The increased usage of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) has become topical but, regardless of the debates related to ethics and accountability, the importance of UAS will continue to strengthen. Though many nations have strong unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) aspirations, availability of funds reflects the actual market revenue. This Frost & Sullivan research study analyses the impact of the changing patterns in defence spending and assesses the UAS market in the twenty countries with the highest military expenditures. An assessment is made on individual procurement programs in each of the countries, and the forecast is based on raw data collected from extensive primary and secondary research. 

The spending by the United States for mid- and large-sized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will decrease from $5.09 billion in 2011 to $2.35 billion in 2020.

  • This reduction in spending by the United States is expected to slow down the global UAV market which will be partly compensated by the European and Asian markets.
  • Asia Pacific (APAC) and European markets will witness a growth rate of 26.3 percent and 20.3 percent, respectively, from 2010 to 2020.
  • Competition in MALE UAV segment will be intense in Europe, as there is a trend of increasing collaborations to develop medium altitude, long endurance (MALE) UAVs.
  • The Asian market has a strong immediate demand for high altitude, long endurance (HALE) and medium altitude, long endurance (MALE) UAVs.
  • During 2011 to 2020, 41 HALE and 202 MALE UAVs are expected to be procured in the APAC region.
  • The Middle East and Latin American markets are largely untapped.  Middle East and Latin American markets are expected to grow at rate of 15.1 percent and 19.3 percent, respectively from, 2010 to 2020.
  • Ongoing military operations and force modernization efforts are the major drivers for the military UAV market.
  • Withdrawal from Afghanistan will have an impact on the UAV market, as the existing lease agreements will come to an end.
  • In the long term, withdrawal from Afghanistan will turn into a driver, as the countries will be able to allocate resources for equipment procurements.
  • The global market for medium and large sized VTOLs is still nascent. It is expected that about 279 VTOLs will be procured between 2011 and 2020. 

Key Questions Answered: 

  • Is the unmanned aerial vehicles market growing? How long will it continue to grow and at what rate?
  • What will be the strategic implications on the global defence spending pattern?
  • What are these countries’ unmanned aerial vehicle requirements for the next ten years?
  • What are these countries’ current procurement plans?