According to the latest report from Markets and Markets, the Uncrewed Aerial Vehicle (UAV) market is projected to grow from USD 26.2 billion in 2022 to USD 38.3 Billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 7.9% from 2022 to 2027. The market growth can be attributed to growing increased adoption of UAS in commercial applications and increased procurement of UAVs by military forces worldwide.
The acceptance of UAVs or drones has steadily been increasing across the world for use in law enforcement and commercial applications. UAVs are witnessing increased demand owing to their cost-effectiveness and advancements in them over the last couple of years, says the report entitled: UAV market by point of sale, systems, platform, function, end-use, application, type, mode of operation, Mtow, range and region – global forecast to 2027.
Rising demand for military C4ISR capabilities is driving the demand for UAVs. Drones are used to gather data about ongoing and life-threatening military missions with the help of their command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities which are used to reinforce, boost, or implement command and control strategies and directives within military and intelligence frameworks. C4ISR powered by AI uses machine learning to identify and classify tanks and other vehicles, improves image feeds, and also provides driving assistance by giving early warning on obstacles and changing ground conditions. Governments are also quickly adopting these technologies to improve their defense arsenal.
The Markets and Markets report is broken down as follows:
Based on platform, the UAV market has been segmented into civil & commercial and defense & government. The defense & government segment is further segmented into small, tactical, and strategic. Rising demand for defense sector for surveillance, reconnaissance and border security is boosting the demand for defense & government drones. The strategic type of defense & government segment held the leading share of the market in 2022 given the high value of strategic drones such as HALE and MALE. Tactical UAVs fly at altitudes ranging between 3,000 and 8,000 meters and are principally used in military applications. They fill the gap between small UAVs and strategic UAVs by combining the flexibility of small platforms with high-end platforms. The increasing demand for tactical drones that can be hand-launched and have an endurance of about 2 hours with suitable payload capacities to provide the required surveillance information has led to the growth of the tactical drones segment of the UAV industry for defense & government globally.
UAVs perform various functions ranging from transporting passengers to carrying out combat duties. Based on function, the UAV market has been segmented into special purpose drones, passenger drones, inspection & monitoring drones, surveying & mapping drones, spraying & seeding drones, cargo air vehicles, and others. Special purpose drones mainly include decoy drones, swarm drones, combat UAVs, etc., used in military applications. The use of special purpose drone in military and combat operations is driving the demand for these drones. As the name suggests, special purpose drones are specifically designed for performing a particular set of duties. These include aerial combat duties and lethal or swarm tasks. Exo-stratospheric drones also fall in the category of special purpose drones; they remain in the air as launch-effect vehicles. The MQ-9 Reaper by General Atomics (US) is a well-known battlefield drone that is used extensively across the world.
The rising number of UAV manufacturers in China and India and increased procurement of military drones is the major factor driving the market growth in Asia Pacific.
China held the leading share in the Asia Pacific UAV Market during 2022. China is one of the prime manufacturers of drones globally. China focuses on the procurement of tactical UAVs owing to their increased applications in the civil and defense sectors. UAV manufacturers in the country have witnessed an increased demand from various countries of Asia Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East. This is positively affecting the growth of the UAV market in China.
Major players in the UAV market are DJI (China), Parrot Drone SAS (France), Israel Aerospace Industry Ltd. (Israel), AeroVironment, Inc. (US), and Lockheed Martin Corporation (US).
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