Developments in solid state electronics and replacement of obsolete systems
Developments in solid-state electronics, such as Gallium Nitride (GaN), have led to the emergence of a new generation of Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars. These radars have better target detection capabilities and the ability to track multiple targets. They also have a longer range and multi-function capabilities compared to the previous vacuum-tube based radars. These capabilities have led to their large-scale adoption, with obsolete TWT and klystron-based radars being replaced by these new systems. Various emerging countries, such as India, Russia, and China, are developing new AESA radars for aerial, naval, and land-based platforms. For instance, Russia has developed the Zhuk Phazotron AE radar for use in the MiG-35 aircraft, which is an upgraded variant of the MiG-29. India has also upgraded its fleet of Jaguar fighter aircraft with new Israeli ELM-2052 AESA radars.
High costs involved in the development of military radars
Military radars require heavy R&D funding for their development. Also, huge costs are involved in incorporating these systems into the defense network of any nation. Military radars have to be integrated with various fire control systems, command and control systems, missiles, and anti-aircraft guns, among other systems. Apart from the development, the launch and maintenance of these systems are also expensive. Thus, the high cost, as well as time required for the development and deployment of these systems, prove to be a restraint on the growth of the military radars market. For instance, in 2014, the US spent USD 1 billion for the development and installation of a missile defense radar in Alaska.
How will the requirement of new generation air and missile defense systems be an opportunity for the military radars market?
Developments in new generation missiles with high-end technologies are a big threat to strategic installations and platforms, such as military airbases and ships. These developments include nuclear-capable ballistic missiles and high-speed cruise missiles. Nuclear ballistic missiles have the ability to destroy various cities and lives. Various nations are developing such advanced weapons capable of defeating high-end air defense systems like Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3), and S-400. Countries like India, China, and Russia have developed hypersonic missiles that are difficult to be intercepted by missile shields. For instance, India and Russia have jointly developed the BrahMos missile, which is difficult to engage by missile defense shields. These developments have led to the requirement for a new generation of high-speed air defense radar systems.
How will challenges related to the integration of military radars within existing defense systems be overcome?
The integration of military radars with various air defense systems is a challenging task. It occurs at various levels, that is, from existing command and control networks to weapon control systems (both missiles & anti-aircraft guns) to fire control systems. The integration of radar systems with various types of electronic equipment, vehicles, power generators/batteries, and other subsystems within existing defense systems is also very complex. The difficulty of integration increases in the case of military radars that are designated for different tasks and targets. For instance, military radars used for tracking long-range ballistic missiles require complex integration and skilled engineers to perform the task. These integration issues act as a challenge for the growth of the military radars market.
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