The global unmanned aerial vehicles market, worth an estimated $7.1 billion this year, is expected to grow by 4 percent over the next 10 years, reaching $10.5 billion in 2021, according to a new report from DefenceWeb.
According to Strategic Defence Intelligence, the 4.08 percent compound annual growth rate for the UAV market will be driven by internal and external security threats, modernization initiatives and territorial disputes. The result? A UAV market that will be worth $91.7 billion between now and 2021.
The report found that North American and European countries will spend most on UAVs, while the global market will be dominated by American manufacturers, although Europe’s market share is predicted to increase. Strategic Defence Intelligence predicts that largest growth will come from the Asia-Pacific region, primarily due to its tense security environment. China and India, for example, are pushing ahead with the development of indigenous UAVs.
The United States, the biggest UAV market in the world, will account for a whopping 69 percent of procurement over the next decade, according to the press release.
"The UAV market will continue to be strong despite cuts in defence spending," Philip Finnegan, Teal Group's director of corporate analysis, 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 global economic slowdown has reduced military expenditure worldwide, as a consequence of which a significant number of countries are establishing joint projects to share R&D costs. Partnerships between defense firms have also increased, as a significant number of countries are investing in the development of their domestic UAV industries by establishing strategic alliances and technology-transfer agreements with global UAV manufacturers, Strategic Defence Intelligence notes.
Due to emerging technologies and changing environments, UAV manufacturers are investing in new UAV technologies, particularly stealth. Demand for solar powered UAVs has increased as they offer improved endurance and reduced maintenance costs.