F.I. – Russia Dominant in Soldier-Portable Rockets Through 2018
Back in December 2005, “Russia to Dominate $5.33B Portable Anti-Armor Market Through 2014” covered analyst firm Forecast International’s global predictions for man-portable, unguided, anti-tank and bunker-buster weapons. In January 2009, the firm’s rolling forecast sees the market’s value holding steady at “over $5 billion” over the next 10 years, still sees Russia as the dominant player, and still sees European players grabbing a dollar share that outweighs their market share. Compared with 2005, however, there is a rising contender.
Forecast International sees Russian weapons accounting for 59.3% of global production in this segment, and 46.5% of the market’s dollar value through 2018. (2005: 68% of production and over 51% of market value through 2014)…
These weapons include the advanced RPG-26 and RPG-27, with 44.6% of production and 25.5% of market value by themselves. The RPG-27 includes a dual warhead option to defeat reactive armor; and these new rockets can also come as “thermobaric” fuel-air explosive (RShG1/RPG-27 and RShG2/RPG-26) rounds for use in caves and buildings, or as a wide area-effect weapon on open ground.
Proliferation of these weapons will have an effect on the balance of land power, allowing regular and irregular troops to face off against main battle tanks more effectively, and turning buildings into dangerous refuges. The ubiquitous and less capable RPG-7 will remain the most frequently encountered option worldwide, however; various licensed and unlicensed copies from China, Iran, et. al. are expected to account for 7.55% of new production, worth 5.37% of the market market value, through 2018.
European players are still seen as the main alternative, providing 12.1% of production but 28.9% of the market dollars through 2018 (2005: 13.96% of production, and 33% of dollars through 2014). Forecast International expects that the guided MBT-LAW/ RB57 will lead European offerings, accounting for 4.18% of global production and 16.15% of market dollars through 2018.
Talley Defense Systems line of M72 LAW and M141 Bunker Defeat Munitions has gained considerably since 2005. The usefulness of smaller LAW rockets that may not work against tanks, but are very portable and effective against fortified rooms and building strongholds, has become clearer to American forces, and to some of their allies. Talley’s larger SMAW has also gained strong recognition from the front lines, and the Marines now plan on a SMAW-II. The firm now sees Talley’s products accounting for 19.38% of production, and 16.78% of total dollars, through 2018 (2005: 5.14% of production, 5.26% of total dollars, through 2014).
Note that Talley’s acquisition by Norway’s Nammo makes Talley the subsidiary of a European firm, but Forecast International sees it as an American company due to its long-standing presence and manufacturing. Forecast International release.