The military antennas market is projected to grow from USD 3.9 billion in 2021 to USD 5.2 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 5.9% during the forecast period. Military antennas are used on all defense platforms, such as airborne, land-based, and naval. These antennas serve different applications, such as communication, surveillance, navigation, telemetry, and electronic warfare. The defense industry is continuously evolving, and defense forces need next-generation air defense systems. Currently, air defense systems used by the defense forces worldwide use active phased array antennas to provide a detailed image of the area under surveillance. These have led to a rise in the demand for air defense systems across the globe and are expected to drive the military antennas market. The military antennas market is expected to grow at a significant rate in the coming years, owing to the adoption of various electronic systems for communication, intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance (ISR), and command and control in the defense industry. These military systems require antennas for transmitting and receiving data. Antennas should be rugged to withstand harsh environmental conditions. Defense modernization programs and increasing procurement of radar and air defense systems are also expected to fuel the growth of the military antennas market.
COVID-19 Impact on the Military Antennas Market
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant damage to the economic activities of countries across the world. The manufacturing of military antennas and components has also been impacted. Covid-19 had also impacted the price of components due to a sudden increase in interest rates without a subsequent increase in future revenue. Disruptions in the supply chain have led to halts in manufacturing processes. Resuming manufacturing activities depends on the level of COVID-19 exposure, the level at which manufacturing operations are running, and import-export regulations, among other factors. Many companies such as L3Harris Technologies, Airbus, General Dynamics, among others have maintained an active conversation with key suppliers and developed plans to mitigate supply chain risks. They may still be taking in orders; delivery schedules may not be fixed.
Military Antennas Market Dynamics
Driver: Increasing use of electronically steered phased array antennas
Increased demand for communication on-the-move (COTM) solutions for platforms such as commercial vehicles, military vehicles, trains, and boats has led to the greater use of electronically steered phased antennas (ESPA). These antennas can track and maintain satellite links even when military vehicles are in motion. An antenna terminal steering plays a major role in acquiring a satellite link, and an ESPA eliminates mechanical motion.
In 2019, the US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), in partnership with the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit, awarded a contract to Atlas Space Operations (US) to prototype an electronically steered antenna array to support the Air Force’s multi-band, multi-mission requirements.
In 2021, L3Harris Technologies (US) completed the development of an electronic phased array ground antenna for the US Space Force. Lockheed Martin (US) and Atlas Space Operations developed ESPA prototypes. The antenna developed by L3Harris Technologies, like those from Lockheed Martin and Atlas Space Operations, was integrated with the Space Force’s Satellite Control Network to demonstrate multiple simultaneous satellite contacts. The satellite control network (SCN) is an ageing network of parabolic dish antennas to fly military satellites.
Restraints: High costs associated with the development and maintenance of infrastructure to support military antennas
The high cost incurred in the development and maintenance of earth station infrastructure is one of the major factors hindering the market growth. Most of the required components are typically custom-fabricated or purchased from commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) vendors, which is expensive. Besides, the design, development, and construction of antennas and their components require several hours of work by trained personnel. The level of skill required itself poses a significant barrier to entry. Significant investments are required in the R&D, manufacturing, system integration, and assembly stages of the value chains of these systems.
Satellite communication services are used for highly sophisticated defense systems, due to which any incident of system failure is unfavorable. These services should be accurate, reliable, durable, energy-efficient, and have a wide detection range. Companies in this market should develop highly functional and efficient ground facilities to maintain market leadership and stay competitive.
Opportunities: Development of ultra-compact communication terminals for advanced ground combat vehicles
Ultra-compact communication terminals are specifically designed and developed to operate with the new generation of Ka-band high-throughput satellites, supporting data speeds of up to 2 Mbps for any IP-based voice, video, or data Beyond-Line-of-Sight (BLoS) applications. The new generation of Ka-band high-throughput satellites are increasingly being adopted for advanced ground combat vehicles. Thus, ultra-compact communication terminals provide an opportunity to integrate full-duplex satellite communication, linking advanced ground combat vehicles to ground control stations. The forward link provides command and control capabilities, while the return link transfers sensor data. These integrated terminals comprise very small aperture terminal technologies. In 2019, GETSAT Terminal, a leading developer of micronized and integrated satellite communication solutions, partnered with Unmanned Systems Technology to demonstrate its expertise in developing ultra-compact communication terminals for advanced ground terminals.
Challenges: Electromagnetic compatibility-related challenges of satellite antennas
Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) design is integral to electrical components and systems, specifically modern communication spacecraft. Military antennas are faced with significant EMC-related challenges due to the common use of high-power communication and external sources ranging within the UHF to Ka frequency bands. Some of the challenges related to EMC for satellites are antenna systems compatibility, electrostatic discharge, plasma charging, conducted & radiated emission, and electromagnetic interferences between electronic units. Compatibility in a specific environment is subject to electromagnetic interference caused by radiofrequency or electrical noise from many sources.
Increasing demand for military antennas for maritime applications
Maritime VSAT involves the use of satellite communication through a very small aperture terminal (VSAT) on a moving ship at sea. Since a ship at sea moves with the water, the antenna needs to be stabilized with reference to the horizon and True north so that the antenna is constantly pointing at the satellite it uses to transmit and receive signals. The shipborne antenna is usually considered the most critical component in a shipborne terminal for maritime satellite communications (MARSAT). A high gain autotrack antenna has been developed to be used in such a system. The antenna utilizes a combined electrical and mechanical beam steering realized with two planar phased arrays mounted on a mechanical axis.
The antenna system is designed for unmanned operation, utilizing an automatic search-and-track mode. After the acquisition of a beacon signal from the satellite, a monopulse track mode keeps the antenna pointing position locked, to the direction of the incident beacon signal, irrespective of the motions of the ship. Attention has been paid to multipath effects that may occur, in particular reflections from the surface of the sea.
In 2020, Orbit Communication Systems was awarded a contract worth USD 2.7 million for the delivery of maritime satellite communications (SATCOM) antennas. The contract was awarded by an undisclosed Asian navy. Orbit will also provide OceanTRx 4 and OceanTRx 7 maritime communication antennas, as well as related spare parts.
Based on components, the reflectors segment is estimated to witness the largest share of the military antennas market from 2021 to 2026.
Based on components, the reflectors segment of the military antennas market is estimated to hold the dominant market share in 2021. This is due to the innovation in reflector design to decrease the assemble time. Reflectors are integrated into antenna assembly to modify the radiation pattern of the antenna so that the signal gain can be improved in the target direction. Various manufacturers are focusing on improving the reflector design so that the assembly time can be decreased.
For instance, in 2021, Airbus selected Ariane Group as the supplier of the satellite antenna reflectors for OneSat, its new satellite product, which is fully reconfigurable in orbit. OneSat will be fitted with the latest generation of ultra-light SPRINT antenna reflectors, which can be assembled in only 11 weeks compared with 24 weeks for ultra-light reflector technology.
Based on frequency band, the super-high frequency segment of the military antennas market is projected to witness the largest share in 2021.
Based on frequency band, the super-high frequency segment is projected to lead the military antennas market during the forecast period. The growing demand for reliable military satellite communication is primarily driving this segment. The small wavelength of this band permits transmission of narrow beams by aperture antennas such as parabolic dish antennas and horn antennas. This band is used for point-to-point satellite communication and data links. The SHF band is used in airborne radar for airborne ground mapping. This band is used for point-to-point communication and data links. This frequency range is used for most radar transmitters, wireless LANs, satellite communication, microwave radio relay links, and numerous short-range terrestrial data links.
Based on type, the array antenna segment is estimated to account for the fastest growth of the military antennas market from 2021 to 2026.
Based on type, the array antenna segment of the military antennas market is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This growth is driven due to Phased-array antenna systems are used in naval and airborne platforms. In 2020, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) (US) awarded a contract to ThinKom Solutions to test and evaluate one of the company’s commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) aeronautical phased-array antenna systems as a solution for next-generation communications on the US Navy ships. Under the seven-month contract, ThinKom delivered a ThinAir Ka2517 antenna system for on-board testing to meet the requirements for multi-domain tactical communications (MDTC) by the US Navy. The Ka-band antenna, based on the company’s patented VICTS technology, will demonstrate the capability to be integrated onto a US Navy ship.
Based on the platform, the ground segment is estimated to account for the largest share of the military antennas market from 2021 to 2026.
Based on the platform, the ground segment is estimated to account for the largest share of the military antennas during the forecast period. This growth is driven due to needing for on-the-walk and on-the-move SATCOM capabilities for voice and data transmission, grounds stations use SATCOM to collect and stream remote sensing satellite data to a variety of users and applications, predominantly use manpack antennas in military operations, and UGVs antennas are used to carry out ground surveillance missions. In 2021, ARLINGTON, Va. FLIR Systems won an additional USD 30.1-million contract from the US Army for sustainment efforts connected to the service’s Man Transportable Robotic System Increment II (MTRS Inc. II) and Common Robotic System-Heavy (CRS-H) unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) programs.
Based on application, the electronic warfare segment is estimated to account for the fastest growth of the military antennas market from 2021 to 2026.
Based on application, the electronic warfare segment of the military antennas market is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This growth is driven due to the incorporation of effective RF technology in various electronic equipment used in military applications. In January 2021, Raytheon Intelligence & Space (Raytheon Technologies business) received a contract worth USD 12.7 million to build a phased array antenna that will reveal new capabilities in the millimeter-wave part of the radiofrequency spectrum for small, mobile platforms such as aircraft. Millimeter-wave is less overcrowded than other parts of the RF spectrum on the battleground.
Based on end-use, the OEM segment is estimated to account for the largest share of the military antennas market from 2021 to 2026.
Based on end-use, the OEM segment is estimated to account for the largest share of the military antennas during the forecast period. This growth is driven due to the increasing upgradation of military antennas and procurement of military vehicles across the globe. The OEM segment is expected to lead the market during the forecast period due to the increasing inventory of newly inducted airborne platforms, including unmanned aerial vehicles, fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-generation fighter aircraft, and helicopters. The use of these airborne platforms is increasing in anti-submarine warfare, air-to-ground support, and air defense roles. The development of new missiles such as beyond-visual-range missiles and anti-radiation missiles for newly inducted platforms has further propelled the demand for military antennas.
The Asia Pacific market is projected to contribute the largest share from 2021 to 2026 in the Military antennas market
Based on region, Asia Pacific is expected to lead the Military antennas market from 2021 to 2026 in terms of market share. An increase in the instances of terror attacks in the Asia Pacific region has led countries of the region to enhance their surveillance and anti-terrorism capabilities. In addition, the increase in defense expenditures of India and China, among others, and the expansion of military commands in emerging economies has accelerated the demand for military antennas in the Asia Pacific region. In 2019, Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd, a worldwide leader in satellite networking technology, solutions, and services, and China Satellite Communications Co., Ltd. (China Satcom) announced a strategic partnership to jointly provide advanced satellite communication services for aero, land, and maritime fixed and mobility applications.
In 2021, China launched the Tiantong 1-03 communications satellite, which operates in the S-band frequency, providing mobile communication services. Once in its orbit, the satellite will be networked with Tiantong 1-01 and 1-02 satellites to improve resource efficiency and system service capabilities.
Key Market Players
The military antennas market is dominated by a few globally established players such as L3Harris Technologies (US), Airbus (Netherlands), General Dynamics (US), Maxar Technologies (US), and Honeywell International Inc. (US), among others, are the key manufacturers that secured Military antennas contracts in the last few years. A major focus was given to the contracts and new product development due to the increase in the demand for advanced military antenna products and the growth of emerging markets have encouraged companies to adopt this strategy to enter new markets.
Scope of the Report
Market size available for years
Base year considered
Value (USD Million)
By component, by end-use, by application, by platform, by type, by frequency band and by region
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Rest of the World
L3Harris Technologies (US), Airbus (Netherlands), General Dynamics (US), Maxar Technologies (US), and Honeywell International Inc. (US) are some of the major players in the Military antennas market. (17 Companies)
- Feed Horn
- Feed Networks
- Low Noise Block Converter (LNB)
By Frequency Band
- High Frequency (HF)
- Very High Frequency (VHF)
- Ultra-High Frequency (UHF)
- Super High Frequency (SHF)
- Extremely High Frequency (EHF)
- Dipole antennas
- Monopole antennas
- Array antennas
- Loop antennas
- Aperture antennas
- Traveling wave antennas
- vehicle antennas
- Base station antennas
- Manpack antennas
- Handheld antennas
- Body-worn antennas
- Unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) antennas
- Aircraft Antennas
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Antennas
- Missiles Antennas
- Shipboard Antennas
- Submarine Antennas
- Unmanned Marine Vehicle (UMV) Antennas
- Electronic Warfare
- By Region
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Middle East
- Rest of the World
- In November 2021, L3Harris Technologies received a multi-year contract worth USD 125 million to produce space electronic warfare systems, including antennas that safeguard US military operations and warfighters.
- In October 2021, NASA selected L3Harris Technologies to conduct a second, advanced study to significantly improve the accuracy and timeliness of the US weather. This includes antenna and other avionics parts production.
- In October 2021, L3Harris Technologies was awarded a contract worth USD 5.7 million by the US Air Force Research Laboratory to integrate a low-Earth orbit terminal (antenna) into rotary-wing aircraft to further advance aerial communications capability.
- In March 2021, Airbus was awarded a contract by Eutelsat to build EUTELSAT 36D equipped with 70 Ku-band transponders, over five downlink beams, and a steerable antenna. EUTELSAT 36D provides flexibility and performance optimization to deliver service in Africa, Russia, and Europe.
- In December 2020, Airbus was selected by Thales Alenia Space to build the advanced radar instrument for the ‘Radar Observatory System for Europe in L-band’ (ROSE-L) mission. ROSE-L will be equipped with the largest planar space radar antenna.
- In August 2020, Airbus was selected by Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat), the UAE’s leading global satellite operator, to build Thuraya 4-NGS. Thuraya 4-NGS will incorporate a large 12-meter L-band antenna built by Airbus.
- In June 2020, Airbus was awarded a contract for the development, supply, and integration of 115 Eurofighter ESCAN Radars for the German and Spanish Eurofighter fleet. Eurofighter Captor-E is the world’s most advanced electronically scanned array radar for fighter aircraft.
- In May 2020, Airbus won the new satellite communications framework contract for military and civil missions of the European Union and its member states. Under this contract, the company would develop advanced satellite communication solutions. The ‘EU SatCom Market’ contract covers the provision of satellite communications (in C, Ku, Ka, and L frequency bands) as well as the sale and rental of terminals (Antenna).
- In April 2020, Cobham Aerospace Connectivity was awarded a contract to research advanced anti-jam methods for the safety of navigation signals received from the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) by the UK MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S). The system will combine advanced Controlled Radiation Pattern Array (CRPA) antenna technology with digital signal processing techniques to guarantee consistent and secure navigation information.