Radar Absorbing Materials Market Outlook
The global radar-absorbing materials market was valued at USD 664.2 Mn in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 1,325.4 Million in 2031, expanding at a CAGR of 8.3% during the forecast period.
Radar is an abbreviation of radio detection and ranging. A radar is basically an electromagnetic system used in order to detect the location, distance, and speed of moving objects far away from the position of the radar system. Radar absorbent materials (RAM) or coatings are a special class of polymer-based materials that literally ‘absorb’ electromagnetic energy, rather than reflecting it back at its source.
These materials are typically used in the defense sector for aircraft, naval, and on-ground military applications. The technology of RAM has been in use since the second world war. The German submarines had the periscope coated with RAM.
Understanding the concept of the Radar Cross Section (RCS) is crucial while analyzing radar-absorbing materials. The radar cross-section is a measure of how much electromagnetic radiation is scattered from an object. The magnitude of the RCS is indicative of the object’s detectability.
In the defense sector, detection avoidance is crucial for survival. Thus, in order to minimize the detectability of the vehicle certain materials are installed in the form of paint or sheet in areas where microwave emissions are intense. For instance, the tail and nose of the aircraft are shielded with such material that reduces electromagnetic emissions. Most aircraft often install radar absorbent material into a honeycomb or similar structure inside the turbofan intakes.
Radar absorber materials have applications in the defense sector. The defense sector budget for each country depends on its economy. Demand for radar-absorbing material is directly proportional to the amount of money allocated for the defense sector. The high defense budget of a country raises the demand for radar-absorbing materials.
According to SIPRI Military Expenditure Database, the US military expenditure in 2021 was USD 801 billion while the expenditure in Spain and Brazil was USD 19.5 Bn and USD 19.2 Bn. Therefore, demand for radar absorbers in the US is expected to be higher than in Spain and Brazil.
Global Geographical Environment
The geographical environment has a significant impact on the demand for radar-absorbing materials. Military conflicts lead to an increase in the demand for radar-absorbing material, as countries seek to improve their military capabilities. For instance, the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Yemen have resulted in increased demand for RAM to protect military equipment from radar detection.
Furthermore, territorial disputes increase the demand for radar-absorbing material. For instance, territorial disputes between China and Japan over Senkaku/Diaoyu islands have led to increasing demand for radar-absorbing materials in both countries, as they seek to improve their radar stealth capabilities.
Research and Development
Ongoing research and development are impacting the radar-absorbing materials market. The capacity of RAM materials depends on a combination of magnetic and electrical losses. A good microwave absorbing material must meet the requirements of high reflection loss coefficient (RL), thinness, and lightweight.
Various studies focus on carbon-based materials, magnetic nanomaterials, ceramic materials, and other compounds. Advanced research and development lead to new and improved material developments that impact market growth.
Economy growth leads to infrastructural development, which is impacting the demand for radar-absorbing materials. For instance, economic growth in the Middle East is leading to infrastructural development, including the construction of airports and military bases.
Increasing infrastructure is creating the demand for radar absorber materials in infrastructural development. Additionally, the growth of the economy leads to an increase in air travel, which is impacting the market.
Radar Absorbing Materials Market Dynamics
Market Driver- Rising Defense Expenditure
The radar-absorbing materials market is expanding as a result of rising spending on military and commercial aircraft, ships, weather stations, airport surveillance, unmanned vehicles, and satellites. Radar-absorbing materials are widely employed in defensive systems to reduce the radar cross-section and prevent detection by the radar.
According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), various countries accounted for an investment of USD 2,113 billion on their military in 2021. According to SIPRI, the top five defense spenders were the US, China, India, the UK, and Russia, who together accounted for 62 percent of the global expenditure.
Radar-absorbing materials are used to conceal critical infrastructure from radar detection, such as military installations, airplanes, and ships. This dissuades enemy forces from targeting vital infrastructure during the war. The US Department of Defense authorized USD 6 billion for the production of 3 DDG-51
Arleigh Burke Destroyers and USD 1.3 billion for 1 littoral combat ship in the FY 2019 military budget, generating demand for naval artillery systems. Increasing the military’s defense capabilities is crucial for all nations to combat various threats. As a result, a part of the defense spending plans is diverted to initiatives that strengthen the defense sector, including the use of radar-absorbing materials.
In June 2022, a five-year agreement was made between the US government and Sikorsky, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, for the baseline of 120 H-60M Black Hawk helicopters with options to deliver 255 aircraft to the US Army and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) clients.
In May 2022, the government of Australia declared its intention to purchase 29 AH-64E Apache Armed Reconnaissance helicopters and 12 new MH-60R Romeo maritime helicopters for its army and navy.
The aircraft are expected to be delivered at a total cost of more than AUD 8 billion (USD 5.5 Billion) by 2025. Hence, this increases the demand for radar-absorbing materials to conceal and protect military equipment as more capital is invested in various military equipment.
Market Driver- Increasing Number of Cross-border Conflicts & Terrorist Activities
Governments and military agencies of various countries are being forced to strengthen border security and surveillance, due to the rising cross-border conflicts and terrorist activities in various regions of the world in recent years. Territorial conflicts around the globe are driving governments to install effective surveillance systems across international boundaries, especially in fragile regions.
The ambiguity surrounding the territorial claim of many nations, such as the Cold War between Saudi Arabia and Iran in the Middle East, is one of the main factors that affect the geopolitical environment. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine in 2022 increased the emphasis on the operational preparedness of all military forces.
The acquisition of new fixed-wing aircraft as part of fleet modernization and expansion initiatives is being carried out by NATO countries. Military superpowers, including the US, UK, China, and India, are concentrating on enhancing their military weapon and combat capabilities. Development and acquisition plans to update the armed weapon systems are now under progress to ensure the combat readiness of defensive weapons.
The market is expected to expand, due to the high expenditure incurred by nations to modernize their militaries by acquiring new artillery systems. Nations are concentrating on enhancing their long-range fire capabilities to gain a tactical edge on the battlefield. The US government is procuring artillery systems to build long-range precision fire capabilities.
For instance, Lockheed Martin received a USD 492 million contract in July 2019 to manufacture high-mobility artillery rocket system launchers and related hardware for the US Army, US Marine Corps, Romania, and Poland. In March 2020, the US Army awarded BAE Systems a contract of USD 339 million to build 48 vehicle sets of the MIO9A7 Self-propelled Howitzer.
M992A3 Carrier, Ammunition, and Tracked (CAT) trucks are a part of the contract. The need for these artillery systems increases, owing to border disputes and terrorist activities. Radar-absorbing materials are used in these artillery systems to prevent the systems from being detected by the radar.
Demand for these materials is being driven by the growing economies in APAC and the Middle East, including South Korea, India, China, and Israel, which are strengthening their vessel fleet with cutting-edge developments.
Market Driver- Growing Usage in Various End-use Industries
The global radar-absorbing materials market is projected to grow as a result of the rising usage of RAM in industries such as aerospace and military, electronics, and automotive, particularly in nations, including the US, China, Spain, and Russia.
The rising need for stealth technologies in the aerospace sector for bombers, fighters, tanks, and helicopters is fuelling the market. Radar-absorbing materials and structures in stealth technology are used on the surfaces of aircraft, such as on the F-117 Nighthawk used by the United States Air Force.
Radar-absorbing materials (RAM) are employed in commercial microwave communications applications in addition to being used in stealth bombers. RAM has recently been employed in commercial and civil settings to reduce radar scattering from huge structures at airports that interfere with civil aviation radar systems. RAM is used in various consumer electronics, including antennas, car radios, mobile phones, and telecommunications base stations.
RAM coatings are intended to lower an object's radar cross-section (RCS) by absorbing the electromagnetic radiation emitted by a radar system. This reduces the object’s radar visibility in military and defense applications, where stealth is a key requirement. The RAM market is anticipated to expand during the forecast period, due to the rising need for stealth technology in military aircraft, naval vessels, and ground vehicles.
Moreover, the increasing use of RAM in commercial aircraft to reduce radar signature and improve safety is fuelling the market. A coating comprised of radar-absorbing materials is employed in the automobile industry to protect vehicles from road debris, scratches, and intentional damage.
Moreover, the radar-absorbing material coating of nanoparticles (NPs) in drug delivery systems provides surface chain density, molecular weight, and polymer chain conformations. It is widely utilized to stimulate blood circulation on the surface of NPs. The need for radar-absorbing materials is anticipated to rise, as NPs become a powerful drug-delivery tool for cancer therapies that boost therapeutic activity while reducing systemic side effects.
Market Driver- Increasing Use of Radar in Various Structures
The demand for strong radars that can precisely identify missiles moving at hypersonic speeds is expected to boost the demand for radars for military applications. Most missile defense systems are ground- or ship-based and use missile defense systems to deflect incoming threats.
Military radars should be able to track the location of the approaching missile in three dimensions in order to accurately analyse the range, elevation, and distance of threats. For instance, the US, India, Canada, Germany, Morocco, and Hungary, among others are modernizing their fighter aircrafts with new, cutting-edge radar.
Canada upgraded its Boeing CF-18 Legacy Hornet in 2021 by installing an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system on a part of the aircraft. Prior to their integration into the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CF-18s, Raytheon Technologies Corporation (US) provided 36 of its AN/APG-79(V)4 radar systems under the terms of the contract.
In January 2022, the Hungarian government and Saab AB announced a contract involving 14 Hungarian air force aircraft, including two D-model trainers, which are equipped with the SAAB PS-05/A Mk 4 radar to improve the performance and tracking range of the aircraft.
These improvements are expected to create a high potential for advancements in the air-to-air and air-to-ground modes, as well as enable improved identification of small air-to-air targets and improved clutter suppression.
However, it is essential to use the technology which helps in deactivating these radars. A part of the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the radar is absorbed by radar absorber materials (RAM), which makes it challenging to identify the material on the radar.
The manufacture of non-radar materials to protect military systems from radar detection is crucial for all nations, as radar is one of the most significant technologies employed in the military sector. The need for radar-absorbing materials is growing to shield military bases, power plants, military equipment, communication towers, and other structures from radar detection and prevent them from being attacked by enemy forces.
Market Restraint- High Cost of Radar-absorbing Materials
High cost of radar-absorbing materials is one of the major factors limiting the expansion of the market, although they shield military sites, power plants, and communication towers from radar detection during times of war, preventing the opponent from targeting them. A wide frequency coverage necessitates thick, heavy, and costly absorbers. Radar-absorbing materials are costly, as they need to be reapplied often.
Repair crews spend several hours inspecting military equipment after each flight to ensure that it is suitable for stealthy operations. Electromagnetic Absorbers (EMA) employ materials with high permittivity or permeability. Moreover, it possesses strong broadband absorptivity. Scarcity of materials makes it relatively costly.
Carbon fiber is costly, as compared to other materials such as steel and aluminum. Carbon fiber production is a relatively specialized process. The machinery required to make carbon fiber is fairly advanced. The price of the finished product rises as a result of these machines, which costs thousands of dollars. Each fiber must be reinforced with carbon atoms, which requires a lot of energy.
Moreover, energy is needed to bundle the carbon into threads and fibers. The most expensive factor in the production of carbon fiber is energy expenses. Radar-absorbing materials made of carbon are expensive, due to the rising price of carbon.
A majority of radar-absorbing materials used in both military and commercial applications contain high concentrations of iron powders incorporated into a polymer matrix. The heavy weight and high price of these materials make them unsuitable for various applications.
Ferrites are suitable for electromagnetic absorber materials, due to their superior dielectric and magnetic properties. However, they are costly and heavy. As a result, the high price of radar-absorbing materials hinders market expansion.
Market Opportunity- Increasing Demand for Radar Absorbing Material Uniforms
Several types of radar-absorbing materials (RAM) composites are available for use in shelters and vehicles; however, wearable solutions that are both effective and light enough to prevent ground surveillance radar (GSR) from detecting a dismounted soldier are few. It is difficult for soldiers to conceal themselves on the battlefield, due to radar, which has become an essential part of ground combat.
As a result, uniforms made of a material that absorbs radar waves rather than reflect them are required. Recent developments in enemy electronic warfare and detection capabilities have enabled the development of radar absorption and shielding technologies. Army troops, particularly infantry forces, are susceptible to detection across the electromagnetic spectrum.
Battlefield Surveillance Radar and Ground Surveillance Radar (BSR/GSR), which are extremely efficient, portable, and automated for large-area surveillance, are widely accessible in the military markets. A fabric that absorbs radar signals in the Ku- and X-frequency bands is especially needed.
Prototypes are required to show that they are capable of operating in the X and Ku frequency bands at distances of up to 12 km (7.5 miles). The fabric must be breathable, resilient, and flexible. It must resist humid and wet regions and survive temperatures between -30 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
Russia has already developed uniforms that are undetectable to radar. Moreover, it is developing germ-free uniforms that make troops undetectable. Microwave-absorbing materials (MAMs) have gained a lot of interest, as they efficiently avoid electromagnetic pollution and safeguard human health.
Lightweight, thin, highly efficient, and broadband MAMs are high in demand. Rising demand for uniforms made with radar-absorbing materials is expected to create opportunities in the market.
Scope of Radar Absorbing Materials Market Report
The report on the Global Radar Absorbing Materials Market includes an assessment of the market, trends, segments, and regional markets. Overview and dynamics have also been included in the report.
Radar Absorbing Materials Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast
2016 to 2021
2023 to 2031
By Property (Magnetic, Dielectric, And Hybrid), By Technology (O Resonant Absorbing, Circuit Analog RAM, Adaptive RAM, And Others), By Material (Carbon, Metal, Conducting Polymer, And Others), By End-Use (Military And Commercial).
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East & Africa
Company Share, Market Analysis and Size, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, and Trends, and Revenue Forecast
Key Players Covered
BAE Systems, Hexcel Corporation, Dupont, Parker Hannifin Corp, and Soliani Emc s.r.l. are among the key players that hold a major share of the market.
Radar Absorbing Materials Market Segmental Outlook
Based on property, the global radar-absorbing materials market is segmented into magnetic, dielectric, and hybrid. Magnetic RAMs such as ferrite slabs have a significant advantage over dielectric absorbers, as they require only one-tenth the thickness of dielectric absorbers to achieve the same Radar cross-section (RCS) reduction.
Dielectric absorbers are conventional dielectrics with low dielectric permeability and high losses, due to relaxation dispersion or conductive additives. Such absorbers are matched to free space using resonant (quarter-wave) thicknesses, or media with smooth, graded, and non-uniform thicknesses.
A hybrid absorber containing electrical and magnetic materials provides a superior monolayer absorber. Carbon black/graphite hybrid materials in PVDF composites have a promising future as lightweight and low cost microwave-absorbing materials in both telecom and stealth technologies.
Based on technology, the market is fragmented into resonant absorbers, circuit analog RAM, adaptive RAM, and others.
Resonant absorbers are the conventional technologies used in radar absorbing materials for stealth purposes in the military. Rapid advancements in material science are driving the resonant absorbers segment. Resonant absorbers are tunable to certain frequencies, which results in cancelling of the reflected waves. Thus, resonant absorber segment is expected to expand at a CAGR of 8.0% Resonant absorbers are classified as salisbury, jaumann, and dallenbach.
Dallenbach technology is popular and accounts for a major share of the resonant absorbers segment. Jaumann and dallenbach layers are suitable for maritime applications. The jaumann and dallenbach segments hold significantly higher share of the resonant absorbers segment as compared to the salisbury segment, due to multiple layers on jaumann and dallenbach absorbers.
Circuit analog RAM absorbers have been developed recently. This segment is anticipated to grow at a significant pace. These absorbers remove the condition of ʎ/4 distance that brings down the thickness of the absorber by improving the weight efficiency.
The technology incorporated for applying absorbing material varies on the basis of permittivity, permeability, and electromagnetic properties of the materials. Thus, the thickness of absorbing materials needs to be considerably low, in order to cut down the additional total weight of the coated plate.
Based on material, the global radar absorbing materials market is segmented into carbon, metal, conducting polymer, and others. The standard radar-absorbing materials are expected to have low density, excellent thermal stability, low cost, reduced thickness, and strong attenuation capabilities across a wide frequency range.
The demand for carbon-based material such as carbon black, carbon nanotubes, carbon fibers, biomass carbon, graphite, and graphene-based materials is increasing, due to its various features. These features include low densities, high and tunable conductivities, high surface area, anti-corrosion properties, reduced weight, and potent electromagnetic wave absorption.
Structures made with carbon fiber-reinforced polymers have lower radar cross-sections than equivalent metallic structures, due to carbon's ability to absorb radar waves. This raises the demand for the carbon material.
Metals are effective microwave reflectors, as they frequently maintain the electric field on their surfaces null. However, several metals, including transition metals, display absorber behaviour when thinned to a nanoscale thickness.
Based on end use, the global radar-absorbing materials market is segmented into military and commercial. The military segment is sub-segmented into air, space, naval, and ground. Additionally, the commercial segment is further divided into communication, construction, electrical & electronics, automotive, healthcare, and others.
In military applications, radar-absorbing materials and structures are used on the surface of aircraft, for instance, on the F-117 Nighthawk of the US Air Force. Increased expenditure on military & commercial aircraft, ships, weather stations, airport surveillance, unmanned vehicles, satellites, and others is one of the factors propelling the growth of the radar-absorbing materials market.
According to research by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), in 2021, several nations around the globe spent a combined total of USD 2,113 billion on their military. Rising procurement of next-generation combat aircraft by a number of nations, including China, the United States, Russia, and India is expected to fuel the market expansion in the coming years.
Radar Absorbing Materials Market Regional Outlook
On the basis of region, the global radar-absorbing materials market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa. North America held a market share of 42.5% in 2022. The market in the region is expanding at a significant CAGR of 8.6%, owing to the high military expenditure of the US and Canada.
According to International Institute for Strategic Studies, the US government spent USD 766.6 billion on military updates, outgrowing the combined spending of 10 nations, including China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the UK, India, France, Japan, Germany, and South Korea. The US Air Force is equipped with cutting-edge technology to help the troops in the battlefield while providing air assistance for land and naval forces.
The defense sector is developing and buying next-generation planes such as F/A-18 Hornet for combating unforeseen conflicts with Russia and China. Presently, the US Air Force features 13,247 aircraft in its active, reserve, and out-of-service fleets.
The market in Europe is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 8.4% during the forecast period. Russia and Ukraine have been engaged in a military conflict since 2014. This conflict erupted into a war in February 2022, which had a significant impact on defense spending and strategies throughout Europe.
With the looming threat from Russia, the nations closer to Russia increased their defense spending and purchases, considerably boosting the amount of money flowing into the defense sector. The above factor has impacted the demand for radar-absorbing materials significantly.
Key Benefits for Industry Participants & Stakeholders
In-depth Analysis of the Global Radar Absorbing Materials Market
Historical, Current and Projected Market Size in terms of Value
Potential & Niche Segments and Regions Exhibiting Promising Growth Covered
Industry Drivers, Restraints, and Opportunities Covered in the Study
Recent Industry Trends and Developments
Competitive Landscape & Strategies of Key Players
Neutral Perspective on Global River Cruise Market Performance
- Resonant Absorbing
- Circuit Analog Ram
- Adaptive Ram
- Conducting Polymer
Manufacturers operating in the Global Radar Absorbing Materials Market BAE Systems, Hexcel Corporation, Dupont, Parker Hannifin Corp, and Soliani Emc s.r.l. are among the key players that hold a major share of the market.