The aerospace and defense industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by automation, environmental sustainability, and operational efficiency, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), drones, and satellites. In the last three years alone, there have been over 237,000 patents filed and granted in the aerospace and defense industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in defense: firearm sound suppression. Buy the report here.

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However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

110 innovations will shape the aerospace and defense industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the aerospace and defense industry using innovation intensity models built on over 206,000 patents, there are 110 innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, aircraft fuel cell APUs, self-calibrating scanners, and vibration supression devices are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Aircraft ultrasonic inspection, aircraft power distribution network, and contour scanning interferometry are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are precision-guided firearms and aircraft power management, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the aerospace and defense industry

Firearm sound suppression is a key innovation area in aerospace and defense

Firearm sound suppression refers to the reduction of noise generated during a firearm's discharge through the use of suppressor technologies. These technologies work by reducing the pressure and temperature of the gases that exit the firearm, thereby reducing the noise that is produced.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 40 companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defense companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of firearm sound suppression.

Key players in firearm sound suppression – a disruptive innovation in the aerospace and defense industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to firearm sound suppression

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Gamo Outdoor 23 Unlock Company Profile
Beretta U.S.A. 10 Unlock Company Profile
AECOM 3 Unlock Company Profile
Ceska zbrojovka 5 Unlock Company Profile
Daniel Defense 9 Unlock Company Profile
Herstal 1 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 1 Unlock Company Profile
Smith & Wesson Brands 17 Unlock Company Profile
SIG SAUER 17 Unlock Company Profile
Sturm, Ruger 16 Unlock Company Profile
Remington Outdoor 22 Unlock Company Profile
Silencerco 18 Unlock Company Profile
Polaris Capital 7 Unlock Company Profile
UT-Battelle 3 Unlock Company Profile
Saab 10 Unlock Company Profile
AXT 6 Unlock Company Profile
Tactical Solutions 1 Unlock Company Profile
U.S. Department of Defence 6 Unlock Company Profile
Oneok 2 Unlock Company Profile
SureFire 34 Unlock Company Profile
BAE Systems 11 Unlock Company Profile
RACI 11 Unlock Company Profile
Corporate Office Properties Trust 11 Unlock Company Profile
Inovation 2 Unlock Company Profile
Electricite de France 1 Unlock Company Profile
FLODESIGN 14 Unlock Company Profile
Outdoor Services 11 Unlock Company Profile
FN America 2 Unlock Company Profile
Great Outdoors 11 Unlock Company Profile
Saeilo Enterprises 2 Unlock Company Profile
Silencerco 3 Unlock Company Profile
ZEV Technologies 4 Unlock Company Profile
White Mark Dba Liston Resources 2 Unlock Company Profile
Colt Canada Ip Holding Partnership 7 Unlock Company Profile
Fgi Finance 11 Unlock Company Profile
Ra Brands 11 Unlock Company Profile
32E Productions 11 Unlock Company Profile
Chongqing Jianshe Industry (Group) 1 Unlock Company Profile
L&O Hunting Group 1 Unlock Company Profile
Davinci Arms 4 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Gamo Outdoor is one of the leading patent filers in firearm sound suppression. Some of the patents filed by the company are related to the method and process of manufacturing silencer-equipped bull barrels, rifles, and sports guns.

Gamo's patented Whisper technology is one of the leading performers in sound suppression within the air rifle industry. The technology is divided into three tiers, Whisper, Whisper Maxxim, and Whisper Fusion, offering performance levels from quiet to the quietest.

Some other key patent filers in this space include Remington Outdoor Company, Silencerco, and Smith & Wesson Brands.   

In terms of application diversity, Daniel Defense, Saab, and the US Department of Defence are some of the leading innovators. By means of geographic reach, some of the leading patent filers include Beretta U.S.A., Colt Canada, and Ceska zbrojovka.  

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the aerospace and defense industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Aerospace & Defense

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries