higher resolution, larger tracking areas, and frequency flexibility, as well as enhanced data processing and electronic countermeasures (ECCM). In addition, technological advances in radio frequency, digital hardware, active electronically scanned array (AESA), synthetic aperture radar (SAR), and cognitive electronic warfare (cogEW) have led to advances in test and training systems.
Instead of time division, the simultaneous transmission of multiple RF signals has allowed the data processing processor to process all beams simultaneously and increased the number of targets the radar could track. Moreover, AESA has increased detection range with higher combined power, higher SNR, and better antenna directivity. These AESA advances set new requirements for radar environment simulators (RES) used to test the probes.
Furthermore, to manage frequency flexibility, simulator vendors initially used fast frequency detection algorithms and a fast RF signal path to keep up. The advent of direct-to-digital RF sampling technology enables a new strategy. Extreme sample rate and high bit depth ADC/DAC enable IBWs above 1 GHz up to Ka-band frequencies. This transformative technology enables the monitoring of architectures that do not depend on hunting signals in a frequency band. These new devices’ higher bit depth allows the detection of multiple simultaneous pulses that differ in power level.
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Growing Demand for Aircraft in Commercial & Military Sector to Boost the Market Growth
The commercial & military aviation sectors have grown rapidly in recent times. Increasing investment by governments in modern aircraft fleets, along with various other socio-economic factors, is increasing the demand for air traffic systems, which is expected to ultimately increase the adoption of simulators.
Aviation plays an important role in the economic growth of a country. Most governments are emphasizing airport expansion to catalyze their aviation sector. In connection with this, several airports are being built or renovated, such as air traffic towers, runways, terminals, and others. The growth of air traffic control towers is poised to increase the demand for simulators.
Usage of Radar Simulators for the Development of a Training Simulation Environment to Spur Market Growth
The global radar simulator market share is driven by the growth of military ground clearance operations. Terrorists use UAVs to target civilians and public infrastructure, and countering these attacks has become a significant challenge for air force authorities, homeland security groups, and defense forces. Consequently, the installation of simulators to train police and internal security forces in the use of radar systems has become a priority for various governments.
Air strikes cause serious humanitarian, environmental, political, and economic problems and destroy public infrastructure. Simulators are also placed in Air Force bases to train pilots and operators to detect and report potential threats to the bases. Thus, military forces, border security forces, and paramilitary forces are acquiring technologically advanced simulators. Therefore, the use of simulators to develop a training simulation environment for instructors is driving the market growth.
Rise in Radar Malfunctioning May Hamper the Market Growth
Radar is an essential piece of equipment in many aircraft. Moreover, on commercial aircraft, two radars are required. A working radar and a skilled operator are the primary means of collision avoidance on board an aircraft. Nothing can replace a pilot’s eyes through glass, but in poor visibility owing to darkness or fog, the pilot’s vision can be lost and radar can save the day.
If the radar does not receive a heading pulse or bearing pulse, it will display an error code. If the signals are not constant or noisy, the target will become disoriented on the bow and jump around the screen. The heading pulse is produced by a magnet passing through the reed switch. If a head-up switch is not working correctly, the radar will not be able to locate the bow. The bearing pulses are produced by the motor or optical interrupters. If the bearing pulses are not working properly, the radar will not be able to determine the distance past the bow that the radar has rotated.
Such errors or instances cannot be recreated through simulators in an artificial environment. Hence, this limitation may pose a restriction to the market growth.
Rising Demand for Trained Military Personnel to Foster Segment Growth
On the basis of end use industry, the market is classified into commercial and military. The military segment holds the largest share and is estimated to be the fastest-growing segment in the market due to the emergence of modern military systems, such as network-centric warfare and electronic warfare that require simulators for operational testing. Another factor driving the strong growth of this segment is the demand for experienced and trained military personnel globally.
The commercial segment is anticipated to also witness significant market growth during the forecast period. Commercial radars are less complex than military radars; therefore, they require general capabilities to ensure the correct detection of radar signatures of aircraft flying in the airspace. Radar technology is also being updated as the global fleet of new-generation commercial aircraft grows, which in turn increases the demand for simulator systems used for personnel training.
Aviation Segment Dominated Owing to Usage of Simulators To Train Radar Operators
Based on commercial, the market is divided into aviation, automobiles, and others. The aviation segment dominated the market in 2022 and is expected to be the fastest-growing segment over 2023-2030. In aviation applications, simulators are used to train commercial pilots as well as radar operators.
The automobiles segment is poised to witness moderate growth during the forecast period. Key developments in autonomous and connected cars are expected to drive the expansion of the segment. For instance, technological developments in radar target simulator (RTS) assists OEMs in accelerating product development of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). In September 2020, Keysights launched such an RTS called E8718A with an operating frequency between 76 GHz and 81 GHz.
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Operator Training Segment to Dominate Due to Growing Radar Simulator Demand for Weather Monitoring
On the basis of application, the market is segmented into designing testing and operator training. The operator training segment is expected to lead the market during the forecast period due to an increase in demand from a range of applications such as search, surveillance, navigation, weather monitoring, fire control, and mission training.
The designing testing segment is going to show moderate growth during the forecast period. Designing testing is used for various radar applications, from echo chambers and outdoor air ranging (OAR) to laboratory production testing and radar performance evaluation.
Hardware Segment Holds the Largest Share Owing to Complexity Related to Real-time Scenario Simulation
On the basis of system, the market is divided into hardware and software. The hardware segment holds the largest share and is estimated to grow moderately during the forecast period. The growth can be attributed to the complexity of simulating real-time scenarios. In addition, the demand for skilled and trained military personnel is driving the growth of the segment.
The software segment is estimated to be fastest-growing during the forecast period. A software-based radar system produces simulated radar data by combining various track, AIS, navigation, and secondary radar data. The simulator can create moving targets using integrated graphics tools to simulate real-time scenarios for trainers and system testers.
The market is studied across North America, Europe, the Asia Pacific, and the rest of the world.
Europe Radar Simulator Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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Europe dominated the market share in 2022 owing to the growing acquisition of simulators among the military and growing demand for air traffic simulators. Moreover, there is an ever-increasing concern about security in public places, at national borders across land, seaports, and air bases in the region. Effective control and management of air, sea, or land threats using radar systems has become an important paradigm for military and security agencies in the region. The radar systems and simulators are increasingly used to ensure the safety of military operations and personnel to effectively train radar operators. Many countries, such as Germany, France, and the U.K. have acquired simulators to strengthen their military forces.
North America market for radar simulator is expected to register moderate growth during the forecast period due to the presence of major players and higher adoption of advanced technologies across the region. In addition, the U.S. is the most important country in the region in terms of technological and industrial developments. Rising demand of simulators across commercial and military aviation platforms catalyzes the market growth of across North America.
Due to the stable economic growth and profitability of emerging economies, the Asia Pacific has created an optimistic scenario for the market. The region's aviation and aerospace industry has grown unprecedentedly, both internationally and locally, with the increase in the number of air passengers. In addition, the increase in aircraft deliveries, supported by the increase in passenger traffic, has created a need for advanced air traffic control training. This factor has increased sales of simulators in the Asia Pacific. Furthermore, military powers in the region, such as China, Japan, and India are investing heavily in technology, such as upgrading existing radar technology to improve their air capabilities. These factors have fueled the growth of the simulator market across the Asia Pacific and the region is expected to be fastest growing during the forecast period.
The rest of the world is slated to show moderate growth between 2023 and 2030. Advances in technology are paving the way to highly efficient simulators. Due to the increased need for aviation safety, the rest of the world simulator industry has grown significantly. The growing need for precise flight navigation and pilot assistance in long-haul flights is driving the market growth in the region.
Key Players are Focusing on Technological Advancements to Strengthen their Market Position
The market is characterized by a limited number of dominant vendors operating worldwide. It is very competitive and players are competing to win a significant share. Limitations related to design modularity due to the integration of multiple radar functions into a single platform are hindering the growth of the market. It is important for OEMs to provide end users with advanced simulators to survive in highly competitive market environments. Some of the dominant players in the market include Mercury Systems Inc., Buffalo Computer Graphics, ARI Simulation, Ultra Electronics, and others. These players compete primarily on the basis of their manufacturing capacities, global networks, product offerings, R&D investments, and strong customer base. The competitive environment of the market is becoming even tighter with the growth of product/service extensions and technological innovations.
An Infographic Representation of Radar Simulator Market
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The report provides a detailed global radar simulator market growth analysis and focuses on critical aspects such as significant companies, system types, solutions, and major applications. In addition, it delivers insights into market trends and highlights key industry developments. Apart from the above-mentioned factors, the report covers several direct and indirect issues that have influenced the market growth in recent years.
CAGR of 4.7% (2023-2030)
Value (USD Billion)
By End Use Industry
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was valued at USD 2.36 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 3.31 billion by 2030.
The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period (2023-2030).
Based on end use industry, the military segment captures the largest share in the market.
Adacel Technologies Limited (Australia), ARI Simulation (India), AceWavetech (South Korea), and Buffalo Computer Graphics (U.S.) are the leading players in the global markets.
Europe held the largest market share in 2022.
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