A remote-operated weapons system is often coupled with fire control equipment. The technology is used to remotely control weaponized systems of medium and light caliber weapons technologies. The technology is used across the land, naval as well as airborne platforms. The use of remotely operated weapon stations allows the gunner (the person who aims) to be sheltered within a protective vehicle. The technology can also be retrofitted onto existing technologies. One such example of the retrofitted model for Remotely Operated Weapon stations includes the American Humvees receiving the Crows system. Another anecdote of the same is noted to be the Royal Netherlands Army Bushmaster IMVs are receiving the Thales Swarm.
It is mostly employed across the battlefield to locate and engage targets with added security as well as efficiency. The use of this technology lowers the risk of the gunner in terms of venturing into high-risk zones to locate a given target. An array of sensors and other locating systems account for some of the main components that are used to build this technology. It provides optimal situational awareness which provides a soldier with a complete sense of surrounding while staying conceived from harm’s way.
Major factors driving the growth of the market
The increased cross-border conflicts and the need to preserve humanitarian forces that are involved on the battlefield is one of the primary drivers for the remotely operated weapon stations vertical. Moreover, the brewing insurgency, as well as the war-like situation in Russia and Ukraine, are also expected to boost the defense expenditure within this technology. The increased proliferation of unmanned systems is another factor that is poised to influence the market growth dynamics for this sector. The increased adoption of automatic as well as semi-automatic weapons technologies is anticipated to drive the shift in trends towards remotely operated fire control technologies.
Trends influencing the growth of the market
Several developed, as well as emerging economies, have been trying to enter the Remotely Operated Weapons Systems market. In the year 2017, India’s Bharat electronics limited (BEL) was noted to have launched a Remote Weapons Systems. The technology was to be retrofitted onto India’s Arjun tanks. The Remote Controlled Weapon Systems (RCWS) enables the soldier to fire aerial targets from the safe interiors of a battle tank. The RCWS technology was used to replace manually operated guns with a caliber of 120.7mm. The new technology was so designed that it could be fitted onto multiple surfaces, like an Armed Repair and Recovery Vehicle, as well as fast-moving boats used across the Indian coast guard.
As of 2020, it was noted that the upgrade of this technology was also to take place for the Arjun Mk. An unmanned combat system was specifically designed to carry a combat-ready NSVT HMG, that was poised to be fitted onto a two-axis stabilizer. The Remote weapons system was noted to have been developed under the Make In India initiative. Thus increased use of domestic technology is poised to be one of the factors that promote the growth associated with this market.
Similarly, the CROWS (Common Remote Weapons Station) is the technology that is used across the US military forces across its armored vehicles as well as ships. The operator can engage with targets without having to leave a secure zone. The US military has fielded the M101 CROWS as well as M153 CROWS II systems.
A significant rise in defense spending across the global markets is noted to be one of the dominant factors that are anticipated to drive the market growth dynamics. Additionally, it is noted that countries have now started focusing on increased domestic procurement of defense equipment. A rise in the number of quotations sourced locally would lead to increased employment opportunities both directly as well as indirectly within a said economy. This in turn would lead to an overall rise in the spending potential of the population which leads to a rise in defense-based GDP contribution. India’s Make In India initiative is one such program.
In terms of recent developments, the war between Russia and Ukraine is seen to be one of the prominent trends within the market which is poised to impact global defense spending. Amidst the brewing geo-political tensions, it was noted that Russia was seen to be fielding its state-of-the-art Arbalet-DM robotic station. This unmanned weapons technology was noted to have been used successfully by Russian special forces across operations within Ukraine.