The programmable ammunition market is anticipated to register a CAGR of 13. 3% during the forecast period (2020 – 2025). – The programmable ammunition market is expected to grow, primarily due to the procurement and upgrade activities undertaken by armed forces to counter the emerging threats.
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The growth is subjective to several associative factors, such as allocation of funds for procurement of new equipment, and it may be adversely affected due to the rapid technological advances resulting in the short-effective life of a newly developed technology.
– The market may also be constrained by the defense budget cuts that may alter procurement patterns of prominent countries.
– Furthermore, the emergence of smart weapons and integration of network-centric capabilities into weapons with smaller footprint has driven the supply chain of the programmable ammunition market, as these have necessitated the upgrade of the existing technological infrastructure to capacitate R&D of modern materials for producing lighter and more flexible components for manufacturing sophisticated weaponry. Such developments are likely to have a positive impact on the market in the future.
Key Market Trends
Growing Emphasis on Developing Advanced Combat Systems
As the technological advancements progress, the industry is witnessing more innovations, be it sensor technologies, firing systems, or auxiliary systems. While some technologies aim to improve the accuracy and performance of the existing systems, the industry also witnessed several breakthrough technologies in programmable ammunition and precision-guided weaponry completely different from the existing systems. The emphasis on increasing the lethality and effectiveness of the weapon systems has given rise to the development of smart weapons and programmable ammunition. Modern weapons, such as a remote weapon station, mounted on an unmanned system, brings autonomous targeting but not autonomous firing to the battlefield. Modern RWS uses artificial intelligence for object-identification and those that cross-reference visual confirmation with electro-optical and infrared lenses against radar signatures, while the fired programmable ammunition ensures proper impact on the target, based on the type of charge used and fuse integrated into a single round of the ammunition. Military powerhouses, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia, China, and India, are focused on augmenting their defense firepower, and several weapon modernization programs, and procurement contracts are underway to address the evolving threats to their national security. In July 2020, the US Army’s Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM-MAS) division awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman Corporation to develop the next generation of airburst cartridge for the 30 mm XM813 Bushmaster® Chain Gun. The program is envisioned to provide greater capability for the US Army’s up-gunned Stryker Brigade Combat Team fleets. The 30 mm x 173 mm airburst cartridge may feature a contact set fuse design with three operational fuse modes: Programmable Airburst, Point Detonation, and Point Detonation with Delay. While the newly fielded gun system nearly doubles the range of the platform’s current .50-caliber machine gun, the addition of an airburst cartridge provides a complete family of ammunition that arms the crew to meet the challenges posed by peer and near-peer adversarial threat systems. In the infantry toolbox, Rheinmetall’s 40 mm ammunition pallet currently fielded by a handful of countries, including Germany, serves as a veritable combat multiplier for infantry and other dismounted troops. The company’s 40 mm x 53 mm high-velocity ammunition reaches a velocity of 240 m/s. It has a maximum effective range of 2,200 meters, and it is available in a wide assortment of different cartridges, including newly developed HE and HEDP airburst ammunition, programmed by an infrared programming unit.
North America Accounted for a Major Market Share in the Market in 2019
North America held a market share of over 50% of the global programmable ammunition market in 2019. Within North America, the US accounted for a major share. The enhanced capabilities of China and Russia on the battlefield have forced the United States to increase its investment in technologically advanced weapons. Other factors, such as the rising violence in the Middle East, due to geopolitical tensions and terrorism, has also significantly contributed to the growth of procurement of arms and ammunition by the US armed forces. In 2019, the US spent USD 718.7 billion on its military, 3.4% of its GDP. It is currently the highest military spending country in the world. The majority of the US combat vehicles are armed with the 25mm Bushmaster. However, several other countries, including peer and near-peer competitors, currently integrate cannons from 30mm-57mm that could potentially be used against US armored and Stryker brigade combat teams. This has raised concern and has contributed to several recent developments involving US medium caliber cannon and ammunition systems. In July 2020, Northrop Grumman was awarded a contract from the US Army’s Project Manager for Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM-MAS) to develop the next-generation airburst cartridge for the 30mm XM813 Bushmaster Chain Gun. The 30mm x 173mm airburst cartridge will feature a contact set fuze design with three operational fuze modes: Programmable Airburst, Point Detonation, and Point Detonation with Delay. The deliveries are expected to begin in 2020. The US Army requested USD 847.2 million for Stryker upgrades as a part of its FY 2021 budget request, up from USD 513.8 million in 2020 and USD 265.2 million in 2018. This indicates that the army also plans to proliferate XM813 across its regular Stryker vehicles. Likewise, Canada has plans to invest tens of billions to renew and modernize the capabilities of their Royal Canadian Navy. Earlier, between 2010-2016, the Royal Canadian Navy had upgraded 14 of its 57mm guns from the Mk2 to Mk3 configuration. These guns are installed on the Halifax Class frigates. General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems – Canada produces the Target Practice (TP) C100 and the 57 mm 3P (Pre-Fragmented, Programmable, and Proximity) cartridge (Under BAE Systems License for Canada) for BAE Systems 57mm L70 Mk 3 automatic gun installed on the Canadian Navy Halifax Frigates. Such developments are likely to generate demand for more programmable ammunition over the next decade, propelling the North America market’s growth during the forecast period.
The market is currently dominated by a few global players and is expected to become fragmented in the coming years with the growing involvement of local firms. Currently, BAE Systems PLC, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Aselsan A.?., Nammo AS, Rheinmetall AG, and General Dynamics Corporation are some of the prominent players in the market. The market has significant potential in the coming decade and will result in a lot of investment in R&D. Local firms will compete or partner with global players to gain market share.
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