Remote weapon station (RWS), as the name suggests, is a remotely-controlled weapon station basically made for light and medium caliber weapons that can be mounted on any kind of platform. Rise in conflicts and asymmetric warfare across the globe has led to a great increase in the demand for remote weapon stations, especially in the military sector.
The global remote weapon station market which was valued at USD 6.28 Billion in 2016 is projected to reach a value of USD 12.70 Billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 12.47% during the forecast period 2016-2022.
On the basis of platform, the land segment held the largest market share in 2016, and will continue to dominate the market over the forecast period as well. This growth can be primarily attributed to the developing nations like China and India, which are actively investing in automated technologies and increasing their focus on manufacturing of a wide range of offensive fighting vehicles. Based on application, the market is dominated by the military segment, and is also expected to show the highest growth over the coming years. On the basis of weapon caliber, the market is currently dominated by the small weapon caliber segment; however, the medium weapon caliber segment is expected to witness the highest growth during the forecast period. This growth can be contributed to the rising demand for lethal long-range weapon systems.
Geographical growth scenario of the market
Among regions, Europe is estimated to hold the largest market share over the forecast period, owing to the continuous upgradation of warfare platforms with new technologies. Country-wise, the France and the U.K. are the two main countries that are actively investing in remote weapon stations and other related technologies. However, the U.S. and China are projected to be the leading markets in the coming years, with the market in the U.S. witnessing the highest CAGR over the forecast period. This growth can be primarily contributed to the increased research and development activities taking place in this region for the development of advanced technology-based designs of combat systems. Moreover, nowadays the U.S. military is focusing more on unmanned systems, thus, making remote weapon stations important for UGVs and UAVs.
Drivers and restraints for the market
The growth of the worldwide market for remote weapon stations is being majorly driven by the following factors:
- Increased demand for remote weapon stations from military due to rising conflicts
- Rising asymmetric warfare
- Growing need for precision remote weapon stations
- Increasing focus on naval sector in developing nations
- Continuous upgradation of current combat platforms
In addition, growing research and development activities and increasing defense expenditure of the emerging economies are expected to lay out an array of growth opportunities for the growth of this market.
However, decline in the defense budgets of advanced economies such as the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Germany, among others is expected to be a major deterrent for the growth of this market. Moreover, integration of remote weapon stations with a wide range of platforms and high development costs are the key challenges in front of the leading market players.
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Leading players and strategies adopted for sustenance
The major players operating in the global market for remote weapon stations are Elbit Systems plc (Israel), Kongsberg Gruppen (Norway), General Dynamics Corporation (U.S.), Rafael Advanced Defense Systems (Israel), Raytheon Company (U.S.), Saab AB (Sweden), Leonardo-Finmeccanica (Italy), and Thales Group (France), among others. New product launches, contracts, and partnerships & joint ventures are the strategies being adopted by these players in order to strengthen their position in the market, with contracts being the major one among all.