Forecast: Russian RPG Line Remains Dominant

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Man-portable anti-armour weapon remain a particularly significant asset on the modern asymmetric battlefield, research firm Forecast International says in a new analysis.
Forecast International adds that the role of the man-portable anti-armor weapon “continues to morph from a dedicated anti-tank weapon to a general-purpose fire support asset for light and medium forces”.
In its annual analysis, “The Market for Man-Portable Anti-Armor and ‘Bunker Buster` Weapons,” the Forecast International Weapons Group expects the market will produce over 1.79 million weapons, worth in excess of $5 billion, through 2018.
According to Dean Lockwood, a weapons systems analyst at Forecast International, “The market is evolving to address radical changes in the worldwide security environment. The challenges of this new environment present particularly ripe opportunities for man-portable anti-armor and bunker buster weapons.” 
Russian defence contractors will continue to dominate the market, accounting for 59.31% of man-portable anti-armor and bunker buster weapon production, worth 46.53% of the total market value, through 2018.
During this period, the RPG-26 and RPG-27 will account for 44.63% of all new production, worth 25.55% of the total market value. Nevertheless, the ubiquitous RPG-7 remains the man-portable anti-armor weapon of choice worldwide.
The Forecast International Weapons Group expects the Russian RPG-7 series, as well as various licensed and unlicensed copies, will account for 7.55% of all new production, worth 5.37% of the total market value, through 2018.
In contrast, the combined output of the leading European players will provide 12.10% of all man-portable anti-armor and bunker buster weapons production. However, these European players will account for 28.94% of the total market value through 2018.
Of the European programs, Lockwood expects the MBT LAW will prove the most significant, accounting for 4.18% of all production, worth 16.15 percent of the total market value, through 2018.
Talley Defense Systems remains the sole American player to have an impact on the international market for man-portable anti-armor and bunker buster weapons. Talley`s line of M72 LAW and M141 Bunker Defeat Munitions will account for 19.38% of all production, worth 16.78% of the total market value, through 2018.
Unusually, the People`s Republic of China has virtually no impact on this market, contributing only 1.14% of total production and 0.70% percent of total market value with its Type 69 line.
Despite the uncertainties of a post-Cold War world and the glut of available weapons, the international market for man‑portable anti-armor and bunker buster weapons remains a vibrant, dynamic environment. Evolving threat scenarios and new force structures are creating a new field of opportunity for the man-portable anti-armor weapon on the modern asymmetric battlefield, the analysis concludes.
  • Forecast International (www.forecastinternational.com) is a leading provider of market intelligence and analysis in the areas of aerospace, defence, power systems and military electronics. Based in Newtown, Connecticut in the US, Forecast International specialises in long-range industry forecasts and market assessments.