Inertial Measurement Unit Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The Inertial Measurement Unit Market is segmented by Component (Gyroscopes, Accelerometers, and Magnetometers), Grade (Marine Grade, Navigation Grade, Tactical Grade, Space Grade, and Commercial Grade), End User (Industrial, Aerospace and Defense, Automotive, and Other End-Users), and Geography.

Market Snapshot

inertial measurement units market
Study Period: 2018 - 2026
Base Year: 2020
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: North America
CAGR: 6.49 %

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Market Overview

The inertial measurement unit market was valued at USD 18.97 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 27.23 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 6.49% over the forecast period 2021 - 2026.

  • The growth of the inertial measurement unit (IMU) market is largely fueled by the increase in the number of applications, technological advancements, and the increasing demand in emerging countries of Asia-Pacific. Furthermore, the growth can be attributed to the increasing demand for accuracy in navigation aids and emergence of MEMS systems.
  • The MEMS technology played a major role in expanding the application base for inertial measurement systems, by scaling down the size and power consumption of these devices, without compromising on their performance metrics.
  • However, as IMU is mostly being dependent on MEMS, the improvement in the accuracy of an IMU with inertial sensors is being limited, such as putting the whole shebang in a constant temperature oven or adding data from other non-inertial sensors, such as a magnetometer or a motion capture system.

Scope of the Report

Inertial measurement units (IMUs) is a self-contained system that measures linear and angular motion, usually with a triad of gyroscopes and triad of accelerometers. IMUs are basically used to maneuver aircraft and spacecraft. IMU is being segregated by gyroscopes, accelerometers, and magnetometers as components. In terms of grade, IMU is divided as marine grade, navigation grade, tactical grade, space grade, and commercial grade. 

By Component
By Grade
Marine Grade
Navigation Grade
Tactical Grade
Space Grade
Commercial Grade
By End User
Aerospace and Defense
Other End Users
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
Rest of Asia-Pacific
Latin America
Middle East & Africa

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Key Market Trends

Aerospace and Defense Sector to Account for a Major Share

  • IMUs used in defense applications comprise the best-in-class bias stability and performance metrics. High-end IMUs for defense applications represent one of the largest markets in the inertial systems sector. They are widely used in defense ships, military fighters, nuclear missiles, short/medium- and long-range missiles, guided munitions, and military helicopters.
  • Defense-based applications are known to deploy two inertial navigational systems, in order to tackle redundancy and offer high fault tolerance. For instance, considering the use of high-end inertial systems in military helicopters. Military helicopters can be broadly categorized into special mission helicopters and combative rotorcrafts. 
  • FOG-based gyroscopes (as part of IMUs) are usually preferred in defense applications, when performance is considered the key criteria. Furthermore, the emergence of MEMS-based IMUs enabled a wider adoption in defense-based application. Usually, they are coupled with other forms of navigational systems to account for bias errors.
  • Defense-based applications (especially in the United States, which represents the largest market for high-end IMUs) are governed by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). These bodies impose regulations, concerning trade and exchange of information on defense-related technology, to maintain the integrity and prevent the transfer of information to anti-government institutions. 
inertial measurement units market

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North America to Lead the Market

  • North America is expected to hold the largest market share, mainly attributed to the high defense budgets. The United States allocates the maximum budget for defense spending. For 2019, the United States’ defense spending is predicted to be more than USD 681 billion. With the country accounting for more than 38% of the overall defense expenditure, the market is expected to remain a dominant sector in the industry.
  • The US military uses a navigation-grade inertial measurement unit developed by Northrop Grumman. This miniaturized unit is based on MEMS technology, to enable navigation by sensing acceleration and angular motion, providing data outputs used by vehicle control systems for guidance.
  • According to Boeing, in 2018, the demand for commercial airplanes is expected to increase, due to rising passenger traffic and upcoming airplane retirements. The company forecasts the need for 42,730 new jets, which are expected to be valued at USD 6.3 trillion over the next 20 years. 
  • The increase in the production of helicopters and commercial aircraft created huge potential market opportunities for IMUs. The US aerospace industry exports more than 60% of the total aerospace production. As a result various foreign firms are attracted to the US aerospace market, as it is the largest market in the world, employing a skilled and hospitable workforce, with diverse offerings and extensive distribution systems. 
inertial measurement units market

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Competitive Landscape

The inertial measurement unit market is highly fragmented. Increase in the number of applications and technological advancements across regions provides lucrative opportunities in the inertial measurement unit market. Overall, the competitive rivalry among existing competitors is high. Moving forward, acquisitions and partnership of large companies are focused toward innovation. Some of the key players in the market are Honeywell Aerospace Inc., Bosch Sensortec GmbH, and Thales Group. Some of the key developments in the area are:

  • April 2019 - Kalyani Group and Thales formalized a new collaboration for the designing, development, and manufacturing of next-generation weapons systems for the defense and law enforcement sectors in India, as well as international markets.
  • January 2019 - Honeywell announced the launch of its online buying and selling platform for new and used aircraft parts, which is available for online transactions in this space. By using blockchain technology, Honeywell is able to do some of its transactions in online basis, and it is the first company to leverage blockchain technology to build trust between the buyer and seller. 

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Deliverables

    2. 1.2 Study Assumptions

    3. 1.3 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Introduction to Market Drivers and Restraints

    3. 4.3 Market Drivers

      1. 4.3.1 Growth of the Defense and Aerospace Sector

      2. 4.3.2 Emergence of MEMS Technology

    4. 4.4 Market Restraints

      1. 4.4.1 Operational Complexity, Coupled with High Maintenance Costs

    5. 4.5 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.5.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.5.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.5.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.5.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.5.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

    6. 4.6 Value Chain / Supply Chain Analysis



    1. 6.1 By Component

      1. 6.1.1 Gyroscopes

      2. 6.1.2 Accelerometers

      3. 6.1.3 Magnetometers

    2. 6.2 By Grade

      1. 6.2.1 Marine Grade

      2. 6.2.2 Navigation Grade

      3. 6.2.3 Tactical Grade

      4. 6.2.4 Space Grade

      5. 6.2.5 Commercial Grade

    3. 6.3 By End User

      1. 6.3.1 Industrial

      2. 6.3.2 Aerospace and Defense

      3. 6.3.3 Automotive

      4. 6.3.4 Other End Users

    4. 6.4 Geography

      1. 6.4.1 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

      2. 6.4.2 Europe

        1. United Kingdom

        2. Germany

        3. France

        4. Rest of Europe

      3. 6.4.3 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. India

        3. Japan

        4. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      4. 6.4.4 Latin America

      5. 6.4.5 Middle East & Africa


    1. 7.1 Company Profiles

      1. 7.1.1 Honeywell Aerospace Inc.

      2. 7.1.2 Northrop Grumman Corporation

      3. 7.1.3 Bosch Sensortec GmbH

      4. 7.1.4 Analog Devices Inc.

      5. 7.1.5 Thales Group

      6. 7.1.6 Memsense LLC

      7. 7.1.7 Sensonor Technologies AS

      8. 7.1.8 Xsens Technologies BV

      9. 7.1.9 Vectornav Technologies LLC

      10. 7.1.10 STMicroelectronics NV

      11. 7.1.11 ACEINNA Inc.

      12. 7.1.12 Safran SA

    2. *List Not Exhaustive


**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Inertial Measurement Unit Market market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The Inertial Measurement Unit Market is growing at a CAGR of 6.49% over the next 5 years.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

North America holds highest share in 2020.

Honeywell Aerospace Inc., Bosch Sensortec GmbH, Thales Group, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Sensonor AS are the major companies operating in Inertial Measurement Unit Market.

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