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Global Airborne IR Countermeasures Market : The Growth of Laser-based Systems

  • February 2015
  • 59 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 2719831


Table of Contents

Key Findings

•Infrared (IR) seeking technology has evolved to more capable systems that can differentiate between a flare and an aircraft. The use of flares is diminishing and are being replaced with lasers that are more effective at targeting the IR radiation from incoming missile seekers.
•Northrop Grumman leads the airborne IR countermeasures (IRCM) market with very little competition. In 2014, the company won $ x million in defense contracts related to airborne IRCM.
•Frost & Sullivan estimates the market size for the global airborne IRCM in 2014 at approximately $ x million. The United States leads the spending in this market, accounting for x % of the total global market share. This spending largely goes toward the procurement of IRCM systems, as well as research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDTE) of current and new systems.
•Spending on the large aircraft segment of airborne IRCM made up approximately x % of the total market. The rotor, tilt, and small fixed wing (SFW) aircraft segment made up x % and the threat warning systems segment made up x %.
•Declining defense budgets and resources used in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars have some countries scaling back on spending. New procurement will experience the biggest decline as defense agencies take stock and evaluate system upgrades and maintenance requirements, allowing flare-based systems to remain in place for the time being.

CEO’s Perspective

Countries are partnering to share both technology research as well as cost of systems development.
A trend toward miniaturization is beginning to gain traction. Requirements are evolving toward smaller systems with more capability.
IRCM investments in medium to heavy lift helicopters are worthy of substantial added investments for their defense.
As laser technology becomes more affordable, a transition from flare-based systems will create opportunities.
A change to the norm, air refueling tanker aircraft are being fitted with IRCM systems.

Market Definitions

•The global airborne IRCM market for this research effort is defined as the laser-based systems installed on military aircraft to defend against infrared tracking missiles.
•The segmentation scheme employed for this market is based on the various categories of IRCM type of platform for which systems are designed (e.g., helicopters and large aircraft). Segmentation is modeled after the US market, as it is the dominant participant of this market space.
•The focus regions for this research are based on the top x countries with the highest defense spending, as IRCM systems are expensive investments. Budget data is utilized to determine market size and forecast where available, in addition to other secondary and primary resources and some extrapolation techniques for inaccessible data.
•Budget data based on fiscal years is used as a principal resource for spending, and 2014 is applied as the base year for this research. Contract data is used to determine market share and apply competitive analysis, however, the reader should bear in mind that this is not actual revenue as many awards are designed as multi-year agreements.

•The inception of IRCM was initiated with the use of flares, which many countries still use. However, market measurements for this research will not include those type systems (market activity was low and little information is available). On the other hand, Frost & Sullivan understands this segment still plays a significant role in the market and will include some information related to the flare segment.
•Spending data in some instances will include costs associated with government procurement such as installation, installation support, readiness spares, depot standup, systems engineering, and program management.
•There are only a handful of competitors within this market, therefore the competitive landscape analysis for this research will be limited to the total market. A separate competitive analysis for each region will not be included within this research.

•The following are some other definitions that will serve to make clear the various market segments included within this research:
oCommon IRCM (AIRCM)—A US Army program that provides sole acquisition of future laser-based IRCM systems for all rotary-wing, tilt-rotor, and SFW aircraft across the Department of Defense (DoD).
oDirected IRCM (DIRCM)—This is a generic term used to describe a system that uses a laser to re-direct or confuse an incoming IR threat.
oLarge Aircraft IRCM (LAIRCM)—This is a US Air Force program that focuses on the procurement, research, and development of laser-based IRCM for the defense of large slow moving aircraft.

Key Questions this Study will Answer

Is the global, laser-based airborne IRCM market growing, how long will it continue to grow, and at what rate?
Are existing competitors meeting global customer needs?
What regions are consuming the largest portion of the airborne IRCM market?
What are some factors driving or restraining the airborne IRCM market?
What new innovative trends are affecting the IRCM market?
Which segment is most likely to offer stable opportunities to new market participants?

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