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Military Electro-optical and Infrared Systems Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2031)

  • ID: 4534298
  • Report
  • February 2022
  • Region: Global
  • 180 Pages
  • Mordor Intelligence


  • BAE Systems PLC
  • Elbit Systems Ltd
  • Leonardo SpA
  • Rheinmetall AG
  • Saab AB
  • Teledyne FLIR LLC

The military electro-optical and infrared systems market was valued at USD 8.23 billion in 2021, and it is poised to register a CAGR of 2.34% during the forecast period (2022 - 2031).

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had a severe impact on the global economy. However, the defense spending in 2020 registered growth compared to 2019. Nevertheless, it is anticipated that the economic downturn will impact the defense budget allocation in the near future. As governments re-align their priorities, it is quite likely that they will impose defense budget cuts, affecting long-term procurement plans. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent shutdowns have affected the defense manufacturing sector and the pace of military R&D activities in several countries. The negative impacts of the pandemic were clearly visible in the global defense supply chains, as several programs rely upon a unique global network of part suppliers.

The market studied is likely to grow steadily during the latter half of the forecast period due to the growing demand for enhanced ISR capabilities for various manned and unmanned systems. These systems make use of EO/IR sensors. Countries are progressively adopting these systems to increase their situational awareness.

However, various design challenges, technological constraints, supply chain risks, the evolving global crisis, and unprecedented factors are projected to restrain the market growth during the forecast period.

Key Market Trends

The Sea-based Segment is Expected to Experience the Highest Growth During the Forecast Period

The sea-based segment of the market is anticipated to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growth of territorial conflicts and border issues increased the risk for maritime assets of militaries, which led to increasing emphasis on surveillance, threat detection, and target identification at sea. As modern combats involve a greater emphasis on these capabilities, armed forces are mostly focusing on incorporating and integrating sophisticated and advanced sensor systems into their naval vessels. It is important for navy vessels to obtain motion imagery from EO/IR sensors that provide day-night and long-range eyes on the target, which improves their ability to identify targets, perform threat assessment, assess intent in accordance with the rules of engagement, and support weapon engagement through automatic tracking and fire control solutions through line-of-sight. Thus, the need for better sensor systems that are highly reliable and accurate for maritime patrol to improve sea-based situational awareness has increased. In addition, as the naval vessels are isolated from the terrain, it becomes important for them to possess advanced threat detection and countermeasure systems for their long-time survival from impending threats. This is driving the growth of R&D in these sea-based EO/IR sensors currently. Several nations are upgrading their naval EO/IR sensor systems. In January 2020, the US Navy placed its first production order for 40 WESCAM MX-10MS electro-optical, infrared (EOIR) sensor suites from L3Harris Technologies in support of its Military Sealift Command Electro-Optical System (MSC-EOS) program. The MSC-EOS System's primary mission is to provide enhanced visual imagery to augment existing electronic sensors. Likewise, in 2019, the US Department of Defense announced the agreement with FLIR Surveillance Inc. for the supply, repair, and upgradation of Sea Star SAFIRE III Electro-optics Sensor Systems. The project is expected to be completed by August 2024. Such developments are expected to bolster the prospects for the sea-based segment in the years to come.

North America held the Largest Market Share in 2021

North America held the largest share in 2021, primarily due to high demand from the US armed forces for EO/IR systems. The enhanced capabilities of adversaries on the battlefield forced the United States to increase its investment in technologically advanced weapon systems. Also, the growing involvement of the US armed forces in various global conflicts significantly contributed to the increased procurement of advanced ISR and other systems that enhance the situational awareness of the military. In December 2021, the US Senate voted to pass a USD 768.2 billion defense spending bill for the fiscal year 2022. Out of the total amount, USD 740 billion is provided for the Defense Department. A budget of 12.7 billion has been allocated for the procurement of C4I systems. The focus of the country on obtaining advanced ISR capabilities is proving to be fruitful for several EO/IR technology providers. In August 2021, L3Harris Technologies announced that it had received a five-year, USD 96 million IDIQ contract from the US Special Operations Command to procure WESCAM MX electro-optical, infrared, and laser designator sensor suites and services. The sensor systems will provide multi-spectral imaging and designation capabilities for various aircraft within the US Army Special Operations Aviation Command inventory. Similar orders for new electro-optical sensors and the upgrading of various military systems with advanced EO/IR sensors are anticipated to propel the growth of the market in the region during the forecast period.

Competitive Landscape

Some of the prominent players in the market are Leonardo SpA, FLIR Systems Inc., L3Harris Technologies Inc., BAE Systems PLC, Thales Group, Ultra Electronics Holding, and Lockheed Martin Corporation. Prominent market players have multifaceted product portfolios. Additionally, they try to modify and enhance their current capabilities through continuous R&D and introduce sophisticated features to deliver value-added EO/IR solutions to end users. This also helps them introduce low differentiated products at competitive pricing. Most of the integration programs are long-term, and hence, several IDIQ contracts are currently underway, signifying design modification and production of sophisticated EO/IR sensors as per end-user specifications. Since the end-user requirements are diverse, it encourages strategic collaboration between market players. The development of new integration platforms drives the demand for the integration of sophisticated EO/IR sensors and systems, which, in turn, may create a positive outlook for the market during the forecast period.

Additional Benefits:

  • The market estimate (ME) sheet in Excel format
  • 3 months of analyst support
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown


  • BAE Systems PLC
  • Elbit Systems Ltd
  • Leonardo SpA
  • Rheinmetall AG
  • Saab AB
  • Teledyne FLIR LLC

1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition
1.2 Scope of the Study
1.3 Currency Conversion Rates for USD
3.1 Market Size and Forecast, Global, 2018 - 2031
3.2 Market Share by Platform, 2021
3.3 Market Share by Geography, 2021
3.4 Structure of the Market and Key Participants
3.5 Expert Opinion on the Military Electro-optical and Infrared Systems Market
4.1 Market Overview
4.2 Market Indicators
4.3 Market Drivers
4.4 Market Restraints
4.5 Technology Trends
4.6 Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.6.1 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers
4.6.2 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.6.3 Threat of New Entrants
4.6.4 Threat of Substitute Products
4.6.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
5 MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size and Forecast by Value - USD billion, 2018 - 2031)
5.1 Platform
5.1.1 Air-based
5.1.2 Land-based
5.1.3 Sea-based
5.2 Geography
5.2.1 North America United States By Platform Canada By Platform
5.2.2 Europe United Kingdom By Platform France By Platform Germany By Platform Italy By Platform Spain By Platform Russia By Platform Rest of Europe By Platform
5.2.3 Asia-Pacific China By Platform India By Platform Japan By Platform Australia By Platform South Korea By Platform Rest of Asia-Pacific By Platform
5.2.4 Latin America Brazil By Platform Mexico By Platform Rest of Latin America By Platform
5.2.5 Middle-East and Africa Saudi Arabia By Platform United Arab Emirates By Platform South Africa By Platform Rest of Middle-East and Africa By Platform
6.1 Vendor Market Share
6.2 Company Profiles
6.2.1 BAE Systems PLC
6.2.2 Elbit Systems Ltd
6.2.3 Teledyne FLIR LLC
6.2.4 Israel Aerospace Industries
6.2.5 L3Harris Technologies Inc.
6.2.6 Leonardo SpA
6.2.7 Lockheed Martin Corporation
6.2.8 Raytheon Technologies Corporation
6.2.9 Rheinmetall AG
6.2.10 Saab AB
6.2.11 Thales Group
6.2.12 Ultra Electronics Holdings
6.3 Other Players
6.3.1 Danbury Mission Technologies
6.3.2 System Controls
6.3.3 Zygo Corporation
6.3.4 Navitar
6.3.5 Optikos
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown


A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:

  • BAE Systems PLC
  • Elbit Systems Ltd
  • Teledyne FLIR LLC
  • Israel Aerospace Industries
  • L3Harris Technologies Inc.
  • Leonardo SpA
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • Raytheon Technologies Corporation
  • Rheinmetall AG
  • Saab AB
  • Thales Group
  • Ultra Electronics Holdings
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown