The global high energy lasers market was valued at USD 7.43 billion in 2020 to USD 16.40 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 12.4% from 2021 to 2027. High energy lasers have played a crucial role in modern society with an increasing number of applications from manufacturing, communication, and defense. With the growing defense budget and research grants, militaries worldwide adopt high-energy laser-based equipment and invest heavily in research and development. In May 2021, the US army began testing a prototype laser weapon for close-range air defense; the weapon is a 50-kilowatt high-energy laser attached to a Stryker A1 vehicle that can locate, lock on, track, and destroy airborne threats.
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A major share of the R&D and application of the technology is driven by the defense industry, with major countries keen on developing and inducting the technology as part of their forces and operation. According to SIPRI, global defense spending reached an all-time high of USD 1.98 trillion in 2020, an increase of 2.6% compared to the previous year. Such developments are expected to pave the way for new technologies and modernization. With the proliferation of drones in the defense sector, the demand for solutions to track and destroy them has been gaining traction. For instance, in March 2021, European missile maker MBDA and French firm CILAS agreed to collaborate with electronic warfare and intelligence specialist SIGN4L to explore co-development opportunities in the field of high-energy laser weapons systems to destroy drones. Such developments are expected to increase over the coming years further.
The growing use of drone systems in the defense sector has also been augmenting the demand for solutions that can effectively neutralize threats associated with these at high speeds, where the use of high-energy lasers has been increasing as a deterrent. For instance, the US navy has been working on an Optical Dazzling Interdictor, Navy (ODIN) program, which is a nonlethal weapon capable of confusing the drones instead of shooting them down, and it became the part of the High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance (HELIOS) program from Lockheed Martin, which has been under development since 2018.
Global High Energy Lasers Market Dynamics
Drivers: Rising Demand for Laser Weapons Systems in Navy and Growth for Non-Lethal Deterrents
The demand for laser weapon systems in the navy around the globe is increasing at a fast pace to tackle airborne threats, such as missiles and drones. Lasers have proven to work against missiles and are being deployed as the first net of safety. For instance, the High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance, or HELIOS from Lockheed Martin, is slated to be permanently deployed aboard a flight IIA DDG Arleigh Burke destroyer 2021; the US Navy formally accepted the Laser into Aegis Combat System.
Also, laser-based weapons are being tested for disabling drones by integrating such weapons aboard naval vessels. For example, in May 2020, the USS Portland successfully disabled an uncrewed aerial vehicle while testing a new high-energy laser weapon system. Northrop Grumman developed the system; the test was conducted after the incident with the Chinese destroyer, where a weapons-grade laser was shot by a US Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft.
Restraints: Regulatory Compliance and High Cost
A prominent share of these solutions is still being developed, improved, and investment in R&D significantly impacts the cost of these solutions. To develop such systems, the vendors are subjected to stringent regulations; also, industries adopting these systems as part of their operations adhere to such rules. For example, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in the United States and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) define the meanings of each laser class. When it comes to using high energy lasers, safety regulations are expected to be the primary focus of every business.
The US Department of Defence (DoD) uses directed energy as an umbrella term covering technologies that relate to the production of a beam of concentrated electromagnetic energy, and these are classified under four different types of weapons systems lasers, high-power microwave (HPM), particle beam, and high -power sonic. As DEWs are not authoritatively defined under international law, these are classified as either ‘non -lethal’ or ‘less-lethal weapons.
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Scope of the Report
The study categorizes the high energy lasers market based on application, product, and regions.
By Application (Sales/Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)
- Cutting, Welding, and Drilling
- Military and Defense
- Other Applications
By Product Type (Sales/Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)
- Gas Laser
- Chemical Laser
- Excimer Laser
- Solid-State Laser
- Fiber Laser
By Region (Sales/Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)
- North America (US, Canada, Mexico)
- South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Rest of Latin America)
- Europe (Germany, Italy, France, UK, Spain, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Rest of Europe)
- Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia & New Zealand, Rest of Asia Pacific)
- The Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa, Northern Africa, Rest of MEA)
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Cutting, Welding, and Drilling, by Application, is accounted for the largest market share in 2020
Based on the application, the global high energy lasers market has been segmented into cutting, welding, and drilling, military and defense, communications, and other applications. Cutting, Welding, and Drilling is accounted for the largest market revenue share in 2020 and had a CAGR of 13.4% in the global high energy lasers market during the forecast period. High power laser welding or cutting application system technology is aimed at the high-speed and high-precision process, focusing on the key issues, such as expanding the range of scanning process, accuracy, light-weight, and high long-term processing stability. High power laser cutting machine can extend the processing thickness range of plates. At the same time, the utilization rate of the machine is increased. For example, a high-power laser cutting machine can do the job of a small and medium power cutting machine. For high-power laser welding, applications have increased steadily in recent years because, like laser cutting, the many advantages of laser processing are being recognized and exploited to produce better products at greater productivity and lower cost. Laser welding is versatile and is applicable for joining miniature electronic components or welding steel structures over 1 inch (25 millimeters) thick.
Asia Pacific accounts for the highest CAGR during the forecast period in the high energy lasers market
Based on region, the global high energy lasers market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa. The Asia Pacific has a growth rate of 12.8% during the forecast period 2021-2027. The Asia-Pacific region is a leading adopter of high energy lasers across various fields with the growth of the market, driven by major countries, like China, India, and Japan. The US-China tensions, inter-border conflicts, and the focus on nuclear power have furthered the adoption of high energy lasers in the defense and military systems in various countries in the region, like India.
Moreover, India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation announced its plans in September 2020 to form a national program on directed energy weapons, including high energy lasers, among others. The DRDO is currently working on chemical oxygen-iodine lasers and high-power fiber lasers and eyeing a budget of USD 100 million from the Ministry of Defence for the 2021- 2022 budget, which is aimed at the production of high-power laser weapons. Such spending on the high energy lasers is expected to impact the growth of the market in the country positively.
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Key Market Players
The key players in the market of high-energy lasers include TRUMPF Pvt. Ltd, IPG Photonics, Coherent Inc., nLight Inc., Bae Systems PLC, Alltec Gmbh, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Applied Companies Inc., The Boeing Company, Lumentum Holdings, Bystronic Laser AG, Wuhan Raycus Fiber Laser Technologies Co. Ltd, Raytheon Company, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Han’s Laser Technology Co. Ltd.