Frigates set to be fastest growing segment in global naval vessels and surface market by 2029

With Western defense budgets increasing and continued growth in Asia-Pacific, there is a strong demand for naval force procurement and modernization with 215 new frigates expected to enter service worldwide between 2019 and 2029. According to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, frigates are expected to account for 28.7% revenue share of the total market by 2029, up from 22% in 2019.

GlobalData’s latest report: ‘The Global Naval Vessels and Surface Combatants Market 2019–2029’ states that the global naval vessels and surface combatants market is valued at US$36.7bn in 2019, and will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.97%, to reach US$44.6bn by 2029. The value of the frigates sector will grow at a CAGR of 4.39% to reach US$12.67bn by 2029.

Frigates, owing to their multi-tasking capabilities, provide major advantages for navies worldwide. These ships can be equipped with advanced weaponry and communication systems, which facilitate the effective performance of multiple tasks such as anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-air warfare, destruction of ground targets, search and rescue and maritime security operations.

Captain Nurettin Sevi (Rtd.), Turkish Navy, Defense Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Modern frigates are versatile and high endurance platforms that can perform multiple missions with their modular structure and advanced capabilities.”

Shipbuilding developments in the frigate market continue at pace. The US Navy released a force-structure goal in 2016 that calls for achieving and maintaining a fleet of 355 ships of certain types and numbers. This number was reiterated in the 2019 shipbuilding plan and the target is expected to be achieved by 2034. The proposed force structure includes 55 frigates, comprising 35 Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs) and 20 guided-missile frigates (FFG(X)s).

On June 20, 2019, the US Navy released its Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Detail Design and Construction (DD&C) contract for up to 10 ships in FFG(X) program and plans to award the contract in 2020. Several companies are competing for this. The First FFG(X) will be procured in FY2020, the next 18 at a rate of two per year in FY2021-FY2029, and the 20th in 2030.

Sevi concludes: “Next generation frigates can take more flexible and independent roles in naval operations than traditional single role vessels in large geographical areas with their versatile capabilities, high speeds and long operation ranges.”

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