CAESAR and Stryker MGS Gaining Share of The Self-Propelled Artillery Market
Category: Defence Industry
The international market for self-propelled artillery remains a highly competitive and dynamic environment. In its annual analysis "The Market for Self-Propelled Artillery Systems," the Forecast International Weapons Group projects that the market will produce over 4,500 self-propelled artillery systems, worth more than $13.51 billion, through 2016.
Dean Lockwood, a weapons systems analyst at Forecast International, notes that most armies tend to rely on tried-and-true older designs, such as the classic BAE Systems Land & Armaments (formerly United Defense LP) M109 series. Newer designs tend to borrow liberally from this benchmark design. According to Lockwood, "Reflecting the basic design concept of the M109 style of self-propelled howitzer, the Samsung Techwin K9 Thunder program continues to stand out as the clear market leader." Forecast International expects the K9 Thunder (along with its licensed TUSpH Storm program in Turkey) to account for 19.17 percent of all self-propelled howitzer production worldwide, worth a commanding 28.24 percent of the market, through 2016.
Competing with the classic M109 design is the emerging class of wheeled designs, optimized for the rapidly deployable medium force option. Designs such as the General Dynamics Land Systems Stryker Mobile Gun System (MGS) and the Nexter (formerly Giat Industries) CAESAR offer the advantages of lighter weight and enhanced mobility, as well as lower production and maintenance costs. Lockwood notes that "over the past six years, our outlook for the combined market share of wheeled designs has grown steadily. We now expect the wheeled systems to account for 8.36 percent of all new production, worth 9.05 percent of the market, through 2016."
Normally, the Forecast International Weapons Group does not factor modernization and retrofit programs into market analyses, limiting its forecast calculations to new-production systems only. However, the Paladin is a unique case. Strictly speaking, the M109 is no longer a factor in this market in terms of new production. Yet, the U.S. Army's ongoing M109A6 Paladin rebuild program is so complete that the end system is virtually a new-production item. Lockwood explains that "for the purposes of our analysis, we treat the ongoing M109A6 Paladin rebuild effort as equivalent to a new production program." Forecast International is projecting that the M109A6 Paladin rebuild program will account for 6.62 percent of all new production, worth 1.12 percent of the market, through 2016.
Despite the uncertainties of the post-Cold War world, new threat scenarios, and transformational military doctrines, conventional tube artillery continues to offer an unmatched capability to reliably deliver accurate and effective fire under all conditions - when and where the infantryman needs it.