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US defense satellite market is experiencing tremendous expansion with intensive cyber warfare driving US Department of Defense (DoD) spend toward hardening its satellite infrastructure through program funding, modernization strategies, and innovative counter and offensive space initiatives. Frost & Sullivan forecasts the market to reach $30.30 billion by 2023, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.3%. Competition is expected to heighten as demand for shorter development times and access to additional launch windows surges.
Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, US Defense Satellite Market, Forecast to 2023, assesses disruptive trends, drivers and restraints, market share and the competitive environment for players such as L-3 Communications, Lockheed Martin, United Launch Services LLC, Raytheon, and Harris Corp. Spending forecasts, key findings, and engineering measurements for segments such as asset defense, asset development, communications, detection/warning, ground elements, meteorological, surveillance, and position, navigation, and time (PNT) are provided.
“As a nation with the largest number of satellites, the US DoD is taking every precaution to protect against adversaries’ evolving threats and ensure that space systems are constantly operational,” said John Hernandez, Senior Industry Analyst, Defense at Frost & Sullivan. “Resilient satellite communications, PNT, and reliable weather data are imperative for successful military operations as well as ensuring robust missile detection.”
To gain a competitive advantage in an evolving market, Hernandez recommends players develop and use small satellites that can be quickly manufactured, cost less, and launched in large numbers. They should emulate innovative companies such as Raytheon, which has taken a large step into the small-satellite market by producing small satellites for the US Coast Guard designed to detect emergency position-indicating radio beacons for search-and-rescue operations in the Arctic region.
Five key trends creating growth opportunities in the market include:
- The two largest spending areas in 2017 went toward the communications segment at 40.7% and the PNT segment at 30.6%;
- The US Air Force, which serves as the lead agency for space operations within the Department of Defense (DoD), is projected to spend a cumulative $28.04 billion on the defense satellite market by 2023;
- PNT having the most stable spending because it affects both military and commercial interests;
- Development of satellite materials that will last longer in space and safeguarding signals through encryption methodologies; and
- Defense seeking more partnerships with the private sector to streamline research and development and accelerate program timelines.
“The slow development of DoD satellite systems, funding delays, and potential US tariffs on aluminum and steel imports are key concerns impacting market growth, despite significant opportunities,” noted Hernandez.
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