The non-lethal weapons market is expected to emerge as a crucial domain for law enforcement and asymmetric warfare over the next six years. Typical non-lethal weapons which are in widespread use worldwide include area denial weapons, firearm rounds comprising rubber, wax, or plastic bullets designed to incapacitate targets, sting grenades, water cannons, pepper sprays, tear gas, and electroshock weapons.
A shift in warfare tactics from conventional to insurgency in urban regions has significantly driven the non-lethal weapons market. Increased instances of mass demonstrations, street riots, insurgency, and asymmetric warfare over the last decade have exposed security loopholes. There is an increased demand for such weapons from political establishments, law enforcement officers and combatant commanders to ensure the safety of non-combatant population. Use of non-lethal weapons also prevents media outrage as a consequence of non-combatant casualties. Governments of several countries have been actively involved in non-lethal weapons’ R&D and procurement to address the aforementioned issues. Crowd dispersal lethal weapons which consist of water cannons, malodorants and tear gas, are expected to witness high demand over the forecast period. Demand for self-defense weapons such as pepper sprays has also increased, especially to combat crimes against women. Budget cuts in western countries are not expected to hamper market growth.
The U.S. and Russia constitute high growth regional areas of the non-lethal weapons market. Europe is expected to lead the spending, followed by North America and Asia Pacific. The market is highly competitive with several players vying for contracts. Austerity in most western countries is expected to buoy industry competition. The industry is fragmented and most of the tier-1 players are from Europe and the U.S. Increase in joint development & production, and public-private partnerships are anticipated. Key industry participants include Textron Systems, Taser International, Inc., Nonlethal Technologies, Inc., Moog, Inc., Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc., General Dynamics Corporation, Fiocchi, Boeing Company, and BAE Systems PLC.
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