Global Aerostat Systems Market - By Type, Payload, Application, Geography - Trends, Size, Share & Forecast (2018-2023)
In 2017, the global aerostat systems market was valued at USD 550 million. Bravura Information Technology Systems has been awarded by the US Army contract, worth USD 305 million, to support the persistent surveillance systems-tethered aerostat program. An Israeli aerostat company, RT LTA Systems has established a new subsidiary under the name Aero-T, which will develop and manufacture a new range of aerostats called SkyGuard that would operate maintenance-free for at least seven days.
Drone Usage on the rise
Drone Aviation has accomplished the integration of government-furnished ISR equipment supporting the simultaneous use of communications and optical payload packages, onto the Winch Aerostat Small Platform tactical aerostat, under the recent contract with the US Department of Defence. With proper development and funding, aerostats would replace UAVs and low-flying surveillance systems from the constant surveillance field, where operation costs and the focus of operation are major constraints.
Aerostats consume less fuel, are stationary, and can carry a large payload with minimum expenditure. Aerostats act as a deterrent to cross-border smugglers carrying illegal drugs by air. In a month, it has been noted that aerostat usage has saved about 500% in surveillance costs, compared to the expenditure incurred by using fixed wing aircraft.
North America Leading the Market
The North America is expected to lead the market for aerostats, due to its acceptance and already prevalent usage in law enforcement. As Mexico shares a border with the US, it is expected to tap into the aerostat demand market, which will accelerate the growth in law enforcement, border security, and surveillance of sensitive areas. Due to the threat of criminal activity and terrorist-instigated violence, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East & Africa are expected to witness an increase in the aerostat demand for border security and public area surveillance.
Proper marketing of aerostat is expected to boost the acceptance and support from the communication department, local law enforcement, and border security forces in countries such as India, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and others (with a large area, difficult weather, and rough terrain). The United Arab Emirates and some African countries like the Republic of South Africa, Nigeria, and Côte d'Ivoire are other possible markets for this technology; if successful, its development would be replicated in the countries like Egypt, Turkey, and Syria.
Key Developments in the Market:
February 2018: Lockheed Martin has developed VCSi, a new control software that enables operators to simultaneously control multiple UAS and conduct ISR missions from anywhere around the globe.
June 2017: Boeing Co's Insitu Inc. and Textron Inc.'s AAI Corp were awarded a USD 475 million contract each by the US Special Operations Command to manufacture ISR for the US army.
June 2017: Textron Systems Unmanned Systems' Nightwarden Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS) made its international debut at Paris-Le Bourget Airport.
Key Players: Lockheed Martin, L-3 Communications, Bae Systems, Northrop Grumman, and UTC Aerospace Systems, were evaluated as the key players in the market.
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