A sonobuoy refers to a portable sonar system that is used for tracking underwater objects and conducting research. It consists of a radio transmitter and hydrophones for transmitting ultra-high frequency (UHF). The sonobuoys are launched into the ocean by aircraft and ships for marine patrol and anti-submarine warfare applications. Some of the common types of sonobuoys include passive, active, multi-static, bathythermograph and Differential Acoustic Frequency Analysis and Reading (DIFAR) buoys. They transmit sound waves to the seabed, which gets reflected to the buoy, and assist in detecting the presence of other submarines within the range to prevent potential attacks.
The global sonobuoy market exhibited moderate growth during 2015-2020. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to grow at a CAGR of 6.4% during 2021-2026. Keeping in mind the uncertainties of COVID-19, we are continuously tracking and evaluating the direct as well as the indirect influence of the pandemic on different end use sectors.
Significant growth in the maritime industry across the globe is one of the key factors creating a positive outlook of the market. Furthermore, the increasing adoption of sonobuoys to detect the presence of other submarines and monitor underwater seismic waves is also driving the market growth. Sonobuoys also find extensive applications across the oil and gas industry wherein they are used for mapping the composition of the seabed layers to identify salt domes and oil deposits. This, along with various technological advancements, such as the utilization of advanced sensing, range and direction capabilities, is acting as another growth-inducing factor. Active sonobuoys are incorporated with advanced radio transducers, receivers and acoustic sensing systems to enhance operational efficiency. Other factors, including increasing defense expenditure and the growing adoption of unmanned underwater vehicles, are expected to drive the market further.
The competitive landscape of the market includes the key players being General Dynamics Mission Systems, Radixon Group Pty Ltd (Robotron PTY Ltd.), Sealandaire Technologies Inc., Sparton Corporation, Tata Advanced Systems, Thales Group and Ultra Group.