Land Warfare

Asia second largest market for AAD systems in next decade

25th September 2019 - 12:59 GMT | by Ilker Aktaşoğlu in London


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In the next 10 years the Asia-Pacific region will be a highly dynamic market for artillery and air defence systems, according to Defence Insight’s soon to be released market forecast on the sector.

There are currently 84 major acquisition programmes across the region and cumulatively the market is estimated to be worth $48 billion between 2019 and 2029, making it the second largest globally after Europe. The full report, titled The Artillery and Air Defence Market Report and Forecast 2019-2029, will be released next week.

India, Japan and South Korea are expected to be the three largest markets in Asia-Pacific, but while India has very ambitious targets it is far from certain that they will come to fruition.

Short and medium range air defence systems make up over half of the total forecast expenditure. This is primarily due to advances in long-range missile technology and the growing numbers of advanced fighter aircraft being introduced.

‘China’s rapidly developing fighter fleet in particular is a spur to investment, with new J-16, J-20 and potentially FC-31 platforms now entering its air force,’ says Matt Smith, Director of Analysis for Defence Insight. ‘These aircraft are significantly more capable than previous generations and have eroded the quality advantage that has previously been enjoyed by countries such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan,’ he added.

Both South Korea and Japan have boosted spending on programmes to protect against North Korean ballistic missiles and this is unlikely to become less of a concern following Pyongyang’s resumption of ballistic missile tests in May 2019.

The pressing nature of these threats means that there is major push expected over the next few years to procure new capabilities, with spending forecast to peak in 2023 before dropping away as major programmes currently being procured come to a close.

In Japan, for example, a $2.3 billion investment is being made in Lockheed Martin’s Aegis Ashore, a land-based complement to its existing naval Aegis capability. There is also on-going development of Japan’s indigenous missile systems, with the Type 03 and Type 11 surface to air missiles being funded in the 2019 budget.  

South Korea has multiple programmes including the Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) system for lower-tier defence against hostile missiles, the KM-SAM which is intended to replace the medium-range MIM-23 Improved-HAWK  system as the mid-tier of South Korea’s air and missile defence system; and L-SAM, which will meet the long-range requirement when it is deployed in the mid-2020s.

In India there is a recognition that its air defence capabilities are aging and no longer realistically capable of defeating the kind of modern air-based threats likely to be field by Pakistan or China in the event of a conflict, the forecast states. As a result, there is substantial effort going into re-capitalising across the spectrum of effects.

In 2018 Russia’s Igla-S was selected for a USD1.5 billion requirement for a Very-Short-Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) man-portable missile system to replace the current Igla-M system.

Both the Indian army and air force are seeking to acquire short-range anti-aircraft guns to replace Bofors L/70 and ZU-23-2B guns. An RfI for 938 gun systems for the army was issued in 2019, following an air force tender for 244 guns in December 2017.

The upgraded version of the K30 BIHO has been selected for the Indian army’s mobile air defence requirement, although Russia contested the award in in January 2019. Assuming that the decision is upheld, deliveries under the $2.5 billion contract are expected to begin in 2020.

Longer range requirements are being met with NASAMS II from the US, Bharat’s Akash truck-mounted missile and the S-400 Triumf from Russia. 


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