Radar is used in defense applications to locate missiles, ships, airplanes, and spacecraft that represent air, land, or water threats. Detecting bombs and landmines that are concealed from view requires the use of radar equipment. One of the essential products in the military radar business that is in high demand globally is lightweight radars. The huge demand for these radars is what accounts for their enormous potential for use in the domestic defense industry. Additionally, the global market for military radar is now being driven by increased national expenditures to strengthen their border and home defense forces.
Extrapolate says that the military radar market size is likely to reach USD 25.75 billion by 2030, recording a healthy CAGR of 4.50% during the anticipated period (2021-2030). These numbers are clear indications that the market is poised for robust growth in the near future.
The growing defense spending by developing nations in the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East is also related to the continued need to monitor the escalating terrorist activities and geopolitical concerns. As a response, China introduced a new mobile and adaptable radar in April 2021 that has the ability to detect drones, cruise missiles flying at a low altitude, and stealth aircraft. The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) satellite is also slated to launch by 2022.
What is Military Radar?
Missile Defense Agency defines military radar as systems that are capable of spotting approaching missiles hundreds of kilometers away. Radar systems are made up of a transmitter that generates electromagnetic waves in the radio or microwave spectrum, a sending antenna, a receiving antenna for picking up reflected waves, a receiver, and a processor that deciphers the reflected waves to identify the attributes of the objects.
Air traffic control, ballistic missile defense, border security, and maritime and ground target observation are just a few of the various uses for military radar systems. For military purposes, the development of radar technology has been essential for identifying, pursuing, and fending off possible threats. Before and during World War II, the military secretly started researching radar technology. The United States Navy first used the abbreviation RADAR—radio detection and ranging—in 1940.
The British Army created the Chain Home radar system, the first operational radar system, in 1935. During World War II, the technique was largely utilized to find approaching enemy aircraft. According to Raytheon Technologies, modern military radar systems are capable of locating and tracking targets at distances up to 400 kilometers and heights up to 120,000 feet.
Air Defense Propelling the Military Radar Growth
The Middle East has always been an unstable region because of border conflicts and tensions in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Syria. Due to regional power uncertainties and local conflicts, the region has seen an increase in the importation of weapons. The market is growing as a result of increasing border disputes, the procurement of cutting-edge weapons, and political upheaval in neighboring countries.
These concerns have led to increased defense spending and the acquisition of military radars to spot potential threats, which is expected to fuel the market growth for military radars. These systems are also anticipated to gain from the shift from traditional combat to electronic and cyber warfare.
Another trend revolutionizing military radar is the introduction of MIMO. The multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) radar is made up of numerous antennas with digital receivers that may broadcast any waveform. MIMO radars were developed to replace conventional AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radars that were heavier, more potent, smaller, and more expensive. These radars use a 3D range and have several broadcast and receive antennas that can operate at different frequencies. It is anticipated that the new MIMO technology would outperform the current active electronically phased array (AESA) systems for ground radar applications. MIMO has a higher jamming resistance than AESA.
Decoding the Radar Problem
The majority of drones are so small that radars cannot detect them unless they have ADS-B or a transponder. On the radar screen, there is currently no way to block such a little object. Additionally, due to the expanding use of commercial or personal drones, radar systems are unable to manage such a huge number of targets at once. The built-in filters only show the more important goals and filter out the remainder to prevent the system from being overloaded. Market growth is expected to be constrained by the difficulties in detecting drones and the rising use of small drones for surveillance.
What are the Advantages of Military Radar?
Military radars are highly sought-after and expanding significantly as a result of their many benefits in a variety of uses. These benefits include their capacity to collect data in adverse weather, which can obstruct other sensors, such as snow, rain, and fog. By identifying objects hundreds of kilometers away, military radars also excel in long-range surveillance and early warning systems. By analyzing the Doppler shift in the return signal, they can precisely estimate the position and speed of objects, such as airplanes, missiles, ships, and ground vehicles.
Military radars also offer vital situational awareness on the battlefield by providing real-time information on the whereabouts and movements of both ally and adversary forces. Last but not least, their contribution to air traffic control improves safety by making it easier to detect and monitor airplanes in real-time, which increases the effectiveness of air travel. Military radars are incredibly useful tools in contemporary defense systems thanks to their wide range of capabilities, which improve situational awareness, threat identification, and the ability to make well-informed decisions in a variety of operational circumstances.
Military radar has been created for a number of uses, including the early detection of enemy aircraft and missiles, the tracking of ships and vehicles, the mapping of the weather, and geological studies. Since radar was initially used experimentally in the late 19th century, technology has improved tremendously, and during World War II, researchers from several nations separately created technologies that gave rise to the present iteration of radar. Cavity magnetrons were a crucial technology developed in the UK that made it possible to build relatively tiny systems with the sub-meter resolution, which were essential for military detection and surveillance.
Modern, high-tech radar systems use machine learning and digital signal processing to glean information from extremely loud noise and interference. Radar is anticipated to play a larger part in helping driverless vehicles scan their surroundings and avert undesirable occurrences as technology advances.