Laser Designator Market to Witness Comprehensive Growth by 2030

Shortcomings of Conventional Radar Technology to Augment Demand for Advanced Laser Technology

Laser technologies have evolved at a rapid pace over the past few decades, and are increasingly being used across an array of domains, including spectroscopy, medical sciences, space sciences, holography, power & microelectronics, industrial engineering, and directed military weapons. The adoption of lasers across defense and military sector has witnessed consistent growth over the past decade, owing to its superior functional properties than that of conventional radars. The surge in the deployment of lasers across the defense sector worldwide is a major factor that is projected to drive the growth of the laser designator market during the forecast period.

In current avionics systems, some of the most extensively used laser devices to direct the laser-guided weapons (LGW) with high precision include laser target indicators and beam riders. Scientific and technical progress over the past decade has played a key role in increasing the deployment of lasers in the defense sector. The growing demand for laser designators for airborne military applications is another major factor that is likely to boost the prospects of the laser designator market during the assessment period. Although the steep initial costs could hinder the adoption of laser designators, the growing awareness pertaining to long-term cost-effectiveness is likely to open up new opportunities for market players. At the back of these factors, the global laser designator market is expected to attain a market value of ~US$ 4 Bn by the end of 2027.

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Laser Weapons Continue to Gain Popularity, Adoption of Conventional Weapons Declining

Technological advancements have enabled the development of cutting-edge laser technologies and laser systems due to which, the demand for the same from the defense sector across the world is on the rise. Laser weapons have emerged as an ideal alternative for conventional weapons due to a host of factors, including light-like transmission speeds, decline in collateral damage, and exceptional assistance in performing low profile & covert operations. Owing to advancements in technology, an array of lasers with various operating efficacies, spectral bandwidth, wavelength, and power ranges are available.

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The notable developments in compact optical and laser devices have played an imperative role in enhancing the ability of laser designators for military applications. Laser technologies are likely to revolutionize modern warfare, and are increasingly being used for critical roles and applications, including sensing devices, data relays, target laser designators, weather regulators, and directed energy weapons. At present, within the laser designator market, a great amount of research is being carried out to assess the potential of high-energy laser weapons. One of the key aspects of modern warfare systems is the ability to track, identify, and take down the designated target wherein cutting-edge laser designators and range finders are deployed. Laser designators are extensively used for 3D vision and position control. Laser technology has, time and again, played an essential role in modernizing military warfare, and with rapid advancements in the laser technology, the adoption rates are expected to remain higher during the forecast period.

From Land to Water – Laser Technologies to Revolutionize Defense Sector

As laser technologies continue to evolve at a rapid pace, the adoption of laser designators has witnessed considerable growth over the past few years. At present, the military or the defense sector of several countries are investing significant resources to expand their military prowess and upgrade their existing defense systems. For instance, recent news revealed that the U.S. Navy is focusing on the development of lasers for submarines that are likely to disable guidance systems used in drones. Laser technologies are increasingly being deployed to achieve that objective due to which, market players in the current laser designator market are expected to capitalize on such opportunities to gain advantage. Several nations are increasingly spending resources to develop airborne lasers to improve the detection of hostile submarines and other potential looming threats.

As COVID-19 Intensifies, Market Participants Anticipate High Impact on Revenues

The novel COVID-19 pandemic has primarily crippled operations across a host of industries. Several countries are compelled to announce either complete or partial lockdowns, which in turn are expected to majorly affect the operations of participants operating in the laser designator market. Although a majority of the market participants anticipate a high impact on their operations, the effect is expected to be lower than that of the aerospace industry. Companies operating in the current market for laser designators are likely to take fiscal measures to minimize the COVID-19 impact by exploring the possibilities of delayed draw-term loan agreements to retain capital. In addition, defense spending is likely to remain significantly lower, particularly in 2020 and 2021 due to which, the demand for laser designators could decline.

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Laser Designator Market: Overview

  • According to Transparency Market Research’s latest research report on the global laser designator market for the historical period of 2018–2019 and the forecast period of 2020–2030, technological advancements in laser designators for achieving better performance of military & defense and security forces, increasing military and defense expenditure, and growing production and usage of lightweight laser designators are factors expected to boost the global market during the forecast period
  • In terms of revenue, the global laser designator market is estimated to reach value of ~US$ 4 Bn by 2030, expanding at a CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period

Technological Advancements in Laser Designators for Achieving Better Performance of Military & Defense and Security Forces: A Key Driver

  • The laser technology has witnessed significant advancements over the past few years. This technology is used in a wide range of applications, including medical sciences, military, industrial manufacturing, electronics, holography, spectroscopy, and astronomy.
  • The new and advanced laser designators are light in weight and they radiate a very narrow band of infrared light. They offer precise designation of a spot on the target.
  • Laser illumination in laser designators designates targets for laser spot trackers (LSTs) and laser guided weapons (LGWs). According to a paper published by the Federation of American Scientists Organization, LGWs can effectively engage a wider range of targets to include mobile targets.
  • A report published by IEEE Xplore mentions that laser devices and designators can bring technological revolution in warfare, when used as range finders, target designation sensors, active illumination data relay devices, directed energy weapons, and weather modifiers
  • With technological advancements, laser designator devices can be used for 3-dimensional (3D) vision control, for positioning or level control, and with three-color displays. One such advanced laser designator system is the JETS (joint effects targeting system) manufactured by Leonardo DRS as per a five-year contract formed with the U.S. Army.

Government Regulations about Safety and Frequency: Latest Market Trend

  • Examining the dynamics of the aerospace & defense (A&D) sector, companies worldwide are focusing on building relations with defense agencies across the globe. The research and development in the aerospace & defense sector in Europe is increasing significantly.
  • The defense spending in Russia declined in 2017 over that in 2016, which stood at US$ 66.3 Bn. However, the defense spending in Central and Western Europe has increased.

Bad Weather Conditions and Barriers for Sensing: Major Challenge for Global Market

  • Laser designators, including radar, LiDAR, ultrasonic, and other anti-crash and block hole detection systems, offer various advantages. On the other hand, performance of these sensors can get affected by certain factors that affect their sensing. Due to snow, ice, or salt/dirt that accumulates on cars, several of the sensors that are key to the operation of advanced safety systems can get blocked and shut down. This is a major restraint faced during the use of laser designators.
  • A few other factors obstructing the use of sensors and cameras can be sensor location and its cleaning and blind-spot monitoring systems installed outside of cars
  • Rising focus of countries across the world on R&D in the aerospace & defense sector is expected to drive the global market for laser designators during the forecast period
  • Countries in Asia, such as China, Japan and India, are focusing more on the indigenous development through increased expenditure on military and defense
  • Production of new and advanced defense aircraft and military equipment is expected to fuel the adoption of laser designators during the forecast period

Laser Designator Market: Competition Landscape

  • Detailed profiles of providers of laser designators have been provided in the report to evaluate their financials, key product offerings, recent developments, and strategies
  • Key players operating in the global laser designator market are
    • Elbit Systems
    • FLIR Systems
    • General Atomics
    • Gooch & Housego
    • L3 Technologies
    • Leonardo
    • Northrop Grumman
    • RPMC Lasers
    • Thales
    • UTC Aerospace Systems

Laser Designator Market: Key Developments

  • Key providers of laser designators, such as Robert Bosch GmbH, Infineon Technologies AG, and Magna International Inc., are focusing on the construction of cost-effective laser designators so as to attract more number of customers. Some other key developments in the global laser designator market are:
    • In March 2023, General Atomics acquired Neva Ridge Technologies focusing on the latter’s vast expertise to deliver innovations in the SAR technology. This acquisition would allow the company to advance its products, expand infrastructure, and provide enhanced solutions to its government and commercial customers.
    • In November 2018, The UTC Aerospace Systems completed the acquisition of Rockwell Collins. The company received final regulatory approval to buy Rockwell Collins in one of the largest acquisitions in the history of the aerospace manufacturing industry.
  • In the report on the global laser designator market, we have discussed individual strategies, followed by company profiles of providers of laser designator systems. The ‘Competition Landscape’ section has been included in the report to provide readers with a dashboard view and company market share analysis of key players operating in the global laser designator market.

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