High Power Microwave Directed Energy Weapons Market Expected to Reach $5 Billion by 2032—Allied Market Research

High Power Microwave Directed Energy Weapons Market

Report Code : A09319

quote By type, the pulsed-wave high power microwave segment dominated the global market in 2022, in terms of revenue. The pulsed-wave high power microwave segment is expected to lead the market throughout the forecast period. By platform, the ground-based segment accounted for a major share in 2022. Based on end-user, the airforce segment is anticipated to witness lucrative growth over the forecast timeframe. At present, North America is the highest revenue contributor, followed by Asia-Pacific. quote

Sneha Kamble - Lead Analyst
Aerospace and Defense at Allied Market Research

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According to a new report published by Allied Market Research, titled, “High Power Microwave Directed Energy Weapons Market," The high power microwave directed energy weapons market was valued at $1.3 billion in 2022, and is estimated to reach $5 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 15.1% from 2023 to 2032.

As technology advances, the government is working toward the design of accurate, reliable, effective, high range and precision-directed energy weapons. Directed energy weapons are being explored as components of air and missile defense systems. Their ability to rapidly engage and destroy incoming threats at the speed of light can offer advantages over traditional kinetic interceptors. Moreover, countries that possess advanced military capabilities actively invest in the research and development of High-Power Microwave (HPM) technologies for defense purposes. These initiatives focus on augmenting the power, reach, and efficacy of HPM systems.

The integration of directed energy weapons (DEWs) with conventional weaponry transforms modern warfare and defense mechanisms. Directed energy weapons encompass cutting-edge technologies such as high-power microwaves that focus energy onto a target, either causing direct damage or disrupting its operation. DEWs provide precision and accuracy during targeting. These weapons are able to swiftly and precisely engage distant targets without the necessity for projectiles to traverse through the air, thereby minimizing the risk of collateral damage and safeguarding non-combatants and civilian structures. As technology continues to advance, the incorporation of DEWs can be enhanced with novel targeting algorithms, advanced power sources, and improved beam control methods, ensuring the system's flexibility in the face of emerging threats. Such factors are expected to present lucrative opportunities for the growth of the high power microwave directed energy weapons market during the forecast period.

LAMEA comprises Saudi Arabia, and rest of LAMEA. The increase in the demand for countering dangerous threats and modernizing armed forces with advanced capabilities is expected to drive the growth of the market. The interest in high-energy lasers has grown due to the rise in asymmetric airborne threats such as rockets, mortars, and drones. Numerous nations within the LAMEA region aim to upgrade their military forces and make substantial investments in cutting-edge military capabilities. For instance, in March 2023, the defense budgets of MENA countries are projected to increase by 3.3% in 2023.

This growth is attributed to higher oil revenue, which is influencing regional governments to allocate more spending on arms. The total defense expenditure for the MENA region is estimated to reach $238.2 billion in 2023. This is an increase from $230.6 billion in 2022. Higher defense budgets provide more resources for research and development in advanced technologies, including directed energy weapons such as high-power microwave systems. Therefore, the increase in the funding for R&D can accelerate the development and improvement of HPM technologies and drive the growth of the high power microwave directed energy weapons industry.

Pulsed wave high power microwave weapons transmit the microwave energy in discrete pulses or bursts. Each pulse is a short-duration, high-intensity emission of microwave radiation. Such weapons operate across a broad spectrum of frequencies, typically ranging from 1 megahertz to 100 gigahertz. Pulsed wave HPMs are intended to transmit powerful, short bursts of radiofrequency with the purpose of "degrading or destroying" the targeted electrical components.

Pulsed-wave High Power Microwave (HPM) weapon systems emit intense bursts of microwave energy characterized by high power and short durations. These weapons are designed for precise targeting, aiming to disrupt or damage the electrical components of a specific target set. Moreover, various nations conduct tests and research on directed energy weapon technologies owing to rise in demand for effective counter-drone technologies.

For instance, in April 2023, the U.S. Air Force conducted a test of the Tactical High-power Operational Responder (THOR), a high-power microwave counter-drone system. During the demonstration, Capt. Eric Plummer, a test engineer with Air Force Research Laboratory AFRL’s Directed Energy Directorate, operated the THOR system, which successfully engaged a swarm of multiple drone targets. Therefore, the growing utilization of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and autonomous systems accelerates the demand for effective countermeasures, driving the growth of pulse wave HPMs.

The continuous wave high power microwave weapons emit microwave energy in an uninterrupted and constant manner, without the presence of pulses. Unlike systems utilizing pulsed waves that release energy in brief bursts, continuous-wave systems produce a consistent and sustained beam of microwave radiation. These systems are applied in electronic warfare scenarios, where the objective is to target and interfere with electronic systems such as communication devices, sensors, or other electronic components.

The persistent nature of the beam facilitates an extended interaction with the target. Continuous-wave HPM weapons demonstrate effectiveness against constantly operational electronic systems, such as communication networks, providing an uninterrupted means of disruption. The consistent nature of the beam allows for adaptable and precise targeting strategies, accommodating diverse mission requirements. Ongoing advancements in microwave and electronic technologies contribute to the continual enhancement of continuous-wave HPM systems in terms of power, efficiency, and adaptability.

COVID-19 Impact

The outbreak of COVID-19 resulted in disruptions in global supply chains, causing delays in the production and distribution of components and materials required for directed energy weapons. Moreover, numerous governments across the globe faced economic difficulties, leading them to allocate resources toward public health and relief initiatives. However, the rise in the modernization and upgradation of weapon technologies in the defense sector increased the demand for high power microwave directed energy weapons.


  • By type, the pulsed-wave high power microwave segment is anticipated to exhibit significant growth in the near future.
  • By platform, the naval segment is anticipated to exhibit significant growth in the near future.
  • By end-user, the navy segment is anticipated to exhibit significant growth in the near future.
  • By region, LAMEA is anticipated to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

Key players operating in the global high power microwave directed energy weapons market include Lockheed Martin Corporation, Raytheon Technologies Corporation, BAE systems, Boeing, Epirus, Inc., Thales Group, Leidos, Inc., L3Harris Technologies, Inc., Rheinmetall AG, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. The companies are adopting strategies such as contract, product launch, product development, and others to improve their market positioning.

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quote High Power Microwave Directed Energy Weapons Market by Type (Pulsed-wave high power microwave, Continuous-wave high power microwave), by Platform (Airborne, Naval, Ground-based), by End-user (Army, Navy, Airforce): Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2023-2032 quote

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