Asia-Pacific Military Unmanned Vehicles Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2031)

The Asia-Pacific Military Unmanned Vehicles Market is Segmented by Vehicle Type (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Unmanned Ground Vehicles, and Unmanned Surface and Underwater Vehicles) and Geography. The report offers market size and forecasts for all the above segments in value (USD billion).

Market Snapshot

Asia-Pacific Military Unmanned Vehicles Market Size
Study Period: 2018-2031
Base Year: 2021
CAGR: >8.5 %

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Market Overview

The Asia-Pacific military unmanned vehicles market is expected to record a CAGR of 8.5% during the forecast period 2022-2031.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Asia-Pacific military unmanned vehicles market was negligible as the investments by countries in the region toward the development and acquisition of new unmanned vehicles for combat and non-combat missions remained unaffected.

Due to the ongoing border tensions and geopolitical issues between neighboring countries in the region, the military expenditure of the countries has increased robustly over the past decade. The growing military spending is fueling the procurement and induction of unmanned systems and maintenance of the fleet of UAVs, UUVs, and UGVs for critical missions to reduce the casualties on the battlefield.

The growing emphasis on indigenous manufacturing of defense equipment in countries like China, India, and South Korea has led to regional players partnering with global players to enhance their local manufacturing of unmanned vehicle systems.

The companies are also investing in the integration of emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, into unmanned vehicles to introduce autonomous capabilities into existing remotely piloted vehicles and develop new autonomous unmanned vehicles.

Scope of the Report

Unmanned vehicles are platforms that can be remotely controlled by a human operator or navigated autonomously by a programmed onboard computer. Such platforms used by the armed forces for various types of missions have been studied in this report.

The market has been segmented by vehicle type into unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), and unmanned surface and underwater vehicles. The report also covers the market size and forecast in major countries across the Asia-Pacific region. For each segment, the market sizing and forecast have been represented by value (USD billion).

Vehicle Type
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Unmanned Ground Vehicles
Unmanned Surface and Underwater Vehicles
South Korea
Rest of Asia-Pacific

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Key Market Trends

Unmanned Surface and Underwater Vehicles Segment Expected to Witness Robust Growth During the Forecast Period

The unmanned surface and underwater vehicles segment of the market is estimated to witness the highest growth during the forecast period owing to the increasing investments toward the development and procurement of unmanned sea vessels for strategic and tactical superiority in the water. For instance, China is currently developing large, smart, and relatively low-cost unmanned submarines with long endurance capacity to perform a wide range of missions, ranging from reconnaissance to mine placement to even suicide attacks against enemy vessels. Similarly, to counter the threat of manned and unmanned vessels of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), the countries in the region are robustly adopting unmanned sea vessel technology. As part of strengthening maritime capabilities, Japan is currently focusing on its OZZ-5 Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV), an autonomous underwater vehicle. The UUV is 4 m long and 50 cm in diameter with a continuous mission life of nine hours and a maximum speed of seven knots. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd is the prime contractor of OZZ-5 UUV. The UUV is expected to be operated alongside a new unmanned surface vessel (USV) (currently being developed by Japan Marine United (JMU) Defense Systems) for mine countermeasure missions. Such development of new models and planned deployment during the forecast period is anticipated to accelerate the market's growth during the forecast period.

Asia-Pacific Military Unmanned Vehicles Market Share

China Held the Highest Market Share in 2021

China held the largest share in the market in 2021 since it accounted for the highest military expenditure in the Asia-Pacific region. The country’s military spending increased from USD 196.54 billion in 2015 to USD 252.3 billion in 2020. China boosted its defense budget for FY 2021 by 6.8% compared to FY 2020 as it continued to modernize and strengthen its armed forces. Tensions with Taiwan, India, and the United States have pushed China to advance in unmanned technology across all platforms. In recent years, China also pushed for the Hongdu GJ-11 and other equivalent UCAVs to enter serial production in 2022 and open a second GJ-11 production line under the 15th Five-Year Plan to reach the goal of 200 operational long-range UCAVs by 2030. Considering the rate at which China is advancing in terms of UAVs, it is estimated that the country will account for almost 25% of global military unmanned aerial vehicles by 2024. In recent years, the country also entered the unmanned underwater vehicles market and deployed these systems in the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. China’s Sea Wing Gliders are similar to UUVs deployed by the US Navy’s Littoral Battlespace Sensing-Glider. China is also working to incorporate artificial intelligence and UUV technology to boost its submarine capabilities. Such development of new unmanned systems and the growing procurement of these systems by Chinese military forces are expected to drive the market’s growth in the country.

Asia-Pacific Military Unmanned Vehicles Market Growth

Competitive Landscape

The Asia-Pacific unmanned vehicles market is dominated by local players like Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, and Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd, among others. Nevertheless, some international players like The Boeing Company, Elbit Systems Ltd, General Atomics, etc., also have a presence in the market. With a growing emphasis on local manufacturing capabilities, local companies are expanding their product portfolio to strengthen the capabilities of local armed forces. For instance, in December 2021, Korean Air entered a partnership with the Korea Research Institute for Defense Technology Planning and Advancement (KRIT) to research and develop technology for broadband stealth unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The agreement is expected to run through 2025, and the airline will work on the integration of high-performance low-observable technology into UAVs. Similarly, Torus Robotic Pvt. Ltd formed a partnership with Bharat Earth Movers Limited in February 2021 to develop a 750 kg autonomous UGV for logistics and surveillance applications, which can be deployed in extreme weather and terrain conditions. The companies are also working on the integration of unmanned technologies, including self-driving, obstacle detection/avoidance, and surveillance. Such developments are anticipated to support the growth of companies over the coming years.

Recent Developments

· In March 2022, through the Indian government’s initiative of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the Ministry of Defense identified 18 major platforms for Design & Development under local defense industry various routes. The platforms include Naval Ship Borne Unmanned Aerial System (NSUAS), Unmanned Autonomous AI-based Land Robot, and Long-range Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

· In September 2021, Elbit Systems Ltd was awarded contracts worth about USD 56 million from an undisclosed Asia-Pacific country to supply Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) capabilities. According to the contracts, the company will deliver the Seagull USVs configured for ASW missions and the Towed Reelable Active Passive Sonar (TRAPS) systems. The contracts are expected to run over a period of 12 months.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study



    1. 3.1 Market Size and Forecast, 2018-2031

    2. 3.2 Market Share by Type, 2021

    3. 3.3 Structure of the Market and Key Participants


    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Market Drivers

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints

    4. 4.4 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.4.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      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 Vehicle Type

      1. 5.1.1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

      2. 5.1.2 Unmanned Ground Vehicles

      3. 5.1.3 Unmanned Surface and Underwater Vehicles

    2. 5.2 Geography

      1. 5.2.1 China

      2. 5.2.2 Japan

      3. 5.2.3 India

      4. 5.2.4 South Korea

      5. 5.2.5 Australia

      6. 5.2.6 Rest of Asia-Pacific


    1. 6.1 Company Profiles

      1. 6.1.1 The Boeing Company

      2. 6.1.2 Elbit Systems Ltd

      3. 6.1.3 Lockheed Martin Corporation

      4. 6.1.4 General Atomics

      5. 6.1.5 Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)

      6. 6.1.6 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd

      7. 6.1.7 PT Dirgantara Indonesia

      8. 6.1.8 Hanwha Corporation

      9. 6.1.9 Hyundai Motor Group

      10. 6.1.10 Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd


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Frequently Asked Questions

The Asia-Pacific Military Unmanned Vehicles Market market is studied from 2018 - 2031.

The Asia-Pacific Military Unmanned Vehicles Market is growing at a CAGR of >8.5% over the next 5 years.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., The Boeing Company, Elbit Systems Ltd., General Atomics are the major companies operating in Asia-Pacific Military Unmanned Vehicles Market.

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