Asia will surpass the U.S. in C4ISR spending by 2025

The global C4ISR market led by electronic warfare spending is forecast to grow by 4 percent annually as regional powers look to protect expanding forces.

Growing demand for mobile command systems in the Middle East and other war zones is driving the global C4ISR market as network centric warfare strategies begin to dominate the connected battlefield.

Meanwhile, China and other regional powers are expected to make the Asia Pacific region the leading market for C4ISR technologies over the next decade, according to new industry surveys.

A market forecast released this week by Transparency Market Research also stresses that electronic warfare systems account for the biggest share of the global C4ISR market, a trend that is expected to continue though its 2025 forecast period. Much of the growth in the EW sector will be driven by China, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates, the survey said, which are beefing up military electronics capabilities to protect expanding land, sea and air forces while improving situational awareness.

"The U.S. involvement in wars in the Middle East has highlighted the necessity for systems to allow militaries to work in hostile and remote environments," the market research said. "In particular, ongoing threats of terrorism in the Middle East have enlarged the need for rapid deployable solutions that provide C4ISR capabilities to intelligence and military units."

A separate C4ISR market survey released in February estimates the global electronic warfare market alone currently totals about $28 billion. The EW market is expected to grow at a 4.2-percent annual clip through 2022 to an estimated $35 billion, according to market researcher Mordor Intelligence.

While North America remains the largest market for C4ISR technologies ranging from battle space management systems to high capacity real-time networks, the market forecast predicts that the Asia Pacific region led by China will emerge as the largest C4ISR market by 2025.

The Asia Pacific is forecast to register the highest annual growth "due to threats of war between various countries such as China, North Korea, Pakistan and India," the survey warns.

Still, the leading manufacturers of C4ISR systems remain in the United States, with only Thales Group of France and the French subsidiary of military communications maker Harris Corp. expected to make a dent in supplying the global C4ISR market over the next eight years.

A nascent Russian military that has displayed renewed electronic warfare capabilities is expected to boost demand for C4ISR systems within NATO and the European Union. Fueling demand will be growing requirement for interoperable communications among NATO partners. France, Italy and the U.K. are expected to largest buyers of C4ISR equipment as they seek to modernize their forces against Russian moves in Eastern Europe, according to the Mordor Intelligence forecast.