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The U.S. & U.K. aerospace and defense PCB market size was valued at USD 1.85 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 1.87 billion in 2022 to USD 3.03 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.10% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with aerospace and defense PCB experiencing higher-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, this market exhibited a decline of 18% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Aerospace and defense PCBs are printed circuit boards that demand high technical performance with tolerance to extreme environmental conditions while performing complex and reliable functions. These PCBs are embedded within aerospace and defense equipment, weapon systems, and critical systems and subsystems. Thus, it should strictly comply and be certified by the stringent military PCB performance standards such as MIL-PRF-31032, MIL-PRF-38535, MIL-PRF-19500, MIL-PRF-55342, MIL-PRF-123, and MIL-PRF-55681. Furthermore, these PCBs should comply with military PCB testing standards such as MIL-STD-202G, MIL-STD-750-2, and MIL-STD-883. Moreover, these PCBs need to be registered under International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), aerospace approved, Joint Certification Program (JCP), and Underwriter Laboratories (UL). Also, they have to comply with certifications such as AS9100D, ISO9001, and IPC-6012 Class 2/3A.
Traditional PCB manufacturing relies on energy-intensive and high-emission processes that involve copper, epoxy resin, glass fiber, and water. With the high adoption rate of aerospace and defense PCBs for various applications amid high demand for process automation, the future aerospace and defense operational requirements require highly-complex, reliable, and high-performance and advanced multilayered PCB solutions for applications such as engine control systems and other aerospace & defense applications. Armed forces worldwide are working with domestic and global aerospace and defense PCB manufacturers to design, develop, manufacture, and facilitate PCBs certified under stringent certification set by armed forces. This standard aims to yield high performance, failure risk reduction, and high reliability.
The bio-based materials embrace embedded electronics' requirements such as being flexible, lightweight, printable, and low-cost while enhancing the environmental profile of these products by incorporating biodegradability and composability and decreasing the energy and materials used in their production. For example, in 2014, researchers produced the prototype paper-based multilayer printed circuit board. Introducing a paper PCB (P-PCB) could offer significant environmental benefits. The research team focused on the mechanical strength of the single-, double-, and three-layer paper made from cellulose nanofibers. It used universal testing procedures to verify that paper offered the tensile strength needed for supporting electronic components. The continuous efforts made by the major players involved in the market are focused on the enhanced ecological way to manufacture PCB so that it should not hamper the environment in any other form.
Economic Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Aerospace and Defense PCB Industry is Hampering Market Growth
The COVID-19 pandemic initiated in December 2019 affected over 1 million people across the globe. Strict lockdowns and international travel bans have been announced worldwide. Moreover, defense electronics have been affected drastically due to the impact of COVID 19 on the operations of suppliers and chip manufacturers. The supply chain for chip manufacturing passes through China, and thus, the lockdown in the country affected the overall supplies of raw materials and components. This factor led to a shortage of semiconductor systems and components in several countries. Therefore, this shortage impacted the aerospace and defense PCB market in 2020 and 2021. However, the companies involved in the market are looking forward to maintaining new procurement orders, ongoing chip shortage, diversifying their production reliance on Asian countries, and facilitating the smooth supply of the semiconductor components in the market. In addition, companies are designing and developing PCBs considering the new demand for unmanned systems due to the requirement for less human intervention in military operations.
Ukraine and Russia War Crisis Impact on the U.S. & U.K. Aerospace and Defense PCB Market
Amid COVID 19 pandemic, the semiconductor industry faced issues with the high demand and huge reliance on sourcing semiconductor components from Asian countries, mainly China, Taiwan, and others.
After the semiconductor shortage in 2020-2021, the war between Ukraine and Russia began, and the European region faced the biggest security crisis during the war. The semiconductor industry has the highest dependency on Ukraine and Russia for the availability of raw materials that require the development of PCBs and electronics boards such as neon and palladium noble gases.
For instance, Russia sources over 35% of the palladium used in the U.S., and Ukraine supplies more than 90% of semiconductor-grade neon used in laser for chip manufacturing. However, due to the stockpiles, the impact of the war will not be affected drastically, but if the war continues for a longer period, it might affect the prices and supply chain in the near future. For instance, after the Crimea annexation, the prices for raw materials triggered a jump in 2014.
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Adoption of Additive Manufacturing Process for PCB to Drive the U.S. & U.K. Aerospace and Defense PCB Market Growth
Additive PCB printing processes using 3D printed electronics, conformal electronics, aerosol, inkjet and LaserJet printing, and direct wire production are new trends dominating PCB manufacturing. Moreover, additive manufacturing can occur as either a single-build process or a post-production process that builds electronic circuits separate from producing the entire device. Manufacturers use 100% solid conductive inks and toners loaded with charged particles that do not contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) or need etch resists.
The key players in the business have also developed printed circuit boards made from natural cellulose fibers extracted from agricultural wastes and coproducts, in contrast to non-biodegradable glass fiber and epoxy boards. 3D printing for electronic circuits uses a base conductive material to apply to the circuitry. By combining these materials, manufacturers develop a 3D print product with a complete electronic circuit, including the board, traces, and components as a single, continuous part. This technique allows printing PCBs with different shapes or designs to match product requirements. In addition, 3D printing for circuits allows a design team to customize a printed circuit according to customer needs. Thus, considering the above factors and process, higher growth numbers are projected in the near future.
Increasing Demand for Commercial and Military UAVs and Advanced ADS-B Transponder Technologies and Development of Remote Sensing and to Propel Market Growth
Growing adoption of small unmanned aerial vehicles for commercial and military applications such as aerial photography, situation awareness, law & enforcement, disaster management, relief & rescue operation, and research & development is expected to fuel market growth. Drones are well-suited for quasi-static positioning of advanced sensors in 3D space with high precision. Even in windy conditions, drones enable precise flight operations and control in messy environments owing to their ability to fly at low speeds and maneuverability. There is a growing interest in deploying drones for military and commercial applications that are based on remote sensing tasks.
ADS-B uses a Trig transponder, combined with a GPS, to transmit highly accurate positional information to other drones and ground-based controllers. This transmission is known as ADS-B Out, and its accuracy is greater than using conventional radar surveillance. This factor gives air traffic controllers the potential to reduce the required separation distance between ADS-B drones. High Eye Airboxer is a long-range Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) powered by an air-cooled boxer engine with fuel injection. With a payload capacity of 5kg, sensors, multiple payloads, and other hardware can be integrated into UAVs, making it a highly flexible platform suitable for warfare.
The UAV, as with Space/Satellites and Avionics, is a small device that requires low weight and offers minimal space to design on. Moreover, the drone requires a very high quality of printed circuit boards with high durability as these drones need to be performed in outer space. In November 2021, ModalAI, Inc. introduced the VOXL CAM™ perception engine and the Seeker micro-development drone, the world’s first micro-development drone optimized for indoor and outdoor autonomous navigation development. Built on the foundation of the VOXL Flight Deck, the VOXL CAM is a single PCB that easily attaches to robots, drones or IoT devices to activate autonomy for a breadth of applications
Increasing Demand for PCB due to Rising Adoption of Glass Cockpit to Propel the U.S. & U.K. Market Growth
A glass cockpit is an aircraft cockpit that features electronic flight instrument displays, typically large LCD screens, rather than the traditional style of analog dials and gauges. These LCD screens are fitted with PCB-connected different data computers in the aircraft to provide real-time data with more precision and accuracy and eliminate errors. Monitoring the aircraft's functionality both onboard and from the ground is essential to its proper functioning and survival. These monitoring equipment depend on reliable and rugged printed circuit boards to provide the crew with reliable data from various sensors in the engines, cockpits, and other important parts of the aircraft.
These flight displays require high-quality printed circuit boards and services, high precision, and durability. The PCBs fitted inside the cockpit are designed to face tremendous amounts of turbulence, vibration, and temperature variations. The rapid adoption of these glass cockpits in older and new generation aircraft fitted with LED and LCDs is one of the major reasons for the market growth. These PCBs can contain various sensors, from GPS gyroscope, barometer, temperature, ultrasonic, and more. It has many ways of transmitting data from one data station to another. Moreover, the growing trend of touchscreen flight display is one of the driving factors of this market.
Touchscreen technology offers flight crews a whole new way of interacting with the aircraft and its systems, opening up huge opportunities for pilots to access information more intuitively and interact with the content in more meaningful ways. Thus, higher growth numbers are expected during the forecast period. In December 2019, Airbus announced that it started delivering the first A350 XWBs equipped with modern touchscreen cockpit displays combined with Thales Group. Specially developed displays offer enhanced operational efficiencies, greater crew interaction, cockpit symmetry, and smoother information management.
Increase in Labor and Material Cost to Hinder the U.S. & U.K. Market Growth
Labor cost is around 40 to 45% of the total PCB production cost in the U.S. and the U.K. The key players worldwide report that material costs are rising, with an additional four-fifths reporting rising labor costs. Manufacturers are hiking prices to minimize the damage done to their bottom lines by various snags throughout the global supply chain. Labor, in particular, has been a major asset to companies and companies' supply chains as they attempt to meet the growing demand. Employers are trying to entice potential workers with higher wages and sign-on bonuses while investing further in automation to boost productivity. Thus, other laborers are demanding more wages according to industry standards, which is not economical for the small players or major companies with high employee or labor count. Thus, high labor and material costs will be a major threat to market growth.
Moreover, worldwide shortage of semiconductors has disrupted entire parts of the global supply chain for the aerospace & defense industry. The electronic segment in aerospace and defense depends on semiconductors for major applications. The global semiconductor shortage is caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, trade conflicts between China and the U.S., inclement weather in some world regions, fires at semiconductor facilities, and general increases in the prices of raw materials. The players involved in the avionics market are now facing a shortage of these semiconductor devices. These devices are fitted with PCBs for different monitoring and communication parts and equipment. Thus, this shortage will hinder the market growth during the forecast period.
Around two million tons of printed circuit boards are wasted and further create environmental problems and threats to human health. The key players involved in the market are now coming up with environment-friendly printed circuit boards made of bio-based material to resolve the waste issues in the electronics industry.
Multilayer Segment to Dominate Due to Rising Demand for High Performance and Reliability PCB for Aerospace and Defense Applications
The market is divided into single-sided, double-sided, and multilayer based on type. The multilayer segment is estimated to be the largest segment in 2021, and it is projected to be the fastest-growing segment up to 2029. The increasing demand for multilayered PCBs for military applications owing to their high reliability under extreme conditions is expected to fuel the market growth. Increased demand for high performance and reliable multilayer PCBs due to the growing adoption rate of complex circuits, nanotechnology, and miniaturization is anticipated to fuel the market growth. The growth is attributed to the rising demand for highly-complex circuit boards for high-performance mission-critical military hardware and the adoption of unmanned vehicles for combat, ISR, and combat support applications.
The single-sided segment is estimated to hold the second-largest market share in 2021. The growth is attributed to the increased demand and adoption rate of single-sided PCB in surveillance applications, military-grade radio equipment, and imaging systems. The increasing use of imaging systems, surveillance equipment, and military radio communication systems due to increased demand for next-generation aircraft is a major reason for the segment during the forecast period.
The double-sided segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR throughout the projected period. The growth is attributed to the growing modernization of aerospace and defense communication systems, military phone systems, and critical military components. Growing procurement of double-sided PCBs is expected to propel the segment's growth. Moreover, the increased popularity of armed forces' secure & encrypted communication networks is expected to support the market growth.
High-Density Interconnect Segment to Drive the Market Growth Owing to High Adoption Rate of PCBs in Hypersonic Missiles and Unmanned Systems
The market is classified into rigid, flexible, rigid-flex, high-density interconnect, and others based on design. The rigid segment is estimated to be the largest segment in 2021. Growing demand for rigid PCBs for transmission sensors, electronic computer units, military robotic systems, and power distribution junctions is anticipated to propel the segmental market growth during the forecast period. The high utility of ruggedized computers for battlefield operations surges the demand for rigid PCBs. This development is propelling the market growth during the forecast period.
The flexible segment held the second-largest market share in 2021. The segment's growth is attributed to the increasing demand for flexible PCBs for helmet-mounted displays (Heads-Up Display (HUD)) in military aircraft and rotorcraft. Also, the growing advantages of flex PCB in space launch vehicles are expected to support market growth. In addition, augmented reality and virtual reality in aerospace and defense for training applications are anticipated to drive market growth during the forecast period.
The High-Density Interconnects(HDI) segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR throughout the forecast period. The segment's growth is attributed to the high adoption of high-density interconnect PCBs in missiles, defense systems, and military communications devices. The segment's growth is attributed to the increasing demand for High-Density Interconnect PCBs for hypersonic missiles, artificial intelligence, and unmanned vehicles.
The rigid-flex segment held the third-largest market share in 2021 and is anticipated to grow at a significant CAGR during the projection period. The high demand and adoption rate of rigid-flex PCBs for high temperature and extreme environment applications, such as military and space, are anticipated to drive the market growth during the projection period. The high demand for rigid-flex PCBs in commercial and military satellite systems and the high adoption rate in small commercial satellites drive the market growth during the forecast period.
Non-metal Segment to Propel the Market Growth Owing to High Demand for Polymer-core PCBs for Commercial, Defense, and Space Applications
Based on material, the market is classified into metal and non-metal. The metal segment is estimated to be the largest segment in 2021. High demand for various satellite and missile applications is driving the market growth during the forecast period. The growing utility of ruggedized computers and communication equipment is expected to drive the segmental market growth during the forecast period.
The non-metal segment is estimated to show remarkable growth with a CAGR of 10.25% during the forecast period. A wide range of PCBs utilized in various applications, such as commercial aviation, defense, and space, are polymer-based such as FR-4, ceramics, and others. The high demand and adoption rate of polymeric-core PCBs is anticipated to drive the segmental market growth during the forecast period. The high demand for polymer-core PCBs, such as rigid-flex and high-density interconnect in commercial and military satellites, is anticipated to drive the market during the forecast period.
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Space Segment to Propel the U.S. & U.K. Market Growth Owing to High Demand for Space-based Applications
On the basis of platform, the market is divided into airborne, ground, naval, and space. The airborne segment comprises commercial aircraft, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and military aircraft. The ground segment is further segmented into communication stations, vetronics, Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV), and others. The naval segment is classified into naval vessels and unmanned underwater vehicles. The space segment is segmented into satellite and launch systems.
The ground segment held the largest segment in the U.S. & U.K. aerospace and defense PCB market share in 2021. Increased demand for defense-specific PCBs for various applications, such as UGVs, artillery and mortars, ruggedized computers, and electronic warfare systems, is anticipated to drive the market growth during the forecast period. The growing demand for printed circuit boards in artillery, radar equipment, ground vehicles, and military-grade computing systems is projected to propel the market growth during the forecast period.
The airborne segment held the second-largest segment in 2021. The high utility rate in the heads-up display, flight control systems, weapon systems, and commercial and military aircraft power supplies is expected to drive the market during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to PCBs' high demand and adoption rate in various airborne systems and subsystems such as unmanned aerial systems, rotorcraft, and aircraft.
The space segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The rise in the utility of navigation systems and command & control systems in satellite and launch vehicles is projected to drive the market during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the increased demand for MMICs and various satellite-based systems and subsystems to witness PCB-based systems' high utility and adoption rate.
High Demand for Communication Network in Next-Generation Aircraft to Propel the Communication Segment Market Growth
This market is segmented into navigation, communication, lighting, weapon system, power supply, command and control systems, and others based on application. The communication segment held the largest market share in 2021. The rising demand for advanced next-generation aircraft from emerging countries, such as India, China, and others, is expected to support the market's growth during the forecast period. Moreover, innovation in communication systems fitted with modern electronic equipment is expected to fuel the market growth. The rise in the need for battlefield communications enhancement and the high demand for military communication networks for various command and control operations are projected to drive the segmental growth during the forecast period.
The lighting segment will witness the highest growth with a CAGR of 7.64% during the forecast period. The high demand for metal-core PCBs for lighting systems utilized in aerospace and defense systems and subsystems will lead to the segmental growth during the forecast period.
The navigation segment held the second-largest market share in 2021. The segment's growth is attributed to the increasing utility of navigation systems on various platforms airborne, naval, ground, and space. Technological advancements in GPS PCB designing and high utility of navigation systems in various aerospace and defense applications, such as detection systems, are anticipated to drive the market growth during the projection period.
The market is segmented into the U.S. and the U.K. In 2021, the U.S. dominated the market. The U.S. market size stood at USD 1.55 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow at a significant CAGR during the forecast period. For instance, in March 2022, TTM Technologies Inc. announced that it would be launching a new, highly-automated state-of-the-art PCB manufacturing facility in Penang, Malaysia. The decision is in response to the growing concern of supply chain resiliency and market penetration in lower-cost regions for advanced multilayer PCBs for aerospace and defense sectors.
The U.K. market is expected to grow at the maximum CAGR over the forecast period. For instance, in February 2019, Corintech Ltd. acquired Kurtz Ersa SMARTFLOW 2020, the next-generation and industry-leading PCB manufacturing equipment. SMARTFLOW 2020 is a compact selective-soldering system that facilitates high-speed solder joints of through-hole PCB components. Furthermore, in March 2018, Corintech Ltd. announced that it had been certified by the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) to standardize quality management in the designing and manufacturing products for industries such as aviation, defense, and space.
Technological Developments Executed by Major Players to Boost Market Growth Over the Forecast Period
Technologically innovative PCB solutions, deployment of advanced technology equipment, and the development of new aerospace and defense PCB enhancements are the latest trends in the market. Major players, such as TTM Technologies, Amphenol Printed Circuits Inc., and Sanmina Corporation, adopt strategies, such as agreements, partnerships, and mergers & acquisitions, for their growth.
Moreover, investment in the research & development of new PCB solutions is adopted by key players to endure their position in the market. Innovative concepts and diversified product portfolio by key players are the major factors boosting the market.
An Infographic Representation of U.S. & U.K. Aerospace and Defense PCB Market
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The research report provides an in-depth technical analysis of the market. It focuses on key aspects such as leading market players, the COVID-19 effect on the market, in-depth aerospace and defense PCB applications, and the research ideology. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments & trends. In addition to the factors mentioned earlier, it provides multiple factors that will contribute to the market's growth during the forecast period
Value (USD Billion)
Fortune Business Insights says that the market size was USD 1.85 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 3.03 billion by 2029.
In 2021, U.S. market value stood at USD 1.55 billion.
Registering a CAGR of 7.10%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2022-2029).
Airborne is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.
Increasing demand for commercial and military UAVs and the development of remote sensing and advanced ADS-B transponder technologies drive the market growth.
TTM Technologies Inc., Amphenol Printed Circuits Inc., and Sanmina Corporation are the major players in the global market.
The U.S. dominated the market in terms of share in 2021.
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