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Shoulder Fired Weapons Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Component (Launcher [Missile/Rocket Launcher, Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher and Tripod] and Ammunition [Anti-tank Missile, Anti-aircraft Missile, Rocket Propelled Grenade]), By Technology (Guided [Infrared Homing, Laser Guided, and Semi-automatic Command line-of-sight] and Unguided), By Range (Short, Medium and Long), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027

Last Updated: May 06, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI105026



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The global shoulder fired weapons market size was USD 6,224.6 million in 2019 and is projected to grow from USD 5,303.4 million in 2020 to USD 13276.63 million in 2032 at a CAGR of 6.00% in the forecast period.


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The sudden fall in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.  The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with shoulder-fixed weapons causing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a slight decline of -3.21% in 2020.

Shoulder-fired weapons are self-propelled projectile-fired missiles that are small enough to destroy aircraft, vessels, and tanks at a short range. It includes anti-tank weapons, anti-aircraft, man-portable anti-defence system, rocket-propelled grenade, and anti-vessel launcher. The growing need for advanced weapons to enhance defence capabilities will aid the market in the forthcoming years. Developing countries such as India, China, the U.S., and Russia are widely using various types and varieties of shoulder-fixed missiles, guns, and grenades for countering terror activities. These weapons offer a precise target hitting in small combat missions, military exercises, and anti-terror missions. These capabilities of shoulder-fired weapons will boost market growth in the foreseeable future.

The Indian Defense Acquisition Council and MoD approved around 5000 Milan anti-tank guided missiles from a French missile manufacturer in 2019. The deal is estimated to cost over USD 167 million to provide and manufacture the latest batch of missiles. The Milan ATGM is a highly explosive anti-tank weapon warhead to destroy armoured targets. These factors are projected to fuel the market growth during the forecast period.


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Adoption of Laser-Guided Target Locking System in MANPAD to Drive Market Growth

Technological advancements have increased the accuracy, efficiency, and precision capabilities of weapons. For example, laser-guided MANPADs are integrated with the beam-riding guidance system, equipped with an advanced sensor at the tail of the missile. It correctly detects the emission from the launcher laser, which keeps the rocket in the middle of the laser beam. The private players in missile technology develop modern missiles. The missiles can engage aircraft from all angles by the operator, continuously tracking the target through the joystick to keep the target on the aim point.

In May 2020, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin's joint venture developed Javelin, a shoulder-fixed anti-tank weapon. It is considered the most lethal weapon for a small target. Poland completed the negotiation with the U.S. to purchase 180 javelin missiles and 60 launchers to increase its paramilitary forces' combat capabilities, such as the Territorial Defense Force (TDF).

The joint venture also introduced a new model known as FGM-148F, a fire-and-forget anti-tank missile with a multipurpose warhead. The new F-model combines superior features such as blast fragmentation. The advanced warhead is capable of defeating explosive-reactive armour, lightly armored targets, and unarmoured targets. This critical development is expected to fuel demand for shoulder fired weapons during the forecast period.


Negative Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Market Growth is likely to Remain in 2020

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy is expected to be uncertain in the forthcoming years.

  • The military and defence sectors' expenditures are anticipated to witness a slight decline due to developed countries' negative GDP growth rate in 2020. In addition to this, many countries are likely to seize the new contracts for shoulder-fired weapons due to a strong focus on enhancing the healthcare infrastructure and hospital facilities. For example, South Asian countries such as Indonesia and Thailand announced cutting their defence spending owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis in 2020.

  • Defence-related contracts have been affected due to a lack of certainty in the market, which has resulted in delayed business contracts for shoulder-fixed weapons. Severe economic pressure in various countries is likely to hamper future business contracts related to the gun, missile, and ammunition industry.


Adoption of Highly Advanced Anti-Aircraft Missiles Systems to Drive Industry

The defence industry has witnessed massive technological advancement in recent years due to enhanced explosion variants available worldwide. Private companies have developed multipurpose weapons with a wide range of explosions that can destroy armored vehicles, trucks, the concentration of enemy troops, antenna sites, and various other targets.

Major economies such as the U.S., China, Germany, India, the UK, and France possess a wide range of man-portable anti-tank missile systems for small combat operations. Sophisticated autonomous technology has enhanced the overall defense industry due to the superior lethality of small projectile weapons with excellent combat capabilities.

In 2019, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., the defense contractor company based in Israel, signed a contract with the German military to deliver Spike anti-tank missiles and launcher weapon systems. The agreement is valued at around USD 221 million and is estimated to supply around 1,500 missiles and hundreds of dismounted missile launchers. The company has provided more than 30,000 spike missiles to around 33 different nations, including South Korea, Belgium, Latvia, Colombia, and Latvia.

 Increasing Per Capita Spending on the Military to Promote Market Growth

Increasing terrorist activities worldwide are projected to fuel demand for shoulder-fixed weapons during the forecast period. The counter operations on terrorists are possibly managed within the short and medium-range of firearms. Therefore, various military and paramilitary forces have been using light-guided weapons for combat operations for the past few years. Lightweight, easily portable, and extended range are key advantages that are majorly driving the shoulder-fixed weapon system market growth.

According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), major countries such as the U.S., China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and India are top five in military budget spending in 2020. As per the SIPRI Fact Sheet 2020, the global military expenditure increased from USD 243 in 2018 to USD 249 in 2019.


Restrictions on Sales and Technology to Hamper Market

Weapon technology is a precisely engineered range of products equipped with advanced missile-guided systems and communication to destroy a target on various range levels. The lethality of long-range warheads provides less efficiency in hitting armoured vehicles due to the missile protection system. Shoulder-fired weapons possess design concerns due to the complex manufacturing process. The manufacturer faces major challenges due to the possible threat of illegal users such as terrorist organizations and insurgents.

Several producing countries have restrictions on the sales, purchase, import, and export of the weapon systems. The restriction on sales and technology transfer protects the government, law enforcement, and civil targets. The stringent restriction on technology transfer and other key factors are projected to hamper future market growth.


By Component Analysis

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Ammunition Segment To Hold Maximum Share In Market during 2020-2027

Based on components, the market is categorized into launchers and ammunition. The ammunition segment held the maximum share in 2019 and is projected to remain dominant during the forecast period. The launcher segment is further sub-segmented into missile/rocket launcher, rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launcher, and tripod. A missile/rocket launcher such as “bazooka” is the general term used in various countries owing to the most commonly used weapons in the military forces. More examples are the man-portable anti-tank system (MANPADS) and man-portable anti-aircraft system (MANPADS). These weapons are light and portable and can be carried by a single person.

The ammunition segment will experience strong growth in the future years. This category mainly consists of several missile/rockets, such as anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft missiles, and a rocket-propelled grenade. The growing demand for anti-tank missiles in various countries for small combat operations is projected to fuel market growth in the future years.

By Technology Analysis

Guided Segment is Set to Grow at the Fastest CAGR in the Market up to 2027

Based on technology, the market is segmented into the guided and unguided. The guided segment held the maximum share in the shoulder fired weapons market in 2019 and is projected to remain leading in the forthcoming years. The guided segment is further sub-segmented into infrared seekers, laser-guided, and command-line-of-sight. Missile technology is witnessing strong technological development from major companies due to the integration of sensors to enhance the laser-guided beam system in the various missiles. These laser-guided systems enhance missiles' tracking and engagement capability significantly due to improved target precision in the warheads.

For example, infrared seeker missiles acquire their target by seeking heat from the aircraft engines. Several military weapons systems are engaged with a laser beam rider system to detect the target and follow any interruption. Private companies have developed fire-and-forget missiles, which are laser-guided beam systems that follow targets such as aircraft until successful target hitting. The growing demand for advanced guided missile technology around the world is anticipated to fuel segment growth in the future years.

By Range Analysis

Medium range segment to Register a Higher CAGR in the Market during the Forecast Period

In terms of range, the market is segmented into short-range, medium-range, and long-range. The medium segment is projected to hold a dominant share during the forecast period. The modern military forces consist of an excellent range of missiles such as surface-to-air missiles (SAM) or surface-to-air guided weapons in the infantry. A medium-range of shoulder fixed weapon systems is extensively deployed in the armed forces due to their easy portability, precise target locking, and superior lethality. The medium-range shoulder fired weapons are highly effective for targets such as helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, and other targets. The medium-range weapons have vital applications in neutralizing military bases, tanks, and bunkers. Growing demand for short-range anti-tank missiles for small operations, insurgencies, and routine exercises is projected to grow at a steady rate in the next few years. Short-range weapons are used to destroy soft targets such as armored vehicles, UAVs, and other targets.


North America Shoulder Fired Weapons Market Size, 2019 (USD Million)

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The market is categorized into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World. North America held a significant share in the market in 2019 due to several top defence contractors operating in the U.S. and Canada. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), military spending accounted for USD 732 billion in 2019, around 38% of global military spending. The companies are focused on the advancement of the weapon system to increase its lethality. Companies are investing positively to expand their footprints through global strategic expansion. Moreover, U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency or DARPA awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman Corporation in February 2021. The collaboration aims to develop advanced missile technology as well as make significant developments in the existing weapon range. The U.S. is one of the major exporters of shoulder-fixed weapons across the globe. This, in turn, is expected to drive regional growth rapidly.

The global shoulder fired weapons market in Europe is expected to grow at a moderate CAGR due to the rising necessity to enhance the military, navy, air force, and other armed forces. Several companies, such as Saab AB, Thales, and MBDA Holding SAS, holding a strong presence in the region, are majorly contributing to the regional growth. European countries such as Germany, France, and the UK are in the race to purchase small range anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) for future years. In January 2020, Germany Federal Office Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) awarded a contract to MBDA to acquire Enforcer missile systems. It is a precision-guided shoulder-launched weapon system with a range of 1800m capable of day/night deployment.

The Asia Pacific market is expected to exhibit significant growth due to the increasing military expenditure of various countries in the future years. According to SIPRI, China and India are among the top military spender countries in the world in 2020. China in military spending accounted for USD 261 billion in 2019, and India valued around USD 71 billion for the military expenditure owing to increased tension in the region.

Latin America & the Middle East & Africa accounted for the minimum share owing to the rapid economic development in Brazil, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia. In 2019, Africa experienced a considerable military spending growth in five years of 1.5%, i.e., USD 41.2 billion.


Rafel and Lockheed Martin to Lead the Market

The market is partially consolidated owing to the strong product portfolio of major companies in developed countries. Currently, Saab AB (Sweden), Lockheed Martin (US), and Thales Group (France) are the major companies operating with a strong presence in the weapon and ammunition industry. However, the market consists of substantial entry barriers that increase competition in the global shoulder fired weapons market in the next years due to growing competition in new license-holding companies entering the shoulder fired weapons industry. These factors are anticipated to lead to a fragmented market by 2027.

Other key players, such as KBP Instrument Design Bureau (Russia), MBDA (France), BAE System, Raytheon Company, have also entered the market competition with lightweight weapon products. Introduction of innovative product ranges such as Javelin, Star Trek, and Milan are some of the prominent missile systems gaining strong popularity and one of the key strategies adopted by market players operating in the market.


  • Northrop Grumman Corporation (US)

  • Konstruktorskoye Byuro Mashynostroyeniya (Russia)

  • Lockheed Martin Corporation (US)

  • Thales Group (France)

  • Saab AB (Sweden)

  • KBP Instrument Design Bureau (Russia)

  • Raytheon Company (US)

  • Rafael Advanced Defense System (Israel)

  • MBDA

  • BAE Systems (UK)

  • JSC SPA Bazalt (Russia)

  • Other Players


  • October 2020– The Indian Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) completed the anti-tank missile system's final trial procedure. The missile tracking and engagement system are based on an infrared imaging seeker with a shoulder launch capability of around four kilometres. After this test, the missile will be successfully inducted into the Indian Army.

  • July 2020- The Indian Army is set to purchase the emergency procurement of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems' Spike missile system. The emergency order will include around 12 launchers and 200 anti-tank guided missiles. This move is to counter tension on the Line of Actual Control with China.


An Infographic Representation of Shoulder Fixed Weapons Market

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The shoulder-fired weapons market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading applications of the product. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses several factors contributing to the market's growth over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Million)


By Component

  • Launcher

    • Missile/Rocket Launcher

    • RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade) Launcher

    • Tripod

  • Ammunition

    • Anti-tank Missile

    • Anti-aircraft Missile

    • Rocket Propelled Grenade

By Technology

  • Guided

    • Infrared Homing

    • Laser-Guided

    • Semi-automatic Command line-of-sight

  • Unguided

By Range

  • Short

  • Medium

  • Long

By Geography

  • North America (By Component, Technology, Range and Country)

    • U.S. (By Component)

    • Canada (By Component)

  • Europe (By Component, Technology, Range and Country)

    • U.K. (By Component)

    • Germany (By Component)

    • France (By Component)

    • Russia (By Component)

    • Rest of Europe (By Component)

  • Asia-Pacific (By Component, Technology, Range and Country)

    • Japan (By Component)

    • China (By Component)

    • India (By Component)

    • Southeast Asia (By Component)

    • Rest of Asia- Pacific (By Component)

  • Rest of World (By Component, Technology, Range and Country)

    • The Middle East& Africa (By Component)

    • Latin America (By Component)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global shoulder fired weapons market size was USD 6224.6 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 7,836.8 million by 2027.

In 2019, the North America market size stood at USD 2258.0 million.

Growing at a CAGR of 5.74%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2020-2027).

The fixed-wing segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

Increasing demand for short-range light weapons in various armed forces across the globe is projected to drive the growth of the market.

Rafael, Saab, and Lockheed Martin are major players in the global market.

North America dominated the market share in 2019.

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