The Global Sonobuoys Market, By Type (Active and Passive), By Application (Detection, Safety & Security, Oil & Gas and Others), By Size (Size A, Size B and Others) and by Region (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa) - Global Forecast to 2027”, is expected to be valued at US$ 1,014.8 million by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.4% during the forecast period (2019-2027), as highlighted in a report published by Coherent Market Insights.


Sonobuoys are anti-submarine devices that are built on the principle of sound navigation and ranging (SONAR) system for detecting the presence of sunken ships, oil & gas deposits, and submarines. They are manufactured with transducers or hydrophones to convert sound signal into an electrical signal. Sonobuoys are ejected from aircraft in canisters and deploy upon water impact. The buoy relays acoustic information from its hydrophone via ultra-high frequency very-high frequency radio to operators on board the aircraft. A decent retarding device namely parachute or rotating blade assembly is connected to sonobuoys, in order to minimize water-entry shock and descent velocity and aids in increasing aerodynamic stability. The assembly of parachutes and rotating blade is called rotochutes.

The global sonobuoys market was valued US$ 617.7Mn in 2019 and expected to reach US$ 1,014.8 Mn by 2027.

Market Driver

Increased efficiency of sonobuoys due to technological advancements is expected to drive growth of the global sonobuoy market during the forecast period

Various advancements in technology of sonobuoy have increased its efficiency significantly. Modern sonobuoys can provide relatively more accurate and noise-free signals as compared to early models. Moreover, unlike previous sonobuoys who last for around eight hours and needs to be replaced, modern sonobuoys offer extended operational period. Such efficient sonobuoy systems are deployed for various applications from anti-submarine warfare to detection of oil & gas deposits. Thus, technological advancements in sonobuoys systems are expected to propel growth of the global sonobuoy market over the forecast period.

Market Opportunity

Increasing need for cost-effective anti-submarine warfare systems is expected to pose lucrative growth opportunity for market players

Increasing marine disputes among countries combined with growing piracy incidences has led to requirement of cost-effective anti-submarine warfare systems. Generally, the average battery life of sonobuoys is around eight hours, after which they need to be replaced. Such incidents lead to additional costs. Manufacturers can focus on investing in research and development activities, in order to develop cost-effective and efficient sonobuoys, which can be deployed into anti-submarine warfare systems. Such factors are expected to present major growth opportunities for manufacturers during the forecast period.

Market Restraint

Negative impact of sonobuoy on marine life is expected to hinder growth of the global sonobuoy market over the forecast period

Although sonobuoys are helpful in detecting subsea surface and enemy submarine, extensive use of sonobuoy could have a negative impact on marine animals and plants. A lot of marine life marine researchers have said that noise emitting from sonar can harass and kill whales and other marine life. Extensive use of sonobuoy in deeper oceans could lead to severe damage to aquatic life in the near future. Hence, negative impact of sonobuoy on marine life is expected to restrain the global sonobuoy market growth in the near future.

Market Trends

  1. North America Trends

Increasing adoption of sonobuoys by Royal Canadian Navy for monitoring and detection activities in nearby water bodies

The Canada sonobuoy market is expected to witness stable growth during the forecast period, owing to increasing adoption of sonobuoys by Royal Canadian Navy for different applications such as monitoring smuggling activities, apart from detection and tracking submarines. Moreover, Royal Canadian Navy has deployed passive sonobuoys for detection of enemy submarines without indicating the presence of patrolling aircraft.

Growing adoption of sonobuoys is expected to increase for monitoring of natural resources

Apart from enemy submarine detection, the Royal Canadian Navy focuses on monitoring its natural resources namely oil deposits. A vast volume of oil produced in Canada is extracted from Atlantic Ocean. Hence, monitoring of the oil reserves is the major priority of the Royal Canadian Navy. As sonobuoys help in detection and monitoring of natural resources and submarines, the Royal Canadian Navy is expected to increase spending on sonobuoys.

  1. Europe Trends

Increasing adoption of sonobuoy by French Navy to strengthen its anti-submarine warfare capabilities

The French Navy is focusing on investing to strengthen its anti-submarine warfare capabilities, by awarding contracts to sonobuoy, anti-submarine warfare frigates, and aircrafts manufacturers. The French government uses sonobuoys for monitoring the aquatic life. As sonobuoys play a crucial role in detecting and tracking of submarines and oceanography, the government of France is expected to continue its investments in sonobuoys. For instance, in 2005, the French Navy and Italian Navy started Europe’s largest naval multi-mission program, FREMM, with an objective to strengthen their anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

Russian and Italian navies deploying sonobuoys for numerous applications

Italy and Russia are prominent end users of sonobuoy systems. The Russian Navy frequently upgrades its anti-submarine warfare capabilities with the latest technologies in order to prevent enemy submarines advancing in their territory. The Russian Navy is also a major oil exporter, and hence deploys sonobuoys to monitor and detect oil deposits. The Italian Navy frequently awards contracts to major sonobuoy manufacturers for tracking enemy submarines, surveillance, and monitoring of oil reserves and aquatic animals, etc.

Competitive Landscape

Key players in the global sonobuoy market are ERAPSCO (a joint venture between Sparton Corporation and Ultra Electronics USSI), Lockheed Martin Corporation, SEALANDAIRE TECHNOLOGIES, INC., Radixon, General Dynamics Corporation (General Dynamics Mission Systems, Inc.), and Thales Group.

Key Developments

  1. Major market players are involved in capacity expansion, in order to enhance their market presence. For instance, in January 2019, SEALANDAIRE TECHNOLOGIES, INC., an anti-submarine warfare company, invested around US$ 3 million in its new Jackson, Michigan headquarters.
  2. Key companies in the market are focused on contracts and agreements, in order enhance their global market presence. For instance, in May 2016, ERAPSCO entered into a five-year GFY16 ERAPSCO Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ)” contract valued at US$ 101.1 Mn, in order to manufacture sonobuoys with critical sensor capabilities, for the U.S. Navy. The production of the required sonobuoys is expected to be completed by September 2017.


Market Taxonomy:

  1. By Type
  • Active
  • Passive
  1. By Application
  • Detection
  • Safety & Security
  • Oil & Gas
  • Others
  1. By Size
  • Size A
  • Size B
  • Others
  1. By Region
  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific (APAC)
  • Middle East & Africa (MEA)


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