Cost-effective in Operation
The small electric-powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are affordable to acquire and operate, compared to manned aircraft (for tactical or commercial applications). The operating cost of a helicopter ranges in thousands of dollars per hour. E.g., the average operating cost of an Augusta/Westland AW119 Koala helicopter is USD 1,000 per hour, whereas the same for an Augusta/Westland AW101 is USD 4,500 per hour. If the desired area under surveillance or any other mission is small and requires shorter duration, UAVs are a cost-effective option to consider. It finds its applications in 3D mapping, aerial monitoring, aerial photography, and videography. Being inexpensive, UAVs allow repeated or periodic coverage of an area, which would otherwise be very costly with a piloted aircraft. UAVs also enable safe and efficient accomplishment of tasks in comparison to manned aircraft.
The Middle East and African small UAV market is expected to register a CAGR of 5.3% over the forecast period (2018-2023). The region is a lucrative market for UAVs, supported by its strong demand for UAVs and major spending on UAV development projects
Military missions require the deployment of UAVs in various regions for a short duration. This requirement is fulfilled by the smaller UAVs, which are easy to transport. Apart from easy transport, smaller size facilitates easy maintenance. Unlike manned aircrafts, UAVs can be used in diverse weather conditions without the risks of operational capability and pilot life safety. UAVs are mainly powered by battery or electric motors, making them fuel-efficient as well.
All these advantages have led to the growing adoption and utilisation of UAVs for various purposes, ranging from commercial to military operations.
Source: Mordor Intelligence Analysis
November 2017: Leonardo Finmeccanica has announced that it has made its initial delivery of a Falco EVO drone to the launch customer of the aircraft in the Middle East.
Key Players: Thales Group, BAE Systems, Boeing Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Aeronautics Ltd, Airbus Group, Elbit Systems, amongst others.
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