The increasing demand for data-centric communications and net-centric capabilities will drive the military-communications market to reach $30 billion by 2022. The four areas that are expected to grow are ground, airborne, terrestrial-military-satellite, and shipborne communications. The new report by Strategy Analytics Advanced Defense Systems (ADS) includes information about all four of these markets and details their expected growth.

Investments into ground-communications systems and components are expected to continue. The tactical-radio market is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.2%, reaching $4.5 billion in 2022. Handheld tactical radios will represent 94% of shipments, limiting the electronic component market to just over $721 million. The multiband sector will account for 78% of the total market by 2022.

The airborne-communications systems and components market will continue to grow at a CAGR of almost 2%, reaching $1.3 billion in 2022. The bulk will be represented by fast-jet platforms. The unmanned-aerial-vehicle (UAV) market will see the fastest growth with an emphasis on Ku-band and Ka-band frequencies. The electronic-components market will reach $79 million because of the emphasis on multiband radios. Gallium-arsenide (GaAs) and gallium-nitride (GaN) semiconductors also will see growth.

With their new satellite-communications platforms, terrestrial-military-satcom systems will accelerate demand for military very-small-aperture-terminal (VSAT) terminals. Shipments of Ka-band military VSAT terminals, as demand for voice and data-centric communications increases, will grow the most quickly through 2022. GaAs and GaN technologies will lead in the RF front end with the overall market for semiconductors predicted to grow at a CAGR of 7%.

The report also noted that shipbuilding activity will remain quiet due to upgrades to existing vessels, which are a result of the demand for shipborne radio systems that will comprise multiple systems spanning a broad range of frequencies. There also is expected to be increased attention to littoral operations, which will cause offshore patrol vessels to drive increased demand for radio systems.