Armored vehicles are used for transporting military personnel and cargo and operates in active combat. These include land combat and transportation vehicles used by military land forces for operations. Armored vehicles provide significant strength to a country army and are used in large numbers by military forces around the world. major initiatives are being undertaken by various countries to upgrade their existing fleet of military armored vehicles, which is expected to drive the growth of the market.
Military armoured vehicles will continue to be the centrepiece of land warfare in spite of the developments in sensors and anti-tank guided missiles, as well as the proliferation of RPGs. Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) Are just what they sound like. Ground-based armored vehicles designed to take part in and survive combat situations.
The war in Ukraine has showcased certain limits of these platforms, which are expected to enhance the trend for active protection systems and manned-unmanned teaming which will allow armed UGVs to close-in to the enemy and overwhelm its defences.
The next-generation armored vehicles will face threats from near-peer and insurgent warfare. Modern main battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles and their occupants are facing increasing threats from all sides: Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) that are thrown from short distances. Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) that use infrared or radar guidance to attack the tops or engine compartments of vehicles. Mines or improvised explosive devices (IEDs) designed to attack the weaker bottoms of vehicle.
By choosing sophisticated armoured vehicles, armed forces can enhance the combat capabilities of their troops and protect them against kinetic and ballistic threats, such as small-arms fire, mine explosions, grenades, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Worldwide interest on military armoured vehicles has acquired a new momentum due to the war in Ukraine. Vehicles’ designs and tactical concepts are put into test, while decades’ old perceptions are questioned. For some, the current war is raising serious questions about the efficacy of armoured vehicles in the modern battlefield, with the development of long-range anti-tank systems.
Armed forces use field-tested, combat-proven tracked and wheeled armoured fighting vehicles, which support multiple missions including personnel transport, offensive, defensive, and security in challenging environments.
Armoured fighting vehicles and upgrades designed for military forces include:
The armored vehicles used by defense forces include armored personnel vehicle, main battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicle, and other. Whereas, the armored vehicle industry for commercial use include armored SUVs, sedan, limousine, cash-in-transit vehicles, and other special purpose vehicles.
Tanks are the most well known type of armored vehicle, and one of the most powerful. Most tanks have tracks, a powerful main cannon (or in some cases, multiple cannons) mounted on a rotating turret, armor to protect the crew and internal components from incoming fire and flying debris, and are designed to fulfill a multitude of tasks that very few other military units can complete.
Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) are vehicles designed to carry infantry into battle, protect them, and to provide general fire support. They tend to have characteristics similar to light tanks, but they tend to have large passenger compartments for transporting infantry. IFVs today can fulfill reconnaissance roles as well. Armored Personnel Carriers are designed to carry infantry cross-country or into battle, much like IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicles). APCs tend to share characteristics with IFVs and Light Tanks, but they sacrifice firepower for large passenger capacity and low cost.
Self-Propelled Guns are vehicles built to provide an artillery system with more mobility. SPGs are designed to deliver long range fire to distant targets and relocate quickly when needed.
- Tracked and wheeled armoured combat vehicles and weapon systems
- Armoured vehicles, including armoured ambulances, armoured personnel carriers (APCs), mine-resistance ambush protected vehicles (MRAPs) and anti-riot vehicles
- Tactical armoured vehicles for law enforcement, government and military agencies
- Light armoured vehicles and vehicle conversion kits
- Heavy-duty hi-mobile vehicles for military and peace-keeping operations
- Armour systems for military vehicles
- Mobile maintenance trucks for military and humanitarian organisations
- Custom fuel tanks and components for armoured fighting vehicles
As per all other segments of the defence market, the tactical use of armoured vehicles will be revolutionized through the use of key technological enablers such as IoMT, cloud, virtual reality and most importantly artificial intelligence which will allow the use of UGVs in Manned-Unmanned Teaming scenarios. This new concept will bring swarming in ground operations and will keep troops out of harm’s way.
Military organizations are also planning and implementing roadmaps that will lead to zero-emissions. The task is challenging, especially for frontline, combat vehicles where capabilities and logistics are key elements before adopting a new technology. The electrification of non-combat vehicles is only a step away. However, in the mid-run combat vehicles will rely on hybrid systems until battery capacity and energy generation in the battlefield issues are significantly addressed
Global armored vehicle market
The global armored vehicle market is projected to grow from $18.08 billion in 2021 to $27.83 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 6.36% in forecast period, 2021-2028.
The rising focus on protecting soldiers from external and internal threats is expected to propel market growth. The rising awareness about commercial security is expected to drive the demand for personnel armored vehicles. Increasing defense budgets, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, is anticipated to drive market growth.
The rising need to protect military personnel from mine attacks is expected to increase the demand for the mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle over the forecast period. Tactical military carriers and armored personnel carriers are used for safer deployment of infantry on battlefields or high threat areas. In July 2020, Mahindra Emirates Vehicle Armoring FZ LLC, a premium vehicle armoring firm, launched its latest high-tech Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Specialty (MRAPS) vehicle, which is equipped with interrogator arms capable of lifting roadside Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
Increasing cross-border criminal activities and terrorism have triggered asymmetric warfare between nations, which is expected to increase the demand for armored vehicles further. The development of lightweight, robust, highly efficient, and compact armored vehicles suitable for defense operations is further expected to propel the growth of the market.
Increasing communal riots and organized crimes in regions such as MEA and the Asia Pacific is another factor driving the growth of the market. The rising security challenges arising out of the increasing insurgent activities and crime rate is propelling the demand for civilian armored vehicles. In addition, armored vehicles are gaining popularity with number of public figures, and elite groups are adopting armored passenger vehicles for a greater sense of security. Leading automobile manufacturers are launching wide range of bulletproof vehicles to meet this rising demand for armored vehicles.
Advancements such as increased fuel efficiency and the use of high-tech sensors in armored vehicles are expected to drive market growth over the forecast period.
The global armored vehicles market segmentation is based on application, drive type, vehicle type, and region. Based on application, the market is divided into defense and commercial. Based on drive type, it is bifurcated into wheel and track. Based on vehicle type, the market is categorized into armored personnel carrier, infantry fighting vehicle, main battle tanks, tactical truck, bus, limousine, sedan, and others. Based on region, it is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
The infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) segment will dominate the market. This is one of the fastest-growing segments in major countries such as the US (at 6.2% growth rate), Australia (6.5%), Russia (3%) and India (8.8%).
Adoption of unmanned combat vehicle
Unmanned ground vehicles provide remarkable potential for naval operations as these vehicles play a crucial role in supporting Marine combat and assisting in the logistics operations ashore as well as afloat. The development and deployment of these unmanned vehicles that can operate in a wide range of high-risk situations require addressing of several technical challenges. However, many countries are working with a focus on development of unmanned armored vehicles. For instance, Singapore has been working on development of unmanned land systems for a long time with the GINTIC Institute of Manufacturing Technology under the project Diana. This project explored feasibility of development of indigenous technologies for autonomous armored vehicles. In addition, this project was followed by DSTA-led Project Ulysses, which adopted specifically modified Autonomous UGV (AUGV), an M-113 armored personnel carrier (APC). This vehicle has features such as laser scanner, steering actuators, brake, and other autonomous features, which enable autonomous and remote functioning of large vehicles at all times in natural or difficult terrain. Thus, adoption of unmanned armored vehicle is anticipated to provide remarkable growth opportunities for the players operating in the armored vehicles market.
EV/HEVs are also predicted for large growth in military. The move towards electrification of battlefield, combat and army vehicles is seen as strategic, especially from the logistics point of view. Given that military vehicles need to move through remote areas, maintenance of fossil fuel-powered vehicles is more challenging than electric vehicles. Further, carrying fuel for vehicles run on fossil fuels requires a huge convoy and increases susceptibility towards attacks, especially aerial. When considering Army maneuvers, one key objective is minimizing the number of trucks carrying materials to the battlefield. Switching to electric would have battlefield advantages such as lower maintenance overheads. Electric vehicles are less complex mechanically, easier to maintain, and have lower failure rates.
The Asia Pacific accounted for the highest share with more than 31% of the global revenue in 2021. The market growth in the region is attributable to the increasing government initiatives to strengthen the military power for countering terrorism. Various government bodies are focusing on the development of the defense sector.
In March 2022, Otokar, a Turkish bus and military vehicle manufacturing company, expanded its presence in the Asia Pacific. The firm displayed its COBRA II tactical armored vehicle and ARMA 66 wheeled armored vehicle at the Defense Services Asia expo in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Countries such as India, South Korea, and China are investing in procuring and developing advanced armored vehicles. Manufacturers in the Asia Pacific are making ample investments in R&D activities to develop advanced and hybrid armored vehicles for enhanced maritime and border patrolling. Additionally, increasing military expenditures and growing demand for medium-sized, light-armored vehicles for patrolling operations are expected to boost the growth of the market in the region over the forecast period.
Key players profiled in the armored vehicles market include Oshkosh Corporation (US), UralVagonZavod (Russia), Ukroboronprom (Ukraine), General Dynamics Corporation (US), BAE Systems plc (UK), NORINCO (China), Rheinmetall AG (Germany), and Textron Inc. (US). Contracts and new product launches were key strategies adopted by the leading players to achieve growth in the armored vehicles market.
These established providers offer a range of products, such as tracked and wheeled armoured vehicles, infantry combat vehicles, engineering vehicles, weapon stations, armament, and armour systems and upgrades.
In January 2022, Oshkosh Defense, LLC; military vehicles, mobility systems, and technology solutions designing company; launched its first hybrid-electric Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).
For instance, in November 2021, HENSOLDT, a German multinational company focusing on sensor technologies for protection and surveillance missions in the security, defense, and aerospace sectors, announced the upgrade of its Multifunctional Self-Protection System (MSFS), a sensor-based system to counter threats. MSFS helps fight threats such as anti-tank guided missiles and laser-directed ammunition and makes vehicles to identify and ward off newly emerging dangers. The Multifunctional Self-Protection System 2.0 is to optimize the size, weight, and quantity of assemblies. The new laser rider improves directional resolution and threat detecting capability. The increased computer power of the central unit also aids in the detection of missile and projectile threats.
In January 2021, Elbit Systems Ltd., an international high technology corporation engaged in a wide range of homeland security, defense, and commercial applications, signed a tank and armored vehicle contract with the Asia Pacific government. The company will supply the Sabrah light tank, a tracked or wheeled light tank based on the tracked ASCOD platform, and the Pandur II eight-wheel drive vehicle as a prime contractor for the three-year initiative.
In February 2021, American Rheinmetall Vehicles, LLC, a subsidiary of Rheinmetall AG, and L3Harris Technologies, an American technology company, defense contractor, and information technology services provider signed a partnership agreement. The partnership aimed to develop an Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) for the U.S. Army. This vehicle replaced the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), a tracked fighting vehicle designed to move scouts with armor protection.
In February 2021, Arquus, an automotive firm that provides a variety of light and medium-sized wheeled armored vehicles for military services and internal security forces, introduced Scarabee, a lightweight rugged vehicle to spot, lock, acquire, and hit.
For instance, in April 2021, INKAS Armored Vehicle Manufacturing, a Canadian privately held firm specializing in manufacturing, security, and development of armored vehicles, announced its procurement of vehicles to the U.S. government. The company has expanded its capacity and expertise to provide high-quality armored vehicles and fleets, which are available through the United States General Services Administration’s (GSA) Advantage program.
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