The global airborne pods market size is expected to reach USD 3,839.1 million by 2026 according to a new study by Polaris Market Research. The report “Airborne pods Market Share, Size, Trends, Industry Analysis Report By Aircraft Type (Combat Aircraft, Helicopter, UAV, Others), By Pod Type (ISR, targeting, Countermeasure, Others), By Material Type (Composites, Metals), By Sensor Type (EO/IR, EW/EA, IRCM); By Regions, Segments & Forecast, 2020 – 2026” gives a detailed insight into current market dynamics and provides analysis on future market growth.
Airborne pods refer to an external structure in an aircraft designed to keep the components such as camera, sensors, targeting systems, and communication systems together in order to organize the systems by putting them together for more efficient use of the components. Previously the components used for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting any weapons through the aircraft or helicopter, the components were separately equipped in different parts of the body of aircraft or the helicopter through which aerodynamic drag being generated due to rough outline of the outer body. They help to bring most of the components to keep them organized along with lower weight and can provide maximum output in comparison with the components separately equipped across different parts of the body of helicopter or an aircraft.
Increasing defense expenditure, growing acquisition of combat aircraft by defense forces across different regions, emergence of intelligence, surveillance, & reconnaissance missions due to rising tensions & security reasons across different regions, and growing demand for efficient targeting systems are some of the reasons driving the market globally.
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There can be any type of uncertain situations, which can generate the need of ISR, such as illegal border crossings by the militants, illegal fishing across the border, and illegal entry from the border, which make the demand for ISR operations for security reasons for any country. Most of the countries, such as the USA, Russia, and China, try to keep their defense forces upgraded with new and advanced technologies, which make them more powerful in comparison to others.
The air force of various countries form the contracts of upgrading their existing aircraft fleet with the advanced airborne pods for the betterment of their forces. For instance: in 2017, Lockheed Martin Corporation has been awarded a contract worth US$ 961 million to sustain and upgrade 683 Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATP), which have to be employed on the US Air Force’s F-2, F-15, F-16, F-18, A-10, B-1, B-52, and Typhoon aircraft in which the contract period was of five years.
Among aircraft type, the market was segmented into combat aircraft, helicopter, UAV, and others. Combat aircraft was estimated to be the most dominant aircraft type in 2019 and is expected to retain its dominance during the forecast period as well. Lockheed Martin’s F-22/F-35, General Dynamics F-16, McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon are some of major aircrafts with high demand.
Also, it is expected that more than US$ 800 million worth of airborne pods are likely to be procured during 2019-2026 globally wherein North America would be the largest market for the segment during the forecast period driven by the USA. UAV was expected to be the fastest growing segment owing to increasing acquisition and deployment of UAVs in defense forces of among all region for different missions.
Among type, the market is segmented into ISR, targeting, countermeasure, and others. In 2019, ISR was estimated to be the largest pod type globally and also it is expected to retain its dominance during the forecast period as well. It is mainly used for intelligence and surveillance, while keeping an eye on the desired area. It contains of EO/IR sensor allowing day/night missions, imagery data recording system, and air-to-ground data link system. Targeting pods are expected to be the fastest growing type during the forecast period. This is owing to increasing acquisition of weapon specialized combat aircraft models such as Dassault Rafale, F-35, F-16, and F-22 across different regions of the world.
Among material type, the market is segmented into composite and metals wherein, composite was estimated to be the largest segment in 2019 owing to increasing demand and deployment of lightweight pods for achieving increased overall mission efficiency, long range, and higher fuel efficiency in terms of costs due to its lightweight nature. Moreover, it is expected to be the fastest growing segment during the forecast period as well.
Among sensor type, the market is segmented into electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR), electronic warfare/electronic attack (EW/EA), and infrared countermeasure (IRCM). In 2019, EO/IR sensors was estimated to be the largest segment globally and is expected to retain its position during the forecast period as well. This is owing to increasing deployment of ISR in aircraft for keeping stronger security across border patrolling across different government confidential areas.
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Among region, North America was estimated to be the largest region in 2019 and is also expected to be remain the largest during the forecast period as well. The U.S. is growth engine of this region and accounted for more than 92% of share in 2019. U.S. currently accounts for nearly one-third of the global military expenditure. The country is anticipated to have the largest military expenditure worldwide in the foreseen future. It has a huge plan to upgrade its existing military aircraft fleet in the coming years. The growth in this region is majorly attributed to presence of largest combat aircraft fleet across the world and increasing aircraft upgradation programs across the region.
Companies such as Advanced Technologies Group, Collins Aerospace, Harris Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Raytheon Company, Saab AB, TERMA, Thales Group, and Ultra Electronics are some of the key vendors operating in this market.