Airborne ISR Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2023 - 2028)

The Airborne ISR Market is segmented by Type (Manned, Unmanned), Application (Maritime Patrol, Airborne Ground Surveillance (AGS), Airborne Early Warning System (AEW), and Signals Intelligence (SIGINT)), and Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Middle-East and Africa). The report offers the market size and forecasts for all the above segments by value (USD billion).

Airborne ISR Market Size

Airborne ISR Market Summary
Study Period: 2018 - 2028
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: North America
CAGR: > 6 %

Major Players

Airborne ISR Market Major Players

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order


Need a report that reflects how COVID-19 has impacted this market and it's growth?

Airborne ISR Market Analysis

The airborne ISR Market was valued at USD 6.6 billion in 2021 and is projected to record a CAGR of over 6% during the forecast period 2022-2031.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdowns resulted in a sudden dent in the GDPs of several countries. Also, the pandemic demanded huge and impulsive spending toward the healthcare systems in countries, leading to a scarcity of economic resources. Although the global military spending increased in 2020, this factor is expected to force countries to take a conservative approach toward their future military budgets, thereby hampering the airborne ISR market during the forecast period. The pandemic has resulted in severe disruptions in the supply chains of major ISR programs and has reduced production output. Delays in several developments projects in the airborne ISR industry have also been observed. These factors have negatively impacted players in the related market.

The airborne ISR market is expected to grow as ISR usage is increasing and more countries are adopting ISR technology for securing their borders. Rapid technological developments are breeding disruptive technologies in the defense industry. The increasing use of small unmanned systems for surveillance is further expected to generate demand for electronic components used in ISR missions. Advanced data integration with a multi-level comparative analysis to provide data accuracy and management may provide new market opportunities for the airborne ISR market.

Airborne ISR Industry Segmentation

Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) is an integrated intelligence and operations function that can be defined as a coordinated acquisition, processing, and provision of accurate, relevant, and timely information and intelligence to support the defense force's decision-making process. The report's purview covers ISR systems integrated onboard airborne platforms, such as aircraft, UAVs, HAPS, and aerostat systems. The report also offers the market sizes and forecasts for the airborne ISR market across the major regions in the world. For each segment, the market size and forecasts are done based on value (USD billion).

Maritime Patrol
Airborne Ground Surveillance (AGS)
Airborne Early Warnings (AEW)
Signals Intelligence (SIGNIT)
North America
By Type
By Type
United Kingdom
By Type
By Type
By Type
By Type
Rest of Europe
By Type
By Type
By Type
By Type
South Korea
By Type
Rest of Asia-Pacific
By Type
Latin America
By Type
Rest of Latin America
By Type
Middle-East and Africa
Saudi Arabia
By Type
United Arab Emirates
By Type
Rest of Middle-East and Africa
By Type

Report scope can be customized per your requirements. Click here.

Airborne ISR Market Trends

This section covers the major market trends shaping the Airborne ISR Market according to our research experts:

Unmanned Segment to Experience Highest Growth During the Forecast Period

UAVs have emerged as veritable tools for ISR missions and are, hence, in high demand globally as they provide low-cost alternatives to nations planning to procure aerial assets for ISR and other missions. The emergence of new technologies and platforms has transformed the warfare strategies of nations such as the US, Russia, and China. UAVs are being used extensively in current warfare scenarios due to their visual superiority and capability of performing pre-emptive strikes and surveillance on specific locations. With nations showing a preference for asymmetric warfare, it is expected that UAVs would be deployed in large numbers to collect crucial information that can act as a key decision-making tool. Hence, several nations and defense contractors are significantly increasing R&D investments to enhance their airborne ISR capabilities. For instance, in November 2021, UAE's government-owned EDGE Group launched a series of new additions to its product portfolio of locally developed advanced unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including the QX-5 and QX-6 modern vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drones that are built for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) applications, border security, and other military operations. Thus, the increasing adoption of electronic warfare is expected to drive the demand for superior ISR equipment aboard UAVs, thus, fueling the growth of the unmanned segment of the airborne ISR market.

Airborne ISR Market Revenue Share (%), by Type, 2021

North America Dominated the Market in 2021

North America held the largest market share by geography in 2021. The US is one of the leading investors involved in the modernization of its defense capabilities. The US government and US DoD are planning to begin divesting a few aerial platforms to provide resources to fund emerging ISR capabilities that can penetrate and collect data in the highly contested environment. The Air Force conducts ISR missions to analyze, inform, and provide joint force commanders with the knowledge needed to achieve advantageous decisions. In April 2021, the US Army’s Requirements Oversight Council approved the requirements for its Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft in the form of an Abbreviated Capabilities Development Document (A-CDD) that validates the designs developed by the two companies competing to build the aircraft. Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky and Bell are in a head-to-head competition to build prototypes and fly them beginning in November 2022. The Army is also in the process of bringing online a second technology demonstrator called ARES or Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System after awarding a contract to L3Harris Technologies in November 2020. ARES is based on a Bombardier Global Express 6500 jet that will have a different signals intelligence package on it than Artemis. There has been significant interest in multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft in the US in recent years, which has led to the US placing more orders for maritime patrol aircraft in order to increase its maritime surveillance capabilities. Such developments are expected to drive market growth in the region during the forecast period.

Airborne ISR Market - Growth Rate by Region (2022 - 2031)

Airborne ISR Industry Overview

The airborne ISR market is highly fragmented, with multiple players developing ISR platforms and subsystems for various armed forces. Northrop Grumman Corporation, Boeing, Elbit Systems Ltd, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Raytheon Technologies Corporation are some of the prominent players in the market. However, several local players collaborate with the market incumbents on regional projects to design and integrate smaller subsystems that effectively serve the specific requirements of the regional end-user defense forces. Vendors are competing based on their in-house manufacturing capabilities, global footprint network, product offerings, R&D investments, and a strong client base. Vendors must provide state-of-the-art systems to airborne ISR integrators to survive and succeed in the intensely competitive market environment. A majority of the defense OEMs integrate third-party EO/IR equipment onboard their airborne ISR platforms and try to minimize R&D costs involved in the cross-integration of such systems onboard different platforms.

Airborne ISR Market Leaders

  1. Elbit Systems Ltd

  2. Northrop Grumman Corporation

  3. The Boeing Company

  4. Lockheed Martin Corporation

  5. Raytheon Technologies Corporation

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order

Airborne ISR Market Concentration

Airborne ISR Market News

· In March 2021, the US Navy ordered an additional MQ-4C Triton high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle. The Naval Air Systems Command awarded Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. a USD 98.9 million contract modification to a previously awarded, fixed-priced incentive contract for one additional low-rate initial production Lot Five MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system.

· In February 2021, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) unveiled its new surveillance sensor called WASP (Wide Area Surveillance Payload) that can cover an area as wide as 13 sq. km. from an altitude of 15,000 feet. The airborne surveillance sensor can be mounted on a wide variety of tactical aerial platforms engaged in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

In June 2021, the U.S. Army announced that it has selected the companies L-3 Communications Integrated Systems and Raytheon Applied Signal Technology to design and build prototype sensors for its next-generation airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system. The OTA agreements are valued at USD 4.37 million over an eight-month period in phase 1, but the overall project could ultimately net the companies USD 49 million during the life of the project.

In April 2021, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) announced the arrival of its new Oron intelligence-gathering aircraft. The Oron is a Gulfstream G550 business jet that will have its mission systems installed over the next two years. This process will be led by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Defense’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D)

Airborne ISR Market Report - Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study

    3. 1.3 Currency Conversion Rates for USD



    1. 3.1 Market Size and Forecast, Global, 2018 - 2031

    2. 3.2 Market Share by Type, 2021

    3. 3.3 Market Share by Application, 2021

    4. 3.4 Market Share by Geography, 2021

    5. 3.5 Structure of the Market and Key Participants

    6. 3.6 Expert Opinion on Airborne ISR Market


    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Market Drivers

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints

    4. 4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      3. 4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

  5. 5. MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size and Forecast by Value - USD billion, 2018 - 2031)

    1. 5.1 Type

      1. 5.1.1 Manned

      2. 5.1.2 Unmanned

    2. 5.2 Application

      1. 5.2.1 Maritime Patrol

      2. 5.2.2 Airborne Ground Surveillance (AGS)

      3. 5.2.3 Airborne Early Warnings (AEW)

      4. 5.2.4 Signals Intelligence (SIGNIT)

    3. 5.3 Geography

      1. 5.3.1 North America

        1. US

          1. By Type

        2. Canada

          1. By Type

      2. 5.3.2 Europe

        1. United Kingdom

          1. By Type

        2. France

          1. By Type

        3. Gemany

          1. By Type

        4. Russia

          1. By Type

        5. Rest of Europe

          1. By Type

      3. 5.3.3 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

          1. By Type

        2. India

          1. By Type

        3. Japan

          1. By Type

        4. South Korea

          1. By Type

        5. Rest of Asia-Pacific

          1. By Type

      4. 5.3.4 Latin America

        1. Brazil

          1. By Type

        2. Rest of Latin America

          1. By Type

      5. 5.3.5 Middle-East and Africa

        1. Saudi Arabia

          1. By Type

        2. United Arab Emirates

          1. By Type

        3. Rest of Middle-East and Africa

          1. By Type


    1. 6.1 Vendor Market Share

    2. 6.2 Company Profiles

      1. 6.2.1 Lockheed Martin Corporation

      2. 6.2.2 L3Harris Technologies Inc.

      3. 6.2.3 BAE Systems PLC

      4. 6.2.4 Raytheon Technologies Corporation

      5. 6.2.5 Northrop Grumman Corporation

      6. 6.2.6 The Boeing Company

      7. 6.2.7 Saab AB

      8. 6.2.8 Airbus SE

      9. 6.2.9 General Dynamics Corporation

      10. 6.2.10 Elbit Systems Ltd

      11. 6.2.11 Teledyne FLIR LLC

      12. 6.2.12 Textron Inc.

      13. 6.2.13 Leonardo SpA

      14. 6.2.14 Safran SA

      15. 6.2.15 Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)

    3. 6.3 Other Companies

      1. 6.3.1 AeroVironment Inc.

      2. 6.3.2 General Atomics

      3. 6.3.3 BlueBird Aero Systems

      4. 6.3.4 Aeronautics Group


You can also purchase parts of this report. Do you want to check out a section wise price list?

Airborne ISR Market Research FAQs

The Airborne ISR Market is studied from 2018 - 2028.

The Airborne ISR Market is growing at a CAGR of >6% over the next 5 years.

The Airborne ISR Market is valued at 6 Billion USD in 2018.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2018 - 2028.

North America holds highest share in 2021.

Elbit Systems Ltd, Northrop Grumman Corporation, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Raytheon Technologies Corporation are the major companies operating in Airborne ISR Market.

Airborne ISR Industry Report

Statistics for the 2023 Airborne ISR market share, size and revenue growth rate, created by Mordor Intelligence™ Industry Reports. Airborne ISR analysis includes a market forecast outlook to 2028 and historical overview. Get a sample of this industry analysis as a free report PDF download.

80% of our clients seek made-to-order reports. How do you want us to tailor yours?

Please enter a valid email id!

Please enter a valid message!