Significant Global Demand Pushes UAV Sales to Top $82B over Next 10 Years


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Few markets can demonstrate a double-digit growth, but unmanned systems have achieved just that over the last decade.

A new study by IHS Markit found that US demand and growing global expansion will drive the market for defense and security applications to achieve a compound annual growth rate of 6.4%, rising from $6 billion today to more than $11 billion per year by 2025.

US drives the market but big opportunities abroad

The US continues to drive the market through significant research and development and production sales, but there are growing opportunities from Asia/Oceania, Europe and the Middle East. Exports are also counting for a greater share of the overall market.

Overall, sales in Asia/Oceania will almost double from $8 billion in total sales between 2016 and 2020 to more than $15 billion in sales between 2021 and 2025. IHS Jane’s expect sales to more than double in China between now and 2025 to more than $9 billion due to growing investment and overall demand.  “As tension builds in East Asia, so does advancements in UAV programmes,” Maple said. “Strong growth is expected in India as well, due to its significant border requirements.” India is increasing its UAV budget to more than $3.5 billion over the next 10 years.

In Europe, sales are also increasing. Europe will spend $6.9 billion on UAVs sales between 2016 and 2020. During the next five-year period, sales will almost double to just over $12 billion.

“There is increasing teaming activity as suppliers try to capture greater markets and share new developments, with many nations investing in their own unmanned industries to compete more and more as we move into the next decade,” Maple said. “It is possible that we will see much greater teaming between existing leaders and rising stars.”

Stealth and endurance key needs for future tech

UAVs will require increased all-weather capability and a growing need for much greater integration between assets, whether manned or unmanned, the IHS Jane’s report said.  In the longer term, stealth will play a greater role, and mission endurance will be pushed further – with systems for high-altitude and very long endurance emerging.

“Integration into non-segregated airspace is becoming critically important globally as operations expand, with rules and regulations needed to address this demand – for military and civil markets alike,” Maple said.

About IHS Markit

IHS Markit is a world leader in critical information, analytics and expertise to forge solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 key business and government customers, including 85 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions.  Headquartered in London, IHS Markit is committed to sustainable, profitable growth.

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