Airborne Pods Market Growth Report – Size, Share 2030

Airborne Pods Market Size and Forecasts (2020 - 2030), Global and Regional Share, Trends, and Growth Opportunity Analysis Report Coverage: By Aircraft Type (Combat Aircraft, Helicopters, UAVs, and Others), Pod Type (ISR, Targeting, and Countermeasure), Sensor Technology (EO/IR, EW/EA, and IRCM), Range (Short, Long, and Intermediate), and Geography

Publication Month : Nov 2023

  • Report Code : TIPRE00018332
  • Category : Aerospace and Defense
  • Status : Published
  • No. of Pages : 189
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[Research Report] The airborne pods market was valued at US$ 2,832.45 million in 2022 and is projected to reach US$ 4,287.47 million by 2030; it is expected to register a CAGR of 5.3% during 2022–2030.    

Analyst Perspective:

The changing geopolitical scenario worldwide boosts the requirement for strong defense countermeasure systems. Countermeasure systems are airborne defensive systems that help identify airborne threats. Air defense radar systems generate important data for fusion and correlation by leveraging inputs from other sensors and intelligence sources. This accelerates the development of a comprehensive and accurate air image, enabling precise threat assessments and target engagements. The tension across nations such as Russia–Ukraine, India–Pakistan, and Israel–Palestine is compelling their governments to strengthen their armed forces. Hence, the armed forces across different countries are investing in procuring air defense systems such as surface-to-air missile systems, integrated air defense systems, naval defense systems, fighter aircraft, early warning systems, and border surveillance systems. Radar systems are fundamental components of comprehensive air defense systems. They enable armed forces to track, detect, and identify airborne threats such as aircraft, drones, and missiles. BAE Systems, General Dynamics Corporation, Honeywell International Inc., Israel Aerospace Industries Inc., Leonardo S.p.A, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Raytheon Technologies Corporation, SAAB AB, and Thales Group are a few companies focusing on developing defense countermeasure systems that include radar system, communication and surveillance system, and navigation devices. Thus, the increasing procurement and deployment of countermeasure systems is expected to fuel the growth of the airborne pods market during the forecast period.

Market Overview:

The airborne pods are an external pod structure primarily fabricated to offer enhanced aerial recognition, identification, communication, targeting, data linking, and self-defensive potentials to an aircraft. The growing need for advanced defense systems to cater to modern battlefield requirements is boosting the demand for airborne pods in North America. The rising instances of unstable geopolitical scenarios are also contributing to the growing need for airborne pods in the region. The US is leading the airborne pods market in North America, followed by Canada and Mexico. In 2020, North America spent US$ 809.7 billion on defense activities; in 2021, the expenditure reached ~US$ 835.8 billion. In 2022, the military expenditure was recorded to be US$ 912.3 billion. The US is one of the highest military spending countries in the world. The mounting budget for defense expenditure indicates the country's emphasis and importance on modernizing the defense sector to meet the ever-increasing need for security. The defense expenditure includes operation and maintenance, procurement, research and development, testing and evaluation, and military personnel. In North America, the total military aircraft fleet was recorded to be 14,144 as of 2023. Growing contracts of manufacturing military aircraft and helicopters and increasing proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles are a few factors contributing to the demand for airborne pods. Thus, the rising application of advanced aerial recognition, detection, identification, communication, and targeting sensors in defense aircraft fuels the airborne pods market growth in North America.

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Airborne Pods Market: Strategic Insights

Market Size Value inUS$ 2,832.45 million in 2022
Market Size Value byUS$ 4,287.47 million by 2030
Growth rateCAGR of 5.3% from 2022-2030
Forecast Period2022-2030
Base Year2022
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Market Driver:

Growing Occurrences of Unstable Geopolitical Scenario and Advent of Advanced Warfare Technologies

The growing unstable geopolitical scenario worldwide is boosting the demand for advanced sensors, lasers, and self-protection countermeasure systems. The unstable geopolitical occurrences, such as wars between nations, are jeopardizing common life and increasing the national security threat and uncertainties; hence, there is a growing focus on strengthening the defense forces to combat such situations. Advanced intelligence, surveillance, and target systems facilitate the development of a complete and accurate analysis, aiding more precise threat assessments and target encounters. Advanced warfare scenarios emphasize heightened situational awareness, integrated defense systems, improved target engagement, electronic warfare capabilities, and compliance with evolving threats. Thus, the rising adoption of advanced warfare devices and equipment further drives the development of airborne pods to meet advanced battlefield conditions. Moreover, many companies across the globe are focusing on investing in advanced helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with airborne pods and devices to tackle modern warfare. Thus, the growing instances of unstable geopolitical scenarios and the proliferation of modern warfare technologies drive the airborne pods market growth.

Segmental Analysis:

The airborne pods market is segmented based on aircraft type, pod type, sensor technology, and range. In terms of aircraft type, the airborne pods market is categorized into combat aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and others. The others segment is subsegmented into gliders, small fighter jets, bombers, rotorcrafts, and turbojets. Combat aircraft are specially designed and developed to demolish enemy equipment or personnel utilizing their aircraft weapons. Combat aircraft are normally fabricated and obtained only by military and defense forces.

By pod type, the airborne pods market is segmented into intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) pods; targeting pods; and self-protection/infrared countermeasure pods. The rising need for advanced surveillance, targeting, detecting, and counter-measuring systems for military aircraft, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles is boosting the application of ISR, targeting, and countermeasure pods.

By sensor technology, the airborne pods market is segmented into electro-optical or infrared sensors, electronic warfare sensors, and infrared countermeasure (IRCM) sensors. Increasing instances of airborne attacks and growing advancement in warfare technologies are boosting the application of high-end sensors for detecting and identifying threats and activating countermeasure systems in times of need.

In terms of range, the airborne pods market is categorized into short-range, intermediate-range, and long-range. Long-range airborne pods are the most common type of pods utilized in the air defense sector.


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Regional Analysis:

Growing focus on national security and increasing governmental initiatives toward boosting the development of the Air Force security infrastructure are boosting the demand for airborne pods in Asia Pacific. In 2020, the military expenditure was US$ 497.4 billion, which increased to US$ 549.7 billion in 2021. In 2022, Asia Pacific's military expenditure was US$ 541.5 billion. In 2022, China dominated military expenditure in the region, followed by India and South Korea. Most military expenditure is dedicated to cater to the requirement for modernized equipment, devices, aircraft, ships, and armored vehicles during modern war. Countries are focusing on advancing their military aircraft with new high-end aircraft equipped with the latest sensors and trackers while replacing the old aircraft.

With each year, the need for advanced and more skilled equipment and aircraft is increasing to manage modern battlefield needs. For instance, in 2023, the People's Liberation Army Air Force announced its plan to increase the number of combat aircraft in its inventory. It also integrates air-to-air missiles and develops a high-end air-to-surface stand-off weapon to further strengthen the defense force in China. In 2023, Korea Aerospace Industries introduced the KF-21 Boramae fighter jet prototype and advanced the development of the KAI Light Armed Helicopter. The Air Force is anticipated to procure 40 KF-21s by 2028, with strategies focused on getting additional 80 jets into operation by 2032. Such factors are likely to boost the airborne pods market size in the coming years.

In 2023, Asia Pacific accounted for 11,646 units of military aircraft fleets. The airborne pods have potential applications in fighter jets, helicopters, and aircraft for facilitating stable aerial detection, recognition, tracking, identification, image capturing, communication, navigation, surveillance, and countermeasures. The rise in war-like situations boosts the demand for airborne pods in Asia Pacific.

Key Player Analysis:

BAE Systems Plc, Advanced Technologies Group (ATGI), L3Harris Technologies Inc, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Raytheon Corporation, SaaB AB, Terma A/S, Thales SA, and Ultra-Electronics Holdings Plc are among the key airborne pods market players operating across different regions.

Recent Developments: 

Inorganic and organic strategies such as product launches, collaborations, and mergers & acquisitions are highly adopted by companies operating in the global airborne pods market. A few recent developments by key airborne pods market players are listed below:




August 2023

Collins Aerospace, an RTX (NYSE: RTX) business, has been awarded a US$ 36 million contract from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to develop and demonstrate a platform-agnostic, Beyond-Line-of-Sight satellite communications pod.

North America

April 2022

Saab received an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for the development and integration of a new launch system for Gripen C/D and Gripen E. The order, valued at approximately SEK 400 million (US$ 37 Million), was placed during the first quarter. The order includes the development and integration of a new launch system for air-to-air missiles and countermeasure pods on Gripen C/D and Gripen E.


September 2022

Terma has delivered more than 100 Gun Pods for the F-35 Lightning ll, the only certified external pod for the F-35 fighter jet. Terma is now introducing the F-35 Multi-Mission Pod – a further development to the Gun Pod, providing additional mission payload volume for the platform.


May 2022

The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) has placed a firm order with Thales for 21 additional TALIOS pods. The new target designation pods will equip Rafale aircraft currently in service with the French Air and Space Force and the French Navy.


Report Coverage
Report Coverage

Revenue forecast, Company Analysis, Industry landscape, Growth factors, and Trends

Segment Covered
Segment Covered

Aircraft Type, Pod Type, Range and Geography

Regional Scope
Regional Scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, South & Central America

Country Scope
Country Scope

This text is related
to country scope.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which region to dominate the airborne pods market in the forecast period?

North America is expected to account for the largest share during the forecast period.

What are reasons behind the airborne pods market growth?

Increasing Number of Contracts for Supply of Airborne Pods, Surge in Global Military Spending, Growing Occurrences of Unstable Geopolitical Scenario & Advent of Advanced Warfare Technologies and Increasing Procurement of Military Aircraft and Helicopters are contributing to the growth of airborne pods market.

Who are the major vendors in the airborne pods market?

Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Raytheon Technologies, L3Harris Technologies Inc, and Thales SA are the key market players operating in the global airborne pods market.

What is the future trend for the airborne pods market?

Deployment of countermeasure systems is one of the major trends expected to drive the market in the coming years.

What are market opportunities for the airborne pods market?

The increasing application of unmanned aerial vehicles for various purposes, including weapon delivery, surveillance, and disruption, boosts the demand for airborne pods. Navigation, communication, and surveillance systems are crucial in detecting and tracking UAVs and providing early warning and situational awareness. The increasing adoption of UAVs requires advanced airborne pods with improved detection capabilities to counter the airborne or ground based threats effectively. As the threat from UAVs becomes more evident, governments and defense organizations worldwide prioritize developing and acquiring communication and surveillance defense systems to counter this evolving threat.

The List of Companies - Airborne Pods Market

  1. BAE Systems Plc
  2. Advanced Technologies Group (ATGI)
  3. L3Harris Technologies Inc
  4. Lockheed Martin Corporation
  5. Northrop Grumman Corporation
  6. Raytheon Technologies Corporation
  7. SaaB AB
  8. Terma A/S
  9. Thales SA
  10. Ultra-Electronics Holdings Plc

The Insight Partners performs research in 4 major stages: Data Collection & Secondary Research, Primary Research, Data Analysis and Data Triangulation & Final Review.

  1. Data Collection and Secondary Research:

As a market research and consulting firm operating from a decade, we have published many reports and advised several clients across the globe. First step for any study will start with an assessment of currently available data and insights from existing reports. Further, historical and current market information is collected from Investor Presentations, Annual Reports, SEC Filings, etc., and other information related to company’s performance and market positioning are gathered from Paid Databases (Factiva, Hoovers, and Reuters) and various other publications available in public domain.

Several associations trade associates, technical forums, institutes, societies and organizations are accessed to gain technical as well as market related insights through their publications such as research papers, blogs and press releases related to the studies are referred to get cues about the market. Further, white papers, journals, magazines, and other news articles published in the last 3 years are scrutinized and analyzed to understand the current market trends.

  1. Primary Research:

The primarily interview analysis comprise of data obtained from industry participants interview and answers to survey questions gathered by in-house primary team.

For primary research, interviews are conducted with industry experts/CEOs/Marketing Managers/Sales Managers/VPs/Subject Matter Experts from both demand and supply side to get a 360-degree view of the market. The primary team conducts several interviews based on the complexity of the markets to understand the various market trends and dynamics which makes research more credible and precise.

A typical research interview fulfils the following functions:

  • Provides first-hand information on the market size, market trends, growth trends, competitive landscape, and outlook
  • Validates and strengthens in-house secondary research findings
  • Develops the analysis team’s expertise and market understanding

Primary research involves email interactions and telephone interviews for each market, category, segment, and sub-segment across geographies. The participants who typically take part in such a process include, but are not limited to:

  • Industry participants: VPs, business development managers, market intelligence managers and national sales managers
  • Outside experts: Valuation experts, research analysts and key opinion leaders specializing in the electronics and semiconductor industry.

Below is the breakup of our primary respondents by company, designation, and region:

Research Methodology

Once we receive the confirmation from primary research sources or primary respondents, we finalize the base year market estimation and forecast the data as per the macroeconomic and microeconomic factors assessed during data collection.

  1. Data Analysis:

Once data is validated through both secondary as well as primary respondents, we finalize the market estimations by hypothesis formulation and factor analysis at regional and country level.

  • 3.1 Macro-Economic Factor Analysis:

We analyse macroeconomic indicators such the gross domestic product (GDP), increase in the demand for goods and services across industries, technological advancement, regional economic growth, governmental policies, the influence of COVID-19, PEST analysis, and other aspects. This analysis aids in setting benchmarks for various nations/regions and approximating market splits. Additionally, the general trend of the aforementioned components aid in determining the market's development possibilities.

  • 3.2 Country Level Data:

Various factors that are especially aligned to the country are taken into account to determine the market size for a certain area and country, including the presence of vendors, such as headquarters and offices, the country's GDP, demand patterns, and industry growth. To comprehend the market dynamics for the nation, a number of growth variables, inhibitors, application areas, and current market trends are researched. The aforementioned elements aid in determining the country's overall market's growth potential.

  • 3.3 Company Profile:

The “Table of Contents” is formulated by listing and analyzing more than 25 - 30 companies operating in the market ecosystem across geographies. However, we profile only 10 companies as a standard practice in our syndicate reports. These 10 companies comprise leading, emerging, and regional players. Nonetheless, our analysis is not restricted to the 10 listed companies, we also analyze other companies present in the market to develop a holistic view and understand the prevailing trends. The “Company Profiles” section in the report covers key facts, business description, products & services, financial information, SWOT analysis, and key developments. The financial information presented is extracted from the annual reports and official documents of the publicly listed companies. Upon collecting the information for the sections of respective companies, we verify them via various primary sources and then compile the data in respective company profiles. The company level information helps us in deriving the base number as well as in forecasting the market size.

  • 3.4 Developing Base Number:

Aggregation of sales statistics (2020-2022) and macro-economic factor, and other secondary and primary research insights are utilized to arrive at base number and related market shares for 2022. The data gaps are identified in this step and relevant market data is analyzed, collected from paid primary interviews or databases. On finalizing the base year market size, forecasts are developed on the basis of macro-economic, industry and market growth factors and company level analysis.

  1. Data Triangulation and Final Review:

The market findings and base year market size calculations are validated from supply as well as demand side. Demand side validations are based on macro-economic factor analysis and benchmarks for respective regions and countries. In case of supply side validations, revenues of major companies are estimated (in case not available) based on industry benchmark, approximate number of employees, product portfolio, and primary interviews revenues are gathered. Further revenue from target product/service segment is assessed to avoid overshooting of market statistics. In case of heavy deviations between supply and demand side values, all thes steps are repeated to achieve synchronization.

We follow an iterative model, wherein we share our research findings with Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) and Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) until consensus view of the market is not formulated – this model negates any drastic deviation in the opinions of experts. Only validated and universally acceptable research findings are quoted in our reports.

We have important check points that we use to validate our research findings – which we call – data triangulation, where we validate the information, we generate from secondary sources with primary interviews and then we re-validate with our internal data bases and Subject matter experts. This comprehensive model enables us to deliver high quality, reliable data in shortest possible time.

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