The aerospace and defence industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the pressing need for widespread capability modernisation and the growing importance of 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 High intensity warfare in Aerospace, Defence & Security: Silencer type muzzle attachments. 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.

Silencer type muzzle attachments is a key innovation area in soldier modernisation

Silencers, also known as suppressors, were developed during the 20th century to reduce a firearm’s muzzle flash and sound signature, thus reducing the risk of detection and mitigating the threat of medical conditions in allied forces due to hearing loss. Silencers are comprised of baffled tubes that siphon off excess gases from the weapon’s muzzle and dissipate them slowly to achieve the desired effect. Though originally designed for special operations forces and covert missions, silencers are becoming increasingly ubiquitous on the global small arms market due to their numerous practical benefits, with the US military having spearheaded the concept of silencers as standard infantry equipment over the past decade.

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 silencer type muzzle attachments.

Key players in silencer type muzzle attachments – 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 silencer type muzzle attachments

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
SureFire 34 Unlock Company Profile
Gamo Outdoor 23 Unlock Company Profile
Remington Outdoor Company 22 Unlock Company Profile
SIG SAUER 15 Unlock Company Profile
Sturm, Ruger & Co 15 Unlock Company Profile
Silencerco 15 Unlock Company Profile
Smith & Wesson Brands 14 Unlock Company Profile
FLODESIGN 14 Unlock Company Profile
BAE Systems 11 Unlock Company Profile
RACI Holding 11 Unlock Company Profile
Outdoor Services 11 Unlock Company Profile
Great Outdoors, 11 Unlock Company Profile
FGI Holding 11 Unlock Company Profile
Fgi Finance 11 Unlock Company Profile
Ra Brands 11 Unlock Company Profile
32E Productions 11 Unlock Company Profile
Beretta USA 10 Unlock Company Profile
Daniel Defense 9 Unlock Company Profile
Saab 7 Unlock Company Profile
Colt Canada Ip Holding Partnership 7 Unlock Company Profile
Ceska zbrojovka 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

SureFire is one of the most renowned designers and manufacturers of silencers, and is the leading patent filer in this field of technological expertise. SureFire produces a wide variety of silencers for the military and civilian firearms markets, including the SureFire RC2 series which have gained international acclaim from the US SOCOM and other military special forces institutions. SIG Sauer is another prominent developer of silencers and related technologies, having developed its new SLX suppressor using novel additive manufacturing techniques for the US Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) programme. Gamo Outdoor and Remington Outdoor have also remained very active in the field of suppressor development, having published several patents for new suppressor designs which could be marketed to both the armed forces and civilian hunters or firearms enthusiasts. Some other key patent filers in the aerospace and defence industry include Daniel Defense, FLODESIGN, Sturm Ruger, SilencerCo and Smith & Wesson.

In terms of application diversity, SilencerCo is the industry leader with a huge variety of different suppressor systems, followed by Daniel Defense and Gamo Outdoor in the second and third places, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Berretta USA held the top position, followed by Colt Canada and Saab.

Due to recent advances in additive manufacturing, 3D printing and baffle-design technologies, the market for suppressors has expanded dramatically in recent years. The inclusion of a suppressor as part of the US Army’s new rifle standard is a testament to increased visibility and interest in this technology from defence procurement officials, while demand for suppressors for the USA’s civilian shooter market has increased so rapidly that some manufacturers are having difficulty keeping pace. The market for suppressors is expected to continue this upwards trend over the next decade as efforts to modernise soldier equipment expand in light of the growing threat of high intensity warfare.

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.