Sonar System Market size is estimated to witness significant growth during 2020 to 2026. Proliferating advancements in autonomous underwater vehicle technologies and rapidly improving anti-submarine warfare techniques are contributing to sonar system market growth.
Sonar, also known as sound navigation and ranging systems, is a technology that can identify and locate objects in the ocean using acoustical waves. Widespread applicability of the product in nautical chart development, location and navigation of underwater hazards, mapping of objects such as shipwrecks on the seafloor as well as seafloor mapping, among others is likely to boost market penetration.
The burgeoning development and deployment of advanced marine defense technologies such as nuclear submarines and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) is a major trend characterizing sonar system market expansion over the forecast spell. UUVs have evolved considerably over the years and have emerged as revolutionary tools for ASW (anti-submarine warfare), owing to their sophisticated sensing technologies.
UUVs are equipped with advanced active sonar systems, in order to facilitate optimum data collection in order to characterize and monitor the movement of adversary submarines at long ranges. For instance, Applied Physical Systems’ DARPA-sponsored SHARK (Submarine Hold at RisK) UUV serves as an active sonar platform, which can efficiently identify and monitor the movements of stealth submarines. Various organizations are involved in the development of advanced sonar-based surveillance systems, including hull-mounted, diver detection, sonobuoys, towed, dunking sonars and others, in order to accommodate the growing sonar systems market demand in the years ahead.
Aside from its usage in defense operations, the commercial segment is also likely to gain benefits from sonar systems industry penetration, given its potential in fisheries. Rising fish finding activities and the robust usage of sonar systems in the business is anticipated to boost market development in the commercial applications segment over the estimated timeline.
North America is set to emerge as a lucrative revenue pocket for the sonar system market over the forecast period. This is attributed mainly to the leading position of the region in the vessel mount industry, as well as major naval shipbuilding projects in Canada and the US.
Major players making up the sonar system market share include Lockheed Martin, Atlas Elektronik (ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems), Raytheon Technologies, JRC (Nisshinbo Holdings), L3Harris Technologies (formerly L3 Technologies), Furuno, Kongsberg Gruppen, Sonardyne International (Sonardyne Group Ltd.) , Ultra Electronics, Thales, Navico (Altor Equity Partners) and Teledyne Technologies.
Numerous strategies and efforts are being employed by the industry players in an effort to maintain a strong position in the global industry share. For example, Thales has been chosen by the UK’s Royal Navy to equip the CASD (Continuous at Sea Deterrent) submarines with Combat System Mast, as well as the Sonar 2076 system, which is the most advanced sonar suite in the world and is currently integrated within the Navy’s Astute Class and Trafalgar submarines.
Likewise, Northrop Grumman is set to integrate its µSAS sonar system into the Iver4 Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) developed by onto L3Harris Technologies, for a one-year test period as a part of the DIU (Defense Innovation Unit)’s Next Generation Small-Class UUV program.
The novel coronavirus disease has emerged as a severe worldwide crisis that has had a substantial impact on the global economy. The widespread pandemic has not only been confined to China, where it originated, but has eventually spread across the entire global industrial sphere, causing significant upheaval in the international tourism, trade and shipping domains.
Amid various nationwide efforts to flatten the curve and contain the spread of the deadly virus, the maritime industry, especially, has taken a considerable hit, with disruptions in transportation, critical shipping, ship repair and shipbuilding operations. For instance, Fincantieri an Italy-based naval shipbuilder shut down its ship production for over 2 weeks in March 2020, in an effort to comply with various regulatory directives for social distancing and quarantining. The ripples of this impact on the maritime sector may also manifest in peripheral industries such as the sonar system market, which may be affected due to the unprecedented disruptions in shipbuilding activities.
However, with many recovery initiatives being undertaken by authorities and businesses worldwide, the situation may improve in the years ahead, as maritime activities begin to normalize in the post-pandemic era.