Growth of Lethal Miniature Aerial Munition Systems Powered by Emerging Disruptions
Miniature kamikaze drones offer game-changing technology and potential to highly disrupt infantry mortar system sales
Lethal miniature aerial munition systems, or LMAMS, are man-portable launchers, guidance systems, and small uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS). Other names include precision attack loitering munition (PALM) and kamikaze drones. They fly like a model plane or helicopter, are battery-powered, and armies can bring them into action and fire them in seconds.
The LMAMS concept is rooted in the 1980s during the Cold War when novel Israeli technology had gained interest as a means to have a top-attack drone fly in a fixed pattern until it detected a radar signal and either attacked it or ran out of fuel and crashed. In an all-out war scenario, this concept was considered viable, but the following decades saw an easing of tensions with the fall of the Soviet Union and conflicts dominated by near un-contested air power providing the air-land battle strike component. With the return to old tensions, new ones in Europe, and the Indo-Pacific air superiority no longer assured, means were sought to fill the gap, initially for special operations forces, but now spreading to front-line combat infantry, especially as a way to replace heavy training and ammunition-intensive weapon systems such as mortars.
Catering to military forces and associated industries, this study identifies emerging trends, market values, and opportunity areas in a market predicted to grow rapidly as many systems adopted by the United States tend to proliferate across NATO and its partner nations. The study provides insights into the reasoning behind this forecast period (2021–2026) benefitting defense and commercial industry leaders who may consider entering this relatively open market when seeking new avenues to enhance their portfolios.
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