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New Threats, Operational Concepts and Interoperability Needs Drive Acquisitions and Modernization
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The global artillery & rockets market will increase expand considerably over the next ten years driven predominantly by the general strategic uncertainty in some regions and the need to replace ageing fleets with modern artillery and rocket systems. Self-propelled howitzers (SPH), especially 155mm systems like the M109 variants and K9, will constitute a major portion of the revenues. Major advancements in range, lethality and automation are being pursued, which might witness operational realization by 2028-30. Planned and forecast opportunities in the artillery & rockets market will be over $30 billion during the forecast period.Soviet-era systems like the ubiquitous D-30, M-46 and BM-21 and their Chinese variants are still in service in developing countries, especially those in Africa and Latin America with smaller economies or lower economic growth. Some countries have developed the capability to overhaul, support and even manufacture these older systems and are likely to continue using them. Other countries might seek an overhaul of older systems or procure second-hand platforms or new, cheaper platforms from manufacturers like NORINCO or Yugoimport, rather than pursue expensive acquisition programmes.The United States is entering a major modernisation phase through the M109A7 programme, the Extended Range Canon Artillery (ERCA) programme and the Long Range Precision Fires (LRPF) programme, complemented by the development of new precision munitions with greater range.Tensions and conflicts in the Middle East and the nuclear crisis in the Korean Peninsula are militarising the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) can accelerate the acquisition of precision munitions to replace the existing controversial cluster munitions, thereby driving platform modernization and procurement. Russia’s aggressive ground posturing, airspace denial measures and positioning of long-range Iskander-M missiles are some of the primary drivers for artillery and rocket procurement and modernisation programmes in Europe. NATO defence expenditure targets will push up military spending among member states and allies. Meanwhile, in the Asian theatre, growing Chinese military power projection capability will continue to push countries like India, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore and a few South East Asian nations to improve their indirect fire capability. India will continue to be a big market during and beyond the forecast period.Artillery and rocket inventories in many countries like India, Taiwan and Pakistan are fast reaching obsolescence and replacements have to be procured to preserve their direct and indirect fire capabilities.New long-range artillery programmes like the ERCA in the United States, the Common Indirect Fires System (CIFS) in Europe and the 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV in Russia aim to replace or upgrade existing platforms. These, along with new assisted and hypervelocity ammunition, offer enhanced engagement ranges. Long-range rockets are the preferred solutions for long-range counter-battery fire. The lower launch shock and longer flight times for course correction make them ideal precision munitions delivery systems for countries. Competitors like Yugoimport, TATA SED, L&T and Khan Research Laboratories are offering new solutions to the existing competitors like NPO Slav, Lockheed Martin, NORINCO and Avibras. More militaries, including those of smaller countries, are opting for motorised infantry units. Increasingly, these units are organically equipped with self-propelled, crew-served mortars and light artillery. These trends might drive growth in the 81mm/120mm mortars/SP mortars and the 105/122mm howitzer segment. Increasing digitisation of new and existing platforms is being observed. Digitisation intends to reduce human-in-the-loop time thereby employ shoot-and-scoot tactics to reduce exposure to counter-battery fire. The lower response time and higher rate of fire also allow better distribution of artillery platforms over a wider area than traditional battery grouping, making them less susceptible to detection by unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
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