U.S. accounted for almost 35% of the global Intercontinental ballistic missile market

Published On: May 2018

Market Summary:

The U.S. is the only country in the North American region that is active in developing intercontinental ballistic missiles. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The country has spent more than USD 40 billion on missile defense projects over the past 15 years. Replacement of aging intercontinental ballistic missile system and modernization of nuclear force capabilities are the prime factors contributing to the market growth in this country. For instance, in 2017, the U.S. Air Force awarded separate contracts to Boeing and Northrop Grumman to work on the replacement of the aging Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile system. Moreover, in 2016, Orbital ATK, Inc. signed a contract with the U.S. Air Force to research design and development options for its intercontinental ballistic missile system. So, the intercontinental ballistic missile market in North America is projected to witness a CAGR of 5.95% during the forecast period.

The Middle East & Africa – Promising Growth Avenue

Israel is believed to have one among the most advanced missile arsenals in the Middle East. It has approximately 50 long-range strategic nuclear warheads. Its Jericho 3 missile can supposedly cover a range of 4,800-6,500 km. Countries in the Middle East region are currently facing conflict and political unrest, challenging security situation, and other issues. Hence, countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and others are also focusing on strengthening their defense capabilities. For instance, in 2017, Iran displayed the Khorramshahr ballistic missile during a military parade in Tehran. The intercontinental ballistic missile market in the Middle East is projected to witness a CAGR of 5.62% during the forecast period.

Asia Pacific – Development of missile detection technologies

In the recent years, countries in the Asia Pacific region are getting more involved in territorial disputes and maritime conflicts. In an attempt to augment the combat capabilities and with the changing nature of conventional warfare, some of the countries in this region, such as North Korea and China, are keen on developing intercontinental ballistic missiles. For instance, in 2017, China unveiled DF-41, its new intercontinental ballistic missile, which can carry up to 10 maneuverable warheads and has a range between 12,000 km and 15,000 km. Similarly, in the same year, North Korea claimed to have developed an intercontinental ballistic missile, Hwasong-15, which has a range of more than 10,000 km, and is capable of striking the U.S. Furthermore, in 2018, India successfully test-fired a long-range nuclear capable intercontinental ballistic missile Agni-V. Countries such as Pakistan, South Korea, and Taiwan are making significant strides in enhancing their missile capability. Hence, the intercontinental ballistic missile market in the Asia Pacific is projected to witness the highest CAGR of 6.13% during the forecast period.

Single Warhead – The Fastest Growing Payload Type Market Segment

Single warhead or unitary warhead contains only one warhead on a single intercontinental ballistic missile. It usually comprises a single thermonuclear warhead. The major advantage of single warhead over the multiple ones is that it limits collateral damage. So, it is well suited for urban warfare as it helps ensure the target is taken out with limited or no damage to the surrounding area. Moreover, it allows targeting flexibility and is relatively easy to de-alert. So, the single warhead based intercontinental ballistic missile market segment is projected to witness a CAGR of 6.04% during the forecast period.

Above 10,000 km – The Largest Range Market Segment

This segment covers the intercontinental ballistic missiles that can hit targets beyond the range of 10,000 km. Countries such as US, Russia, among others are pioneers in long range missiles while countries in the Asia Pacific regions, such as North Korea and China, are recently developing such missiles. Thus, the above 10,000 km range based intercontinental ballistic missile market segment is projected to witness a higher CAGR of 5.97% during the forecast period.

Evolution of 3D printing Concept – Tremendous Opportunity for Market Growth

3D printing is an evolving technology that assists users to create and design things in an innovative way and surpasses conventional methods, such as mold manufacturing, Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) cutting, or canvas printing. In addition, 3D printing can print electronics directly onto 3D surfaces, such as on rocket engines, missile fins, and the missile guidance systems. It also reduces the size and weight of the missile system. This innovative printing method allows cost-efficient and just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing of parts. It also permits quick design and rapid changes of internal features in the missile, unlike traditional manufacturing methods.

It has been anticipated that over the next 15 years, 3D printing technology will be adopted by the naval forces around the world, to build their submarine-launched missile systems. In addition, few projects have already accepted this technology and have shown tremendous success.

Contracts & Agreements – Growth strategy

Extensive research in this market has brought to light that contracts & agreements is a key strategy extensively adopted by the players. It is followed by new product development and mergers & acquisitions. In February 2016, Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings signed a contract with the US Air Force to complete trade studies and hardware demonstrations for the ICBM Demonstration and Validation Post Boost Program. The main aim of this program is to develop technologies to enhance the capabilities of the current Minuteman III Propulsion System Rocket Engine (PSRE).