An infrared search and track (IRST) system, or known as infrared sighting and tracking system, is a method to detect and track objects emitting infrared radiation, such as jet aircraft and helicopters. IRTS system is widely used in security and surveillance in military and national defense fields, especially when stealth aircraft are found without radar.
The biggest advantage of IRST systems is that they do not emit any infrared radiation of their own, which makes them difficult to detect, which is different from radars that emit their own infrared characteristics.
Infrared search and track (IRST) system is a passive information acquisition and processing system. It searches and tracks incoming threat targets such as missiles and aircraft by receiving the infrared radiation of the target and its background.
At present, the infrared search and tracking system mainly works in two bands: 3-5 micron medium wave infrared and 8-14 micron long wave infrared. Medium wave infrared detection system is mainly aimed at targets with high temperature, such as engine tail nozzle, etc., while long wave infrared detection can detect the heat of aircraft external stores, body, skin and wake.
In addition, IRST system has developed to the third-generation technology, which is mainly characterized by long detection and identification distance, 360 ° horizontal panoramic coverage, single band or dual band operation. It has complementary advantages with the active detection radar search and tracking system. The combination of the two can form a large airspace and high-performance search and alarm system. Therefore, it has been widely used in high-value military platforms such as sea, land and air, and plays a great military efficiency.
The infrared search and track (IRST) system is now mainly used in the military field, especially fighter aircraft, warships, army UAVs and unmanned ground vehicles, as well as military monitoring surveillance for front-line combat bases, military borders, etc. Among all applications, air applications are the most, accounting for 86.66%. The main players are Lockheed Martin Corporation, Leonardo SpA, with more than 49.45% market share in 2020. Among them, Lockheed Martin Corporation occupies a significant market share, occupying 37.08% share in 2020.
Since the infrared search and track (IRST) system involves in military and national security, there are very few manufacturers of IRST system, the technology required for products and the R & D cost are very high, and the government and the military are now the main sources of the manufacturers' income. All regions are designated enterprises by military and national security to develop and produce products for the military, so it is very difficult to enter the industry.
The global infrared search and track (IRST) system market size will reach US$ 692.24 million in 2020, which is expected to US$ 1.08 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 5.11% from 2021 to 2027.
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