The global military electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) systems business is forecast to be dominated by the land platform segment through to 2033, according to GlobalData analysis.

Detailed in The Global Military Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) Systems Market Forecast 2023–2033, published in February 2024, the global military EO/IR market was valued at $13bn in 2023, and projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2% over the forecast period.

The sector is expected to reach a value of $19.6bn by 2033 and cumulatively value $174.2bn over the forecast period. The EO/IR Systems market consists of five categories: airborne platform EO/IR, naval platform EO/IR, land platform EO/IR, space platform EO/IR, and man portable EO/IR.

Of the market share between man portable and platform-based EO/IR systems, the latter sector will remain the largest over the forecast period, valued at over $15bn in 2033, compared to nearly $4.5bn for the former. However man portable EO/IR will grow at a CAGR of 4.9%, compared to 4.0% flat for platform-based systems.

According to GlobalData the market is anticipated to be dominated by the land platform EO/IR segment, which accounts for 47.4% of the market, followed by airborne EO/IR segment with 29.2% share.

Among geographic segments, North America is projected to dominate the sector with a share of 35.3%, followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific, with shares of 29.6% and 24.6%, respectively.

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The use of EO/IR systems is a key element of military operations in the modern battlespace, providing enhanced situational awareness to improve decision making at both tactical and strategic levels.

Among other systems, the US Army has long utilised the effectiveness in using ground-tethered aerostats to provide local areas EO/IR coverage.