Market Research Future (MRFR) reveals in its extensive report that the global unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market is presumed to grow at a CAGR of more than 10% during the forecast period (2017-2023). Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are also referred to as drones, are used as aircraft systems without a human pilot aboard. They are mostly employed in missions which are dangerous for manned aircraft. They are used for applications like mapping, security, surveillance, etc. Moreover, it is used to collect data about certain terrain and battlefield area for military purposes.
Drivers and Restraints
The market growth is positively influenced by increasing adoption of unmanned aerial vehicle in military and commercial sector. Few devices have the ability to carry missiles and hit the target with high accuracy. These are used in aircraft with smaller dimensions to gather information about hostile places before a mission.
Their use in providing extensive information for disaster relief is bound to fuel the overall market growth. Commercial purpose usage is another key factor that is contributing to the overall industry demand. Apart from this, implementation of modern agriculture methods gives major push to the market growth, as they are used for crop spraying, monitoring livestock, crops and water levels. Sophisticated UAV provide a 3D field image which aids in planning for future expansion.
There is a flip side to the driving factors as well, namely government regulations that prohibit the use of UAV, acting as a barrier to the market growth. However, despite the challenges, its application in multiple industries such as oil and gas sector is increasing, which results in a considerable development of the market. increasing usage of UAV across various industries is envisaged to augment the market growth in the foreseeable future as well.
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The global UAV market is segmented on the basis of type, application and platform.
By type, the market is segmented into combat, small, strategic, tactical and others. Combat UAV finds applications for surveillance, artillery fire direction, lasing targets for fighter planes, and post-strike damage assessment. Moreover, the changing nature of advanced warfare is predicted to fuel the growth prospects for the combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) market.
By application, the market is segmented into military, commercial, agriculture and others. Military expenditure coupled with benefits offered by UAVs in military sector such as reducing collateral damage, while hovering, searching, identifying, and striking targets, have turned them into an asset in military operations.
By platform, the market is segmented into fixed-wing, rotary-wing and others. Fixed-wing UAVs possess the capabilities of taking off and landing vertically and then transiting into a horizontal flight which eliminates the need for long runway infrastructure without compromising the speed and endurance. These benefits offered by fixed-wing UAVs fuel the demand for them in commercial, military, and law enforcement applications.
The regional segmentation of the global UAV market is done on the basis of the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC) and the Middle-East.
From the Americas, the United States (U.S) is the global market leader in terms of UAV demand and as a manufacturer. It is globally the largest operator of UAVs. Majority of this demand is augmented by military and defense applications, and the U.S. army is the single largest buyer of UAVs worldwide. Other than large tactical UAVs, many small electric-powered UAVs are now prevalent at war front. UAVs have now become an integral part of the U.S. military and defense used for a number of tactical missions and surveillance purposes. Hence, the market is expected to maintain a consistent growth rate in coming years on account of technological advancements and availability of new cost-effective solutions.
The growth of the market in the APAC region comes close to that of the Americas due to rising commercial applications such as aerial photography, express shipping and delivery, gathering information or supplying essentials for disaster management, geographical mapping of inaccessible terrain and locations, building safety inspections, precision crop monitoring.
Europe has observed a surge in crime and terrorist-related activities past couple of years, with significant danger to the lives of law enforcement personnel. In order to make law enforcement more efficient, nations in the region are taking various steps to augment their forces. British law enforcement agencies are actively planning to put UAVs to regular use, particularly for police work. With United Kingdom being one of the biggest markets for UAVs in Europe, this development will be responsible for the positive growth of the market in the foreseeable future.
The Middle East and Africa region is a lucrative market for UAVs, sustained by its strong demand and major spending on UAV development projects. The region notes extreme weather conditions; therefore, the use of UAVs is quite natural as they can be used in diverse weather conditions without the risks of operational capability and pilot life safety.
Lockheed Martin (U.S.), Northrop Grumman Corporation (U.S.), Airbus (France), AeroVironment, Inc. (U.S.), Boeing (U.S.), Elbit Systems Ltd. (Israel), Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (Israel), Textron Systems (U.S.), Thales Group (France), and BAE Systems (U.K.) are few of the major companies in the global UAV market.
August 2018 – The United Kingdom has ordered six counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. These systems will be used to protect sensitive facilities and the contract is worth $20 million. The system makes it possible to detect threats using radar and a signal intelligence component that monitors the signal broadcast by a UAV in flight.