The aerospace and defence industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the pressing need for modernisation and the growing importance of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and unmanned systems. In the last three years alone, there have been over 174,000 patents filed and granted in the aerospace and defence industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in Aerospace, Defence & Security: Sensor-guided aiming assists. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 262,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the aerospace and defence industry, there are 180+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Sensor-guided aiming assists is a key innovation area in soldier modernisation

Sensors can be used to improve shot accuracy for targets aimed at from handheld firearms. Multiple sensors can be linked to provide improved accuracy, and can stretch beyond the firearm itself. In training ranges, the target can be linked to the weapon to further improve shot accuracy.

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 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defence companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of sensor-guided aiming assists.

Key players in sensor-guided aiming assists – a disruptive innovation in the aerospace and defence industry

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

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

Patent volumes related to sensor-guided aiming assists

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Hvrt 36 Unlock Company Profile
Leupold & Stevens 32 Unlock Company Profile
Cubic 30 Unlock Company Profile
Raytheon Technologies 29 Unlock Company Profile
SHELTERED WINGS 23 Unlock Company Profile
Asia Optical 23 Unlock Company Profile
Talon Precision Optics 21 Unlock Company Profile
Vista Outdoor 20 Unlock Company Profile
Trijicon 19 Unlock Company Profile
Burris 17 Unlock Company Profile
Talon Pgf 16 Unlock Company Profile
GS Development 15 Unlock Company Profile
Aimpoint 13 Unlock Company Profile
Teledyne Technologies 12 Unlock Company Profile
Torrey Pines Logic 11 Unlock Company Profile
Wilcox Industries 10 Unlock Company Profile
HORUS VISION 9 Unlock Company Profile
Sofresud 8 Unlock Company Profile
BUSHNELL 7 Unlock Company Profile
Instem Clinical 7 Unlock Company Profile
SIG SAUER 5 Unlock Company Profile
LIGHTFORCE USA 5 Unlock Company Profile
Carl Zeiss Stiftung 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Hvrt is one of the leading patent filers in Sensor-guided aiming assists. Some other key patent filers in the aerospace and defence industry include Cubic, Raytheon Technologies and SHELTERED WINGS. 

In terms of application diversity, Cubic leads the pack. Torrey Pines Logic and Sofresud stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Sofresud held the top position, followed by Trijicon, GS Development, Komatsu and SHELTERED WINGS. 

Sensor-guided aiming assists has so far had a sizeable number of patents filed by companies with a primarily commercial market focus. However, defence companies such as Hvrt, Cubic and Raytheon Technologies are also greatly contributing to the number of filed patents as they seek to expand innovation in this area. This will provide the customers of their weapon systems with the ability to fire more accurately.

To further understand how soldier modernisation is disrupting the aerospace and defence industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Soldier Modernization.

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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.