An aerostat is an aerodynamically shaped fastened balloon, which contains a lighter than air gases namely hydrogen, helium, etc. that generate the bulk of lifting force. Aerostats are typically used as an aerial platform for various scientific and commercial applications. Moreover, they are used by military forces for surveillance, intelligence, and reconnaissance and also in civilian observation. The designing and manufacturing of aerostat systems are dependent upon various parameters including wind speed, operating temperature, payload, and altitude.
The global aerostat system market is estimated to be valued at US$ 8,913.6 million in 2021 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 14.3% over the forecast period (2021-2028).
- In 2019, leading manufacturers such as ILC Dover, LP, Raven Industries Inc. Aerostar Technical Solutions, Inc., Raytheon Company are collaborating with telecommunication service providers to improve network quality For Instance, Raven Industries, for example, was awarded a US$ 10.4 million contract in 2019 to deploy its TIF-25K aerostat systems in Afghanistan.
- In December 2018, RT LTA Systems Ltd deliver 4 SkyStar aerostat systems to a governmental agency of Central America. As per the agreement, RT will provide 3 SkyStar 180 aerostat systems and one SkyStar 110 micro-tactical aerostat system.
- In October 2019, Aerostar Technical Solutions a wholly owned subsidiary of Aerostar International, Inc., announced that the company awarded a $5.7M contract to deliverTIF-25K® Aerostat Systemssparing hardware to six existing aerostat sites in Afghanistan.
Asia Pacific (Region) held dominant position in the global aerostat market in 2020, accounting for 26.0% share in terms of volume, followed by North America and MEA, respectively.
Figure 1. Global Aerostat System Market Value (US$ Mn), by Region, 2020
Market Dynamics- Drivers
Competitive advantages offered over surveillance aircraft are expected to drive growth of the global aerostat systems market during the forecast period. The demand for aerostat systems has increased worldwide in the recent past. This is owing to superior advantages offered by these systems over other aircraft and drone-based surveillance systems. Aerostat systems have fewer mechanical parts than aircraft and drones, which significantly reduces periodic maintenance of these systems and hence the decrease in cost. Majority of large-class aerostat systems have the capacity to carry a payload of several tons, ranging from two to five tons. Moreover, it is capable of being aloft for several weeks without any maintenance, providing accurate and real-time data.
Growing need for persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance globally is expected to propel the global aerostat systems market growth over the forecast period. Aerostat system is designed in such a way that it can last longer than other surveillance devices. Since the operation time of drones relies on battery life, there cab frequent lapses due to maintenance operations. Hence, these devices cannot provide persistent ISR. On the contrary, aerostat systems can offer better operation time without lapses. It can also provide persistent ISR without frequent maintenance and refueling operations.
Development of next-generation materials for aerostat systems can present lucrative growth opportunities. Aerostat systems face major challenges, such as sustaining strong winds, rain, and other harsh environmental conditions. The long lifetime of aerostat systems is majorly dependent on the strength of material used for aerostat hulls. Most of the aerostat system manufacturers, such as TCOM, L.P., and Aerostar International, Inc., are currently focusing on the development of high-performance laminate materials for aerostats. These materials are designed for sustaining harsh environments, thereby increasing the average life of aerostat systems.
Rising use of aerostats in coordinating missile defense to pose business opportunities. Using aerostat for coordinating missiles in the defense industry presents major business opportunities. Missile defense system is typically used to detect, track, intercept, and destruct the attacking missiles. It is originally conceived as a defense against nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Rising use of aerostats in such applications can provide significant opportunities in the near future.
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||Market Size in 2021:
||US$ 8,913.5 Mn
|Historical Data for:
||2017 to 2020
||2021 to 2028
|Forecast Period 2021 to 2028 CAGR:
||2028 Value Projection:
||US$ 19,891.1 Mn
- North America: U.S. and Canada
- Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
- Europe: Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Russia, and Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia & New Zealand , South Korea, and Rest of Asia Pacific
- Middle East and Africa: GCC Countries, South Africa, and Rest of Middle East and Africa
- By Balloon Type: Spheroidal, Ellipsoidal
- By Class: Small class Aerostat, Medium-class Aerostat, Large-class Aerostat
- By Application: Military, Homeland Security, Commercial Applications, Environmental Research
- By Payload: Communication Relays, Electro-Optics, Surveillance Radar, Aerostat Navigation Systems
Aerostar International, Inc., Raytheon Company, ILC Dover LP, Worldwide Aeros Corporation, Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd., TCOM L.P., Lindstrand Technologies, Ltd., RT Aerostat Systems, Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation, and RosAeroSystems, International Ltd.
- Competitive advantages offered over surveillance aircraft
- Growing need for persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance globally
|Restraints & Challenges:
- Availability of alternatives such as airships and unmanned aerial vehicles
- Limitations pertaining to operational altitude
Aerostat systems offer numerous advantages, such as surveillance capability for larger areas and accurate detection of smaller objects. These systems are majorly used in land and air-based surveillance. However, due to their high precision with respect to the detection of objects, aerostat systems are becoming increasingly popular in maritime applications. Conventionally, radar surveillance systems are mounted to ships for the detection of objects. However, small objects such as small ships and fast-moving boats are not detected easily using ship-mounted radars. Aerostat surveillance radars can be mounted at height of 1,000-15,000 feet.
Key players in the market are focused on research and development activities, in order to innovate novel products. These manufacturers are incorporating high-definition thermal imaging feature to provide enhanced results in surveillance intelligence.
Figure 2. Global Aerostat System Market Share, By Balloon Type, 2020
Key Takeaways of the Graph:
- The Military held dominant position in the market and accounted for 69% share in the global aerostat system market in 2020. The segment is expected to reach US$ 10,496.4 million in 2028, owing to increased use of balloon type aerostat for surveillance and communication in military
- In 2020, the Medium Class Aerostat accounted for the largest share of 59% in the global aerostat system market and is expected to be valued US$ 13,099.2 million by 2028. This is owing to medium-sized aerostat offers flexibility and portability for accelerated launch and retrieval, along with the capacity for sustained deployment
Market Dynamics- Restraint
Availability of alternatives such as airships and unmanned aerial vehicles is expected to restrain growth of the global aerostat systems market during the forecast period. There various substitutes available in the market for aerostat systems such as airships and unmanned aerial vehicles. Airships are similar to aerostat systems although they have to propel engines to motion of these ships. Thus, the airships are capable of moving around to different places along with their payloads, covering larger areas than aerostat systems. Furthermore, airships are used as cheaper means of cargo transport as they require low maintenance and operational costs as compared to conventional aircraft. Therefore, these factors are expected to restrain growth of the global aerostat systems market during the forecast period.
Limitations pertaining to operational altitude are expected to hamper the global aerostat systems market growth over the forecast period. Aerostat systems have limited altitude levels as compared to UAVs and airships. An aerostat system can fly at a level of 15,000 feet or 4,600 meters. Since UAVs can fly at altitude of 30,000 feet or 9,000 meters, military forces are hesitant towards adopting aerostat systems.
Key players operating in the global aerostat systems market are Aerostar International, Inc., Raytheon Company, ILC Dover LP, Worldwide Aeros Corporation, Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd., TCOM L.P., Lindstrand Technologies, Ltd., RT Aerostat Systems, Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation, and RosAeroSystems, International Ltd.
- Major companies in the market are focused on contracts and agreements, in order to gain a competitive edge in the market. For instance, in September 2019, TCOM L.P. received a US$ 979 million contract from the U.S. Army for tethered aerostat support.
- Key market players are involved in business expansion, in order to enhance the market presence. For instance, in December 2019, RT Aerostat Systems, Inc., a developer of aerostat systems, inaugurated its new headquarters in Yavne, Israel.