High Intensity Warfare (HIW) / High Intensity Conflict (HIC) – Thematic Research

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High Intensity Warfare High Intensity Conflict Theme Analysis Report Overview

The concept of high intensity warfare (HIW) or high intensity conflict (HIC) has rapidly become a dominant theme within the global defense market over the last few years, with recent events such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine in Europe, Chinese territorial disputes with nations across Southeast Asia, and continued proxy wars between Iran, Israel, and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East cementing the importance of remaining informed and prepared for such a scenario.

The scale and complexity of HIW dictate that to succeed, participants need to focus most of their geopolitical and socio-economic capabilities on supporting the war effort, with major financial and logistical implications for not only the defense market but for international trade itself.

What are the key trends that will shape the high intensity warfare theme in the coming months?

The key trends that will shape the high intensity warfare theme in the coming months can be divided into three categories: technology trends, macroeconomic trends, and regulatory trends.

Technology trends

The main technology trends that will impact the high intensity warfare theme are artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), directed energy (DE) and laser weapons systems (LWS), electronic warfare (EW), multi-role systems and platforms, space warfare, and unmanned systems.

Macroeconomic trends

The main macroeconomic trends that will impact the high intensity warfare theme are manpower reductions, rising defense budgets, rising costs of new vehicle platforms and R&D initiatives, and punitive economic sanctions.

Regulatory trends

The main regulatory trends that will impact the high intensity warfare theme are shortened procurement timelines, security organizations coordination, international law, and the intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) treaty.

What are the key high intensity warfare value chains?

The key high intensity warfare value chains can be divided into five segments: light arms & remote weapons stations (RWS), aircraft, vessels, & armored vehicles, ammunition & missiles, C4ISR systems, and unmanned technologies.

Light arms and remote weapons stations (RWS)

One of the primary value chains within the context of any armed conflict concerns the market for light arms and vehicle-mounted weapons stations, a market that becomes even more important when engaged in HIW. The light arms that equip almost every infantry soldier and a military service member must be capable of defeating hostile defensive systems, easy and affordable to mass produce, simple to operate/train with, and mechanically resilient to the various adverse kinetic or environmental conditions which may affect their functions in combat.

Aircraft, vessels, and armored vehicles

Likely the largest and most diverse value chain in the HIW theme, aircraft, vessels, and armored vehicles will account for most military procurement contracts and total financial value, as the development of advanced platforms such as the Joint Strike Fighter, Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, and robotic combat vehicles continue to generate billions of dollars in defense expenditure.

Ammunition and missiles

The market for ammunition and missiles had remained relatively stagnant in terms of investment and innovation between 2000 and 2016, as the focus on counter-insurgency operations reduced the need for significant advances in missile and ammunition technologies.

C4ISR systems

C4ISR systems are designed to facilitate the analysis and dissemination of tactical and strategic information in a theater of operations, enhancing situational awareness, survivability, lethality, and sustainability across all domains and reflecting the wider shift to the network-centric operations envisioned by the US JADC2 concept.

Unmanned technologies

The unmanned technologies value chain is arguably the most dynamic and fastest-growing market with regards to the HIW theme, as the added degree of survivability and situational awareness provided by these platforms has proven to have a transformative effect on the conduct of combat operations in both low and high intensity conflicts.

Which are the leading companies associated with the high intensity warfare theme?

Some of the leading companies that are associated with the high intensity warfare theme are A&P Group, AeroVironment, Airbus Group, Aimpoint, AM General, Aselsan, Atos, Avon Protection, BAE Systems, and Bell Helicopters.

Which are the emerging companies associated with the high intensity warfare theme?

Some of the emerging companies that are associated with the high intensity warfare theme are Accenture, Amazon Web Services, Anduril Industries, ARES Shipyards, Arquus, Aselsan, Baykar, Best Group, BlackSky Technology, and China Shipbuilding Industries Corp.

For more insights on the high intensity warfare theme or high intensity conflict (HIC), download a free report sample

Market report scope

Key trends Technology Trends, Macroeconomic Trends, and Regulatory Trends
Key value chains Light Arms & Remote Weapons Stations (RWS), Aircraft, Vessels, & Armored Vehicles, Ammunition & Missiles, C4ISR Systems, and Unmanned Technologies
Leading companies A&P Group, AeroVironment, Airbus Group, Aimpoint, AM General, Aselsan, Atos, Avon Protection, BAE Systems, and Bell Helicopters
Emerging companies Accenture, Amazon Web Services, Anduril Industries, ARES Shipyards, Arquus, Aselsan, Baykar, Best Group, BlackSky Technology, and China Shipbuilding Industries Corp


  • The key defense challenges that forces and defense sector suppliers face are covered.
  • The investment opportunities for armed forces, suppliers, and institutional investors, across the whole high intensity warfare value chains, are covered.
  • Highlights from the range of different international military procurement and development programs currently being undertaken by various nation states.

Key Highlights

Studies of emerging technological trends and their broader impact on the defense market.

Analysis of the impact high intensity warfare has on defense product development in the various domains of modern conflicts

Reasons to Buy

  • Determine potential investment companies based on trend analysis and market projections.
  • Gaining an understanding of the market challenges and opportunities surrounding the High Intensity Warfare theme.
  • Understanding how spending across the global defense market will be impacted by the heightened focus on high intensity warfare in years to come.

BAE Systems
Elbit Systems
Northrop Grumman
General Dynamics
Heckler & Koch
SIG Sauer
Huntington Ingalls
Naval Group
Lockheed Martin
Hanwha Defence
Kratos Defense
FN Herstal
MilRem Robotics
Spirit Aerosystems
FLIR Teledyne Systems
General Atomics
Oshkosh Defense

Table of Contents


Executive Summary


Thematic Briefing

  • Contextualizing the high intensity warfare theme


  • Technology trends
  • Macroeconomic trends
  • Regulatory trends

Industry Analysis

  • Market size and growth forecasts
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Patent trends
  • Company filings trends
  • Hiring trends
  • Case Studies
  • Timeline

Value Chain

  • Light arms and remote weapons stations (RWS)
  • Aircraft, vessels, and armored vehicles
  • Ammunition and missiles
  • C4ISR systems
  • Unmanned technologies


  • Leading companies
  • Disruptor companies

Sector Scorecards

  • Aerospace, defense & security sector scorecard


Further Reading

Our Thematic Research Methodology

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