Improvised explosive devices (IED) have been brutally effective weapons for insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, and increasingly, in other parts of the world. IEDs have been blamed for thousands of deaths of military personnel and also civilians. The US and its allies have responded to the IED threat by spending billions of dollars on vehicles, equipment, personnel and training for counter-IED and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) missions. This has provided very strong demand in recent years in the counter-IED systems market. Based on Visiongain’s research, global spending on counter-IED systems amounted to $7.7 B in 2009.

However, demand is expected to decline from these high levels with the continuing US and allied withdrawal from Iraq and the imminent drawdown in Afghanistan. Visiongain finds a market in decline, albeit still retaining high value due to the central importance placed on countering IEDs.

The new report, The Counter-IED Market 2010-2020: Systems and Technologies for Force Protection, provides an analysis of the global market for mine-resistant vehicles, electronic countermeasures mainly in jammers, IED detection equipment and unmanned systems purposely designed for counter-IED. This report examines corporate announcements and news accounts, policy documents, reports of relevant contracts and original expert views from industry, to analyze how the counter-IED systems market will develop during the period 2010 to 2020.

Although many systems have already been acquired, countries are expected to continue making spending on counter-IED systems a priority in the context of tighter defense spending in general.

The US has by far spent the most in counter-IED systems as it was an urgent and vital part of force protection mainly in Iraq but currently and in the near future, in Afghanistan where US operations have escalated with a surge of tens of thousands of new troops. Major Western-allied powers like the UK, Canada and Australia have followed suit in investing heavily in counter-IED systems. Countries like India, which faces its own insurgent groups who have reportedly taken to using more IEDs, is also likely to become a key market in the future.