The High Energy Lasers Market was valued at USD 7.43 billion in 2021, and it is expected to reach USD 14.74 billion by 2033, registering a CAGR of 12.4% from 2023 to 2033.
The industry is one of the industries hit by the covid-19 pandemic. As the demand for machine inventory declined, the demand for high-end lasers declined in the year 2020. The market again started recovering eventually after a slowdown and increase in demand from China.
High-energy lasers have played a crucial role in modern society with an increasing number of applications in manufacturing, communication, and defense. With the growing defense budget and research grants, militaries worldwide are adopting high-energy laser-based equipment and investing heavily in research and development. For example, in May 2021, the US army began testing a prototype laser weapon for close-range air defense; the weapon is a 50-kilowatt high-energy laser attached to a Stryker A1 vehicle that can locate, lock on, track, and destroy airborne threats.
The defense industry drives a prominent share of the RD and application of the technology. Major spending countries are keen on developing and inducting the technology as part of their forces and operation. According to SIPRI, global defense spending reached an all-time high of USD 1.98 trillion in 2020, an increase of 2.6% compared to the previous year. Such developments are expected to pave the way for new technologies and modernization.
With the proliferation of drones in the defense sector, the demand for solutions that can track and destroy them has gained traction. For instance, in March 2021, European missile-maker MBDA and French firm CILAS agreed to collaborate with electronic warfare and intelligence specialist SIGN4L to explore co-development opportunities in high-energy laser weapons systems to destroy drones. Such developments are expected to increase over the coming years further.
The application of high-energy lasers as part of the missile defense systems is expected to increase with major defense spenders increasing adopting these solutions and showing interest in developing such solutions. For example, in March 2021, the Israeli Defense Ministry showed interest by seeking US funding and expertise for their air and missile defense lasers; Israel’s current prototypes have achieved an output beam of nearly 100 kilowatts, whereas the United States has been exploring 300-kW weapons capable of killing cruise missiles.
Key Market Trends
Rising Demand for Laser Weapons Systems in Navy and Growth for Non-lethal Deterrents
The demand for laser weapon systems in the navy around the globe is increasing at a fast pace to tackle airborne threats, such as missiles and drones. Lasers have proven to work against missiles and are being deployed as the first net of safety. For instance, the High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance, or HELIOS from Lockheed Martin, is slated to be permanently deployed aboard a flight IIA DDG ArleighBurke destroyer in 2021. The US Navy formally accepted the Laser into Aegis Combat System.
Apart from this, laser-based weapons are being tested for disabling drones by integrating such weapons aboard naval vessels. For example, in May 2020, the USS Portland successfully disabled an uncrewed aerial vehicle during a new high-energy laser weapon system test. Northrop Grumman developed the system, and the test was conducted after the incident with the Chinese destroyer, where a weapons-grade laser was shot by a US Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft.
In addition to the United States, various other countries are also aiming at expanding their naval capabilities in deterring and disabling threats. China is among the countries set to race with the United States for supremacy in this field. China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA Navy) tested their tactical laser system which bears remarkable similarity to the US Navy’s Laser Weapon System (LaWS) back in 2019.
As navy vassals are prone to attacks from missiles and other airborne threats against whom the defense section is increasingly developing and inducting technologies that can defend against such threats. In March 2021, announced that the ship-borne laser weapon is edging closer to achieving pinpoint accuracy.
The Asia Pacific to Witness the Highest Growth
The Asia-Pacific region is a leading adopter of high-energy lasers across various fields with the growth of the market, driven by prominent countries like China, India, and Japan.
The US-China tensions, inter-border conflicts, and the focus on nuclear power have furthered high-energy lasers in the defense and military systems in various countries in the region, like India.
As part of the Tactical High Energy Laser System for the Army and Air Force of India, the country has adopted and encouraged high-energy lasers in the military as part of the TechnologyPerspective and Capability Roadmap by the Ministry of Defence.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation of India announced its plans in September 2020 to form a national program on directed energy weapons, including high-energy lasers. The DRDO is currently working on chemical oxygen-iodine lasers and high-power fiber lasers and eyeing a budget of USD 100 million from the Ministry of Defence for the 2021-2022 budget, which is aimed at the production of high-power laser weapons. Such spending on the high energy lasers is expected to impact the country’s growth positively.
According to SIPRI, China’s military expenditure is estimated to have totaled USD 252 billion in 2020, registering an increase of 1.9% over 2019. As part of its New Concept Weapons, China is expected to advance and implement high-energy lasers in its defense systems. The military spending and the country’s inclination toward the integration of HELs indicate the positive growth of the studied market.
With the focus to control the space in terms of military dominance, the studied market is expected to benefit from technological advancements made by China with government-funded investments in research and development.
The High Energy Lasers Market is moderately competitive and consists of numerous major players. Many major players continue to hold a considerable share in the overall market in terms of market share, especially across developed economies in regions such as North America. The leaders constantly keep innovating for the new technology and investing in research and development.
In addition, these companies are leveraging on strategic collaborative initiatives to increase their market share and increase their profitability.
May 2021 – BIZ Engineering invested in Trumph Pvt. Ltd’s 3kW TruLaser 1030 fiber laser cutter to meet the growing demand and replace previous CO2-based technology. The 3kW TruDisk laser supplied with BIZ Engineering’s TruLaser 1030 fiber allows users to cut all common types of sheet metal quickly and to a high standard.
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