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According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research "Aerostat Systems Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2014 - 2022," the global aerostat systems market was worth US$3.60 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach $10.11 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 13.8% from 2015 to 2022. North America was the largest market for aerostat systems in 2014. Growth in this region is expected to be driven by wide adoption of aerostat systems in military and homeland security applications in the region.
The key factors such as high competitive advantages of aerostat systems over surveillance aircrafts, increasing need for persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance worldwide are magnifying the demand for aerostat systems across the globe. Aerostat systems are designed to offer longer life compared to other unmanned aircrafts and drones used for surveillance. Operation time of drones and aircrafts is mainly dependent on their battery life, and there can be frequent lapses in the operation time due to various maintenance and charging requirements. Thus, these devices are incapable of ensuring persistent Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). Aerostat systems offer higher operation time of several weeks without any lapses in their operation time. Since there is no need for frequent maintenance and refueling, these systems can provide persistent ISR in any given area. This makes aerostat surveillance systems preferable over other surveillance platforms such as unmanned aerial vehicles. Persistent surveillance is mainly required for monitoring borders and other critical areas. Aerostats, with advanced payload systems, offer accurate surveillance and communication links, thereby reducing possibilities of any threats. Also, these systems typically have a high average lifetime of several thousand hours. For instance, the 71M Low Altitude Surveillance System developed by TCOM, L.P. offers a lifetime of up to 1,000,000 hours. Thus, due to their higher lifetime and persistent operation, the adoption of aerostat systems is expected to grow substantially in the next few years.
On the basis of balloon shape, the global aerostat systems market is segmented into spheroidal and ellipsoidal segments. In 2014, ellipsoidal balloon-shaped aerostat systems were the most preferred, and accounted for around 75% of the overall aerostat systems market. However, spheroidal balloon-shaped aerostat systems are expected to expand at a CAGR of 15.6% from 2015 to 2022. The most significant factor boosting the demand for spheroidal aerostat systems is its better aerodynamics as compared to ellipsoidal aerostat systems. Since these aerostat systems are spherical in shape, they can better withstand strong winds and remain aloft for longer period of time.
In terms of class of aerostat systems, the market is segmented into small-class, medium-class and large-class aerostat systems. In 2014, medium-class aerostat systems held the largest revenue share around 60% of the overall aerostat systems market. However, the large-class aerostats segment is expected to grow the fastest in terms of revenue in the aerostat systems market during the forecast period from 2015 to 2022.
The global aerostat systems market is segmented based on the payload types into communication relays, electro-optics, surveillance radars, and navigation systems. Surveillance radars, being the most traditional means of surveillance, dominated the global aerostat systems market in 2014. The surveillance radar segment accounted for the largest market share of around 44%, in terms of revenue, in 2014. With the growing adoption of electro-optics systems across different applications, the electro-optics segment is expected to witness the highest growth during the forecast period.
Among different applications, in 2014, the military applications segment accounted for around 68%, in terms of revenue, of the global aerostat systems market. This was majorly due to high demand for surveillance systems from the segment. Furthermore, the military application segment is predicted to hold its dominant position in the global aerostat systems market throughout the forecast period.
Geographically, North America is the largest market for aerostat systems globally. Growth of the aerostat systems market in North America is mainly supported by the high demand for these systems from the U.S. military and homeland security departments. However, due to the high penetration of aerostat systems in the region, the demand for these systems is predicted to remain low in the coming years.
The global aerostat systems market, in current situation shows the presence of key players including Lockheed Martin Corporation, Aerostar International, Inc., TCOM LP, Linstrand Technologies Ltd., RosAeroSystems International Ltd., ILC Dover LP, RT Aerostat Systems, Inc., Worldwide Aeros Corporation, and Israel Aerospace Industries.
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