Global spending on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will almost double over the next decade from $5.7 billion annually at present to $9.9 billion, totalling just over $77 billion in the next ten years, according to a new report.
“The UAV market continues to evolve and become an increasingly global market,” said Philip Finnegan, Teal Group’s director of corporate analysis and an author of the 2014 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) integrated market study.
“Our 2014 UAV study calculates the UAV market at 89% military, 11% civil cumulative for the decade, with the numbers shifting to 86% military and 14% civil by the end of the 10-year forecast.”
“The Teal Group study predicts that the US will account for 65% of the worldwide RDT&E spending on UAV technology over the next decade, and 53% of the procurement,” said Teal Group senior analyst Steve Zaloga, another author of the study.
The 2014 study provides 10-year funding and production forecasts for a wide range of UAV payloads, including Electro-Optic/Infrared Sensors (EO/IR), Synthetic Aperture Radars (SARs), SIGINT and EW Systems, and C4I Systems, forecast to double in value from $2.8 billion in FY14 to $5.6 billion in FY23, according to Dr David Rockwell, author of the electronics portion of the new study.
“The overall UAV electronics market will continue to be the world’s fastest-growing aerospace payload market, but not through continued growth of ‘the usual suspects’ from the past decade,” said Rockwell.
“Instead,” he said, “new sensor programmes for current and future air vehicles will result in more unexpected growth spurts and losses.”
The worldwide UAV market is “again continuing as one of the prime areas of growth for defence and aerospace companies,” said Finnegan.
As prime contractors and small companies compete in the dynamic UAV market, they are adopting widely different strategies. “Our overview tracks these widely varying approaches being taken by these key companies, ranging from outright acquisitions to teaming arrangements and internal development of new UAV systems,” said Finnegan.
“It shows how companies worldwide are responding to the growth of the UAV market and the extent to which a new breed of technology companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon are working to position themselves in the UAV market.”