Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Market is segmented by Type​ (Fixed-wing, VTOL), Application (Combat, Non-Combat), and by Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle-East, and Africa​). The report offers market size and forecasts for all the above segments in value (USD billion).

Market Snapshot

Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Market Size
Study Period: 2018-2027
Base Year: 2021
Fastest Growing Market: Asia-Pacific
Largest Market: North America
CAGR: >4 %
Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Market Major Players

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Market Overview

The Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Market is expected to grow with a CAGR of over 4% during the forecast period (2022-2027).

The impact of COVID-19 on the market is low. Though military UAV manufacturing facilities experienced supply chain issues in 2020, the situation came to normalcy by the end of the year. On the other hand, there is no major impact on the demand side dynamics of the market, as the global military spending on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles remained unaffected. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the global military expenditure surpassed two trillion US dollars for the first time, reaching USD 2113 billion. The global military spending in 2021 was 0.7% higher than that of 2020. 

Advancements in newer generation military UAVs are unlikely to stop and may experience accelerating growth in the coming years. To succeed in critical military missions, real-time information can prove to be the most powerful weapon for warfighters, commanders, and troops to protect themselves. Hence, tailoring their response to the threat requires superior tactical intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. This is generating the demand for UAVs from the armed forces across the world, thus, driving the market growth.

Scope of the Report

The Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Market is segmented by Type​ into Fixed-wing, and VTOL, and by Application into Combat, and Non-Combat. The report also covers the market sizes and forecast for the military unmanned aerial vehicles market in major countries across different regions. The market sizing and forecasts have been provided in value (USD billion). 

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Key Market Trends

Growing Proliferation of UAVs for Various Military Applications

UAVs have become a part and parcel of the military forces worldwide. In addition to combat missions, the ability of these UAVs to aid in ISR missions, and tactical operations is driving their adoption rate. An increase in the demand for UAVs has brought about significant advancements in processor technology, which has enabled significant performance gains in Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems. The improvements in capability have also helped to bring about a standardized system-level architecture, which helps to reduce cost and complexity in the manufacturing and operation of military UAVs.Small UAVs are expected to continue to be applied in various military operations, due to their high convenience in reducing losses and enabling the execution of high-profile and time-sensitive missions. Large unmanned aerial vehicles, such as HALE and MALE, are mainly used by the military forces in combat operations, which require aerial vehicles to have a long range. On the other hand, drone swarm technology has gained popularity in recent years in the military sector, with several countries developing the technologies. Drone swarms are multiple unmanned platforms deployed to accomplish a shared objective with the ability to autonomously alter their behavior based on communication with one another. Swarms of small drones can be used to overwhelm the enemy air defenses during combat. Also, real-time information collection makes drone swarms suitable for wide area reconnaisance missions. The increasing use of UAVs in the military, driven by the growth in military spending and the advancements in UAV technologies, is likely to gradually increase their scope of operation, which is expected to drive the market studied in the future.

Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Market Growth

Combat Segment is Expected to Grow With the Highest CAGR During the Forecast Period

Combat drones have become key strategic enablers for the armed forces in various countries and are no longer regarded as an optional asset. With the development of a multitude of indigenous UCAV projects and the growing effectiveness of the low-cost armed drones on the battlefield, the market for unmanned combat aerial vehicles has entered a new phase, in which possessing armed drone capabilities are becoming the norm. The main drivers behind this trend are the operational and strategic advantages brought about by UCAVs, where the benefits related to cost, reliability, and operational risk mitigation are matched by the increased ability to project power that the platform allows, either through deniability or by making UCAVs available to proxies and allies. The rising political and regional tensions and the need for increased aerial tactical strength is fueling the demand for UCAVs, due to which several countries are now focusing on developing these drones indigenously. For instance, India is working on the development of Ghatak, an autonomous stealthy unmanned combat air vehicle that is being developed by the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation for the Indian Air Force. The first flight of the full-scale prototype is expected in 2025-2026. Likewise, Turkey has advanced rapidly over the past decade in military UAV technology and has added new UAVs to its inventory in recent years. In March 2021, the first flight of the third prototype of Bayraktar Akinci. a long-endurance unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) being developed by Turkish drone manufacturer Baykar Makina was successfully completed and is expected to enter mass production during the forecast period. Such developments are expected to drive the growth of the segment during the forecast period.

Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Market Share

Competitive Landscape

Some of the prominent players in the military unmanned aerial vehicles market are Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd, General Atomics, China Aerospace Science, and Technology Corporation, AeroVironment, Inc., and Elbit Systems Ltd. The market is highly fragmented, due to the presence of many local players that are funded by the governments of the respective countries, for the indigenous developments of UAVs for the military sector. Players are trying to expand their presence and product portfolio by adopting different strategies and investing strategically in key markets to increase their market shares. The development of new UAV payloads that help in increasing the effectiveness of the drones. Several UAV manufacturers are developing newer generation military UAVs with advanced payloads to aid in several combat and non-combat missions. Players are also entering into partnerships with other players, which will facilitate technology transfer and help reduce development times. 

Recent Developments

In March 2022, India's drone manufacturer ideaForge announced that it has won a repeat contract from the Army to supply 200 of its Switch mini Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) along with its accessories.

In March 2022, Boeing's Insitu Pacific Pty Ltd has been selected by Australia's Department of Defence (DoD) to supply the Australian Army with 24 of its Integrator unmanned aerial systems (UASs) as part of an AUD650 million (USD 475 million). These drones are capable of providing intelligence, undertaking reconnaissance, and surveillance missions, and acquiring targets for weapons systems across the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    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


    1. 5.1 Type

      1. 5.1.1 Fixed-wing

      2. 5.1.2 VTOL

    2. 5.2 Application

      1. 5.2.1 Combat

      2. 5.2.2 Non-Combat

    3. 5.3 Geography

      1. 5.3.1 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

      2. 5.3.2 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. United Kingdom

        3. France

        4. Rest of Europe

      3. 5.3.3 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. Japan

        3. India

        4. South Korea

        5. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.3.4 Latin America

        1. Brazil

        2. Rest of Latin America

      5. 5.3.5 Middle-East and Africa

        1. United Arab Emirates

        2. Saudi Arabia

        3. Turkey

        4. Israel

        5. Rest of Middle-East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Vendor Market Share

    2. 6.2 Company Profiles

      1. 6.2.1 China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation

      2. 6.2.2 Aeronautics Ltd

      3. 6.2.3 General Atomics

      4. 6.2.4 BAYKAR

      5. 6.2.5 Elbit Systems Ltd

      6. 6.2.6 AeroVironment Inc.

      7. 6.2.7 Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)

      8. 6.2.8 The Boeing Company

      9. 6.2.9 Safran SA

      10. 6.2.10 Leonardo SpA

      11. 6.2.11 Textron Inc.

      12. 6.2.12 Lockheed Martin Corporation

      13. 6.2.13 Northrop Grumman Corporation

      14. 6.2.14 Saab AB


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Frequently Asked Questions

The Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Market market is studied from 2018 - 2027.

The Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Market is growing at a CAGR of >4% over the next 5 years.

Asia-Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

North America holds highest share in 2021.

Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd., General Atomics, China Aerospace Science, and Technology Corporation, AeroVironment, Inc., Elbit Systems Ltd. are the major companies operating in Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Market.

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