Global UAV market worth US$94 billion over next decade


The world Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) market will double over the next decade, totalling US$94 billion over the next ten years, according to the Teal Group.

In its 2011 UAV Market Profile and Forecast report, the Group says out of the world aerospace industry, the UAV market sector has shown the most dynamic growth this decade.

Their new market study estimates that UAV spending will almost double from US$5.9 billion per year to US$11.3 billion, totalling just over US$94 billion in the next ten years.
“The UAV market will continue to be strong despite cuts in defence spending,” Philip Finnegan, Teal Group’s director of corporate analysis and an author of the study, said in a statement. “UAVs have proved their value in Iraq and Afghanistan and will be a high priority for militaries in the United States and worldwide.”

The United States is the biggest UAV market in the world and will account for 69% of procurement over the next decade, the report says. It adds that the US will account for 77% of worldwide Research Development Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) spending on UAV technology.
“We expect that the sales of UAVs will follow recent patterns of high-tech arms procurement worldwide, with the Asia-Pacific representing the second largest market, followed very closely by Europe,” said Teal Group senior analyst Steve Zaloga, another author of the 458-page study. “Africa and Latin America are expected to continue to be very modest markets for UAVs.”

The study also looks at the prospects of UAV payloads, such as radars, electro-optical/infrared sensors, electronic warfare and signals intelligence equipment, and estimates that these payloads are worth US$2.6 billion in the 2011 fiscal year, but will increase to US$5.6 billion in FY2020.

The UAV electronics market will grow steadily, with especially fast growth and opportunities continuing in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and signals intelligence/electronic warfare (SIGING/EW) technology, according to Dr David Rockwell, third author of the study.
“The payload portion of the 2011 study includes many new systems and system types, with expanded coverage of SIGINT/EW and SAR markets,” said Rockwell. “Few now question the US Air Force’s claim that ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) is the centrepiece of our global war on terrorism, with production beginning for major endurance UAV systems such as MP-RTIP and ASIP; new RDT&E programmes such as wide angle EO/IR systems, and a variety of ground and foliage-penetrating radars, and future development efforts to bring large-aircraft capabilities to small UAVs; tactical and mini/micro/nano-UAVs will continue to offer some of the best electronics opportunities over the next decade.”

The study also includes a UAV Manufacturers Market Overview that reflects the worldwide UAV market “continuing as one of the prime areas of growth for defence and aerospace companies,” said Finnegan.

The report also looks at the rapidly growing number of UAV businesses, mostly in the US, Europe and Israel. “Smaller companies can successfully compete against larger players, as AAI Corp, Insitu, General Atomics and AeroVironment,” Finnegan said. “Now the prime contractors are buying the successful smaller companies.” In the past year, L-3 Communications bought Airborne Technologies, a small UAV developer and manufacturer, and VT Group purchased Evergreen’s UAV fee-for-service operations.

Meanwhile, ASDReports earlier predicted that the global UAV market will be worth US$71 billion between 2010 and 2020, and noted that UAV spending in 2009 reached US$5.1 billion. Similarly, VisionGain said in 2009 that the global UAV market will see total annual revenues of US$8.83 billion by 2020 while the global Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) market will reach US$1.35 billion per annum in the same period. Spending on UGVs amounted to approximately US$418 million in 2010.

The overall annual global market for military robotics will grow from US$5.8 billion in 2010 to more than US$8 billion in 2016, according to a new study by ABI Research.

Defence spending is on the increase around the world, and also held up well during the recession. Indeed, worldwide military expenditure reached $1 531bn in 2009, a 5.9% rise in real terms from 2008, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri). Whilst deficits ballooned in many countries, the world spent almost 50% more on arms and military operations in 2009 than it did in 2000, Sipri’s yearbook reveals.

As it recovers from the global recession, the world aerospace and defence industry is expected to earn revenues of US$399 by 2015, according to a new report by Global Industry Analysts (GIA).