Growth will be driven by geographical regions such as APAC, North America, and Europe. The North American market will see growth based on replacement and upgrade of existing EO systems for soldier and vehicle mounted systems. The growth in APAC will be driven by procurement of newer platforms such as naval vessels, main battle tanks, and fighter aircraft. Though all the fighter aircraft that will be procured in this region will not have an EO system, a considerable number will use external EO pods.
According to a new market research report titled "Electro Optical Systems Market by Segment (Defense, Aerospace, Homeland Security), by Product (Laser, Infrared), by Geography (Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East, North America, RoW) - Forecasts & Analysis to 2014 - 2020" the electro optic systems market is estimated to be $11.76 billion in 2014 and is expected to touch $14.03 billion by 2020 at a CAGR of 2.98%.
The growth will be driven by increasing usage of EO systems in surveillance operations. Border protection agencies are using EO equipment to monitor and prevent intrusion attempts. EO infrared systems are being used as a complement for radar systems on land and ships. EO systems acting as a complement for radar systems on land are effective in tracking stealth aircraft and low observable missiles. In naval platforms, EO systems are finding increasing use in next generation close in weapon system (CIWS). CIWS use EO systems as a complement for radars for target acquisition and engagement.
EO systems are also being increasingly used in the aerospace sector for the purpose of non destructive testing. NDT uses infrared and laser EO systems to check the structural integrity of a component. In the defense segment, EO systems procurement is driven by upgrades of the existing systems such as laser range finders. Development of eye safe lasers that is harmless for the soldier's eye is becoming the need of the hour and will be replacing the existing range of finding systems of defense forces around the world.