Counter-improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are essential systems in conflict operations, primarily created for military forces and law enforcement with help from financial and diplomatic communities. These equipment are used to detect explosives precursor components and to defeat IEDs as a part of broader counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, and efforts on the part of law enforcement agencies. This involves an inclusive approach to counter threat networks which employ IEDs, defeating these systems themselves while training others. Counter-IED equipment are primarily against adversaries and not only against IEDs as these devices are a subset of many classes of asymmetric warfare put to use by terrorist groups and insurgents. For instance, lightweight vehicles and battle tanks are some devices for countering IED threats. Modern day warfare has further highlighted the usage of detection systems and electronic jammers for the location and prevention of explosives hidden underground.
The key drivers behind the growth of the global counter-IED market include territorial disputes, external and internal security threats, technological innovations, modernization initiatives, and considerable demand for counter-IED equipment from the Afghanistan coalition forces and other regions affected by terrorism and insurgencies. Other forces boosting the market are the constant prioritization of expenditure on equipment which combat the threat from IEDs, the appreciation that improvised explosive devices are effectively and extensively employed by insurgent groups, the efficiency of some counter-IED equipment in casualty reduction, increasing IED attacks, development of counter-IED use in global peacekeeping missions, the focus of NATO to acquire counter-IED equipment, and mass demand of the U.S. expected to continue in the near future, that is going to be sustained moderately over the next few years. Besides, IEDs have proved to be increasingly preferred and effective weapons by insurgents, mainly in Afghanistan and Iraq, apart from several other regions worldwide. Many major armed forces in the world have reacted by spending severely on counter-IED systems such as jammers blocking radio signals for IED detonation, mine-resistant vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles and robots, and detection and disposal devices. Since IEDs are relatively cheaper for making with commonly available materials, these devices will continue to threaten in future encounters. Hence the expenditure on counter-IED systems continues to be vital.
However, there are certain restraining factors which have been impeding the growth of the global counter-IED market. These restraints include the strategic withdrawal of the U.S. led coalition from Iraq and Afghanistan, the challenges imposed by the defense budget cuts in several nations, a probable market saturation, market concentration in terrorism prone areas, restricted access to attractive markets due to protectionist policies, the U.S. and European economic crises, and the disinclinationof some countries towards heavy investment in counter-IED equipment more than those meant for a minor fraction of the armed forces. The market has been declining ever since international operations in Iraq and Afghanistan ended.In spite of the adverse influences, the global counter-IED market is expected to grow at a robust rate in the near future. This is owing to the growth in demand for unmanned systems such as driverless trucks and lighter robots, and demand for counter-IED equipment developing in homeland security.
The global counter-IED market is segmented on the basis of system type, end use, and geography. On the basis of system type, the market is segmented into electronic countermeasures, counter-IED vehicles, unmanned systems, and detection systems. On the basis of end use, the market is segmented into law enforcement agencies, and military forces. According to geography, the market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America.
The key players in the global market are BAE Systems Land Systems, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Rheinmetall Defense, Oshkosh Defense, Defense land Systems India, Boeing Defense, Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd., and iRobot Corporation.
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