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Light Weapons Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

Published: | Mordor Intelligence Pvt Ltd | 136 Pages | Delivery time: 2-3 business days


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Light Weapons Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)
Published: January 17, 2022
Mordor Intelligence Pvt Ltd
Content info: 136 Pages
Delivery time: 2-3 business days
  • Description
  • Table of Contents

The Light Weapons Market is expected to grow from USD 4.84 billion in 2020 to USD 8.93 billion in 2030, witnessing a CAGR of 6.31% during the forecast period (2021-2030).

The COVID-19 pandemic has had minimal impact on the market. The pandemic has altered the priorities of prominent nations and forced them to divert a significant share of their economic resources to modernize and strengthen their medical infrastructure. The ongoing global economic slowdown limits the procurement prospects for light weapons and the demand for ammunition. Thus, a subsequent decline in military spending is anticipated on a short-term basis. Nevertheless, procurement delays are expected over a short duration but drastic fluctuations in demand due to the pandemic are not anticipated.

Raw material prices have witnessed significant volatility over the past decade. Hence, disagreements between contracting parties over certain clauses in the defense contracts, such as the transfer of technology clause, have also resulted in the cancellation of sanctioned projects.

The demand for light weapons is expected to be propelled by their characteristic advantage of penetrating and disabling heavily armored threats. The widening geopolitical rift in Asia-Pacific and the Middle-East and Africa regions have driven nations to increase their annual defense budget and expenditure to support the modernization of the arsenal of their armed forces.

However, arms trafficking remains a major growth deterrence factor for the light weapons market as the increasing availability of light weapons in the black-market leads to the development of organized crime, terrorism, human trafficking, and piracy, among others, which pose a security threat to a nation's integrity while presenting significant challenges for law enforcement agencies and governments on a global scale.

Key Market Trends

Evolving Battlefield Engagement Scenarios Driving the Demand for New Generation Weapon Systems

There has been a radical change in battlefield engagement scenarios over the past few years. Urban warfare has been witnessing major growth due to the global trend toward urbanization, increasingly volatile domestic political conditions in developing countries, and changes in the scenarios of an armed conflict.

The evolution of the battlefield environment has necessitated the subsequent upgrade and customization of armament. The need for high-precision, lightweight, and compact weapon systems has led innovators to invest considerable resources in the development of sophisticated weapon systems. The evolution of technology has led to the development of guided weapons with a high target hit ratio, which are supported through a range of accessories such as weapon sights, night vision devices, aiming lasers, laser rangefinders, and fire control systems. For instance, in September 2019, the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) conducted its third successful test-firing of a new indigenously designed and developed man-portable anti-tank guided missile (MPATGM). The MPATGM, a third-generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), has been under development by DRDO in partnership with an Indian defense contractor, VEM Technologies Ltd, since 2015. It is a man-portable variant of the Nag third-generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), which was test-fired in July 2019. The MPATGM is armed with a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead that has a maximum engagement range of about 2.5 km. Such developments are expected to drive the market in focus during the forecast period.

North America Dominated the Market in 2020

North America region currently has the highest share in the market. This growth is driven by the increasing military spending of the United States due to political unrest with China and Russia, which is propelling the country's investments towards expanding and modernizing its fielded weaponry with advanced technologies to strengthen its armed forces. In this regard, as of November 2020, the US Army began a multi-year study to determine a suitable replacement for its M240 platoon-level machine gun. Similarly, the US Marine Corps (USMC) initiated the inducting of the new M320A1 grenade launcher in March 2020. It aims to equip all infantry units with the side-loading 40 mm weapon by the end of 2021. As per the US Army's technical manual for 40 mm grenade launchers, the M320A1 has a maximum effective range of 150 m on a point target, such as a window, and a 350 m max effective range on an area target.

Canada also has been significantly investing into modernization of its arms to enhance the capabilities of armed forces. On this note, in January 2020, the Canadian MoD announced the procurement of 3,626 C6A1 FLEX General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG) from Colt Canada to ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces continue to have a modern and reliable weapon to support training and operations. The acquisition supplements the 1,148 machine guns that were acquired in 2017 at a cost of USD 32.1 million. The GPMG allows soldiers to attach pointing devices and optical sighting systems to help increase operational and tactical effectiveness. Such investments towards modernization of weapons and procurement of advanced light weapons in the region is anticipated to propel the growth of the market during the forecast period.

Competitive Landscape

The light weapons market is highly fragmented, with the presence of many manufacturers that offer weapon systems and ammunition for HMGs, grenades and grenade launchers, mortars, MANPATS, MANPADS, and other explosives. General Dynamics Corporation is a dominant market player in the base year as the company is benefitted by a strong presence in North America, which is currently the largest market for light weapons. The other major players in the market are Saab AB, MBDA Inc.​, and Rheinmetall AG. With investments in research and development, companies have been expanding their portfolio with the addition of new product offerings. For instance, in February 2021, SarsIlmaz, one of the prominent small-arms manufacturers in Turkey announced that the SAR 762 MT-type 12.7 mm heavy machine guns, a new indigenously manufactured machine gun completed all test stages and will enter the mass production stage. The new heavy machine gun can be utilized by infantry teams and can also be mounted on various armored vehicles like main battle tanks. Such developments are expected to help the companies expand their market share and presence across the world. Also, with several local players increasing their capabilities in the light weapons industry, the market studied is expected to become more competitive. Hence, developing technologically advanced products is deemed vital for sustaining market share in the light weapons market during the forecast period.

Additional Benefits:

  • The market estimate (ME) sheet in Excel format
  • 3 months of analyst support
Product Code: 57161



  • 1.1 Study Assumptions
  • 1.2 Scope of the Study




  • 4.1 Market Overview
  • 4.2 Market Drivers
  • 4.3 Market Restraints
  • 4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis
    • 4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers
    • 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
    • 4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants
    • 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products
    • 4.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

5 MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size by Value - USD billion)

  • 5.1 Type
    • 5.1.1 Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs)
    • 5.1.2 Grenades and Grenade Launchers
    • 5.1.3 Mortars
    • 5.1.4 Man-portable Anti-tank Systems (MANPATS)
    • 5.1.5 Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS)
    • 5.1.6 Other Types
  • 5.2 Technology
    • 5.2.1 Guided
      • Laser Guided
      • Infrared Guided
      • Satellite Guided
      • Semi-automatic command to line of sight
    • 5.2.2 Unguided
  • 5.3 Geography
    • 5.3.1 North America
      • United States
      • Canada
    • 5.3.2 Europe
      • United Kingdom
      • Germany
      • France
      • Russia
      • Rest of Europe
    • 5.3.3 Asia-Pacific
      • China
      • India
      • Japan
      • Rest of Asia-Pacific
    • 5.3.4 Latin America
      • Brazil
      • Rest of Latin America
    • 5.3.5 Middle-East and Africa
      • Saudi Arabia
      • United Arab Emirates
      • Israel
      • Rest of Middle-East and Africa


  • 6.1 Vendor Market Share
  • 6.2 Company Profiles
    • 6.2.1 FN Herstal SA
    • 6.2.2 Saab AB
    • 6.2.3 Raytheon Technologies Corporation
    • 6.2.4 MBDA Inc.
    • 6.2.5 Thales Group
    • 6.2.6 BAE Systems PLC
    • 6.2.7 Rheinmetall AG
    • 6.2.8 Rostec
    • 6.2.9 Lockheed Martin Corporation
    • 6.2.10 Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd
    • 6.2.11 Denel SOC Ltd
    • 6.2.12 General Dynamics Corporation
    • 6.2.13 Heckler & Koch GmbH
    • 6.2.14 IAI Group