Each week, Army Technology’s journalists analyse data on patent filings and grants that illustrate innovation trends in our sector. These patent signals show where the leading companies are focusing their research and development investment, and why. We uncover key innovation areas in the sector and the themes that drive them.

This new, thematic patents coverage is powered by our underlying Disruptor data which tracks all major deals, patents, company filings, hiring patterns and social media buzz across our sectors.  

Aerospace remains the most common sector for patents-related publications in the defence industry compared to land and maritime with 230,784 filings and grants over the past three years, more than four times the combined total of the other two traditional domains at 25,371 and 26,844 respectively.

According to analysis by GlobalData, mentions of the aerospace sector are second only to those of the combined aerospace and defence sector (323,925) with maritime and land coming eleventh and thirteenth on the global rankings for patents mentions.

Trending Sectors

Aerospace and defence323,925
C4ISR and electronic warfare74,685
Parts and tires63,646
Technology, media, and telecom55,269
Future mobility30,095
Consumer applications17,804
Enterprise applications12,728
Infrastructure, logistics, and support11,495
IT infrastructure equipment11,407
Source: GlobalData

Other notable defence-related sector for patents includes C4isr and electronic warfare (74,685), weaponry (39,741), and uncrewed (19,896). Semiconductors was listed as a fourteenth in the number of defence-related patent publications in the past three years with 22,983 registered.

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The semiconductor sector has been a key topic in the defence sector in recent years as China maintains its stance to retake neighbouring Taiwan, which is the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturer. Beijing has been increasingly hawkish towards Taiwan, which it sees as a breakaway province, and sees ‘reunification’ as a non-negotiable goal of its foreign policy.

In June this year, the Japanese Government offered to buy out JSR, a leading semiconductor equipment manufacturer and ley element of the technology’s supply chain.