Satellite Communication Market in the Defense Sector - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The Satellite Communication Market in the Defense Sector is segmented by Type (Ground Equipment and Service), Application (Surveillance and Tracking, Remote Sensing, and Disaster Recovery), and Geography.

Market Snapshot

 Satellite Communication Market Overview
Study Period: 2018 - 2026
Base Year: 2020
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: North America
CAGR: 6.9 %
 Satellite Communication Market Key Players

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Market Overview

The satellite communication market in the defense sector is expected to register a CAGR of over 6.90%, during the forecast period (2021 - 2026). With its penetration in military operations, IoT is significantly impacting military intelligence, operations, and surveillance.

  • Furthermore, technological advancements in miniaturization, connected technology, robust network environment, low power computing, radio frequency identification, and M2M communication are also expected to fuel the satellite communication market in the defense sector.
  • In addition to that, the governments of several countries are taking numerous initiatives to facilitate the manufacturing of military communication systems and solutions, which is another major factor that is expected to support the growth of the satellite communication market in the defense sector. Governments of countries, like China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, etc., play vital roles in promoting maritime security, since their maritime industries add to the regions' overall economic growth.
  • For example, in April 2018, ORBCOMM and Maerospace extended automatic identification systems’ (AISs’) contract with the Government of Canada. Through its Canadian subsidiary SkyWave, ORBCOMM is expected to provide satellite AIS data used for ship tracking and other maritime navigational and safety efforts to the Government of Canada, for monitoring Canadian and global marine traffic.
  • However, the high costs of manufacturing and that of components of satellite communication equipment are likely to hinder the satellite communication market in the defense sector, over the forecast period.

Scope of the Report

The satellite communication market in the defense sector is quite diverse and complex, and is heavily influenced by technological changes, regulations, and investment decisions of both government and private sector. Common maritime satellite communication services include voice calling and internet access for oceanic weather, navigation, and fishing.  In addition, the demand for military communication systems is also constantly on the rise for disaster relief activities, in order to deliver a quick response. From a geographical standpoint, North America is expected to hold the largest share in the satellite communication market in defense sector, owing to extensive usage of advanced technologies in the sector. 
By Type
Ground Equipment (Gateway, Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) Equipment, Network Operation Center (NOC), and Satellite News Gathering (SNG) Equipment)
Service (Mobile Satellite Services (MSS), Fixed Satellite Services, and Earth Observation Services)
By Application
Surveillance and Tracking
Remote Sensing
Disaster Recovery
Other Applications
North America
Latin America
Middle East & Africa

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Key Market Trends

Government Initiatives to Drive the Market Growth

Artificial intelligence is becoming a part of modern warfare. Implementation of AI in satellite communication is expected to be a major trend in the coming decade. Furthermore, the governments of various countries are investing in communication technology, such as navigation systems, vessel tracking, etc., in the maritime sector.

Military satellites are considered as a measure of the country’s military strength, operability, and the ability to attack or defend itself. These satellites give the armies real-time data, pertaining to the movement of troops and regarding the arsenal at enemy borders. 

Nowadays, nanosatellites are gaining popularity, owing to their wide range of applicability. Nanosatellites are defined as satellites with a mass less than or equal to 10 kg. Moreover, recent advancements in optics and communication technologies have improved the capabilities of smaller spacecraft for remote sensing and imaging. Heightened government interest, coupled with increasing maturity of the technology, is attracting companies to invest in the satellite communication market in the defense sector.

For instance, the National Aeronautic Space Administration (NASA) budget for the fiscal year 2020 is USD 21 billion, which indicates an increase of 1.4%, as compared to that for 2019. NASA may take a more active role in commercializing new space technologies, as many of its new initiatives have both, military and commercial applications.

 Satellite Communication Market Key Trends

Asia-Pacific is Projected to Register the Highest Growth Rate

China and India are largely responsible for the rapid growth of the satellite communication market in the defense sector in the Asia-Pacific region. The governments of these countries have adopted conscious strategies to make their respective maritime, aeronautical, and military sectors more secure. Appropriate communication channels are a big part of this strategy, which may inevitably fuel the demand for mobile satellite services.

Additionally, China and India, the world’s two emerging economic powers, are demonstrating a sustained increase in their military expenditures and contributing to the growth in the global military spending. Furthermore, joint military activities are increasing in the Asia-Pacific region. These activities are creating major opportunities for the satellite communication market in the defense sector.

The governments in the region are evidently increasing their military budgets. For example, the Government of India allocated INR 4,04,365 crore (USD 62.8 billion) for the Ministry of Defense (MoD).

 Satellite Communication Market Growth by Region

Competitive Landscape

The satellite communication market in the defense sector is fragmented and competitive in nature. Some of the key players in the satellite communication market in the defense sector are Baker Hughes Incorporated, Globecomm Systems, Inmarsat Communications, and Iridium Communications Inc. among others. The market is not only influenced by the price, but also by the products’ performance. The leading companies offer several advantages, such as better performance of products, more abundant product types, and better technical and impeccable after-sales service, as compared to the other players in the market.

  • June, 2018 - Viasat acquirred Horsebridge Defence and Security, in order to enhance its military opportunities with the UK defense forces. Through this acquisition, the Viasat UK group gained higher military communications integration expertise, enabling the company to continue to grow its business in the UK defense market, by delivering mission-critical ground-based communication networks and services.

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 Increased Seaborne Threats and Ambiguous Maritime Security Policies

      2. 4.3.2 Rise in the Demand for Merchant Shipping

    4. 4.4 Market Restraints

      1. 4.4.1 Lack of Awareness about the Advanced Satellite Service Market

      2. 4.4.2 Reliance on High-cost Satellite Equipment

    5. 4.5 Value Chain / Supply Chain Analysis

    6. 4.6 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.6.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.6.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.6.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.6.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.6.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 By Type

      1. 5.1.1 Ground Equipment (Gateway, Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) Equipment, Network Operation Center (NOC), and Satellite News Gathering (SNG) Equipment)

      2. 5.1.2 Service (Mobile Satellite Services (MSS), Fixed Satellite Services, and Earth Observation Services)

    2. 5.2 By Application

      1. 5.2.1 Surveillance and Tracking

      2. 5.2.2 Remote Sensing

      3. 5.2.3 Disaster Recovery

      4. 5.2.4 Other Applications

    3. 5.3 Geography

      1. 5.3.1 North America

      2. 5.3.2 Europe

      3. 5.3.3 Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.3.4 Latin America

      5. 5.3.5 Middle East & Africa


    1. 6.1 Company Profiles

      1. 6.1.1 Globecomm Systems Inc.

      2. 6.1.2 Inmarsat Communications

      3. 6.1.3 Iridium Communications Inc.

      4. 6.1.4 KVH Industries Inc.

      5. 6.1.5 Orbcomm Inc.

      6. 6.1.6 Cobham PLC

      7. 6.1.7 Thuraya Telecommunications Company

      8. 6.1.8 ViaSat Inc.

      9. 6.1.9 VT iDirect Inc.

      10. 6.1.10 L3 Technologies Inc.

    2. *List Not Exhaustive


**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Satellite Communication Market in the Defense Sector market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The Satellite Communication Market in the Defense Sector is growing at a CAGR of 6.9% over the next 5 years.

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

North America holds highest share in 2020.

KVH Industries Inc., Globecomm Systems Inc., Inmarsat Communications, Iridium Communications Inc., Orbcomm Inc. are the major companies operating in Satellite Communication Market in the Defense Sector.

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