North America Small UAV Market Size & Share Analysis - Growth Trends & Forecasts (2024 - 2029)

The Report Covers North America Small UAV Market Growth and it is segmented by UAV Type (Fixed-Wing and Rotary Wing), Propulsion Technology (Hydrogen Cell, Hybrid, Solar, and Lithium-ion), End-user Industries (Construction, Agriculture, Energy, Entertainment, Defense and Law Enforcement, and Others), and Country (United States and Canada). The market size and forecasts are provided in terms of value (USD million) for all the above segments.

North America Small UAV Market Size

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North America Small UAV Market Summary
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Study Period 2020 - 2029
Base Year For Estimation 2023
Forecast Data Period 2024 - 2029
Historical Data Period 2020 - 2022
CAGR > 7.00 %
Market Concentration Low

Major Players

North America Small UAV Market Major Players

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order


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North America Small UAV Market Analysis

The North American small UAV market is anticipated to register a CAGR of more than 7% during the forecast period.

Since unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) procurement is a direct proponent of the demand from end-user industries, COVID-19 has severely impacted the market in focus. The ongoing global economic slowdown is anticipated to result in a subsequent decline in the demand for UAVs from end-user sectors that deploy drones for various applications. However, the demand for UAVs has rapidly increased due to their diverse application portfolio. However, due to existing regulations and controls, major US-based companies are less likely to bear the impact of the wider supply chain disruption caused by the pandemic.

The growing realization of drone deployment in military operations has encouraged vendors to offer drones that can be used in numerous commercial applications. Drones are also being adopted in other applications, including internet provision in remote places, aerial photography and video recording, survey and documenting wildlife, and public service missions. Several companies primarily offer small drones used in agricultural and aerial photography and data collection applications. Home deliveries via drones have become a reality due to the efforts of logistics and retail companies, such as Amazon and UPS, toward rolling out the technology. Enhanced investments in drone technologies are also anticipated to foster long-term growth of the market. However, the growth of the small UAV market in North America can be hindered by technological constraints, such as limited endurance, SWaP challenges, and the presence of non-uniform laws and regulations that can restrict the usage of such systems in the airspace of certain countries.

North America Small UAV Market Trends

This section covers the major market trends shaping the North America Small UAV Market according to our research experts:

Agriculture Industry to Witness Highest Growth During the Forecast Period

Small UAVs are increasingly used for agricultural applications, such as field mapping, wherein drones are deployed to enhance the yield of the land by analyzing the crops and spraying fertilizers without disturbing the soil fertility. For instance, Rantizo, an Iowa-based company, has been using drones to spray pesticides over cornfields, soybean plots, vineyards, blueberry farms, vegetable rows, and hemp fields. In November 2021, Rantizo became the first company to get approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate the DJI Agras T-30 drone for agricultural applications.

Similarly, as of September 2021, the Houston-based Startup Hylio was looking to push into the medical-cannabis space with crop-spraying drones. Hylio has trialed with more than 500 clients, ranging from small- and medium-sized farmers to large-scale corporate farms and agricultural service providers. The increasing use would also encourage new players to venture into the segment, driving the rapid growth of the segment during the forecast period.

North America Small UAV Market, Drone Market, United States, Y-o-Y (%), 2017-2021

The United States is Projected to Show Highest Growth During the Forecast Period

The United States is one of the largest users of UAV technologies both in the commercial and defense sectors. Recent relaxations in small UAV operations in the country have resulted in a splurge in demand for UAVs from the end-user sectors. Previously, small drone operations over people were limited to operations over people directly participating in the operation, located under a covered structure, or inside a stationary vehicle unless operators had obtained a waiver from the FAA. However, in December 2020, the FAA permitted drone flight over people and permitted small UAV operations at night. This modification in the otherwise strict regulations is anticipated to be a significant step toward the eventual use of small UAVs for widespread commercial deliveries. The new rules also eliminate requirements that drones be connected to the internet to transmit location data but require that they broadcast remote ID messages via radio frequency. A favorable regulatory framework is anticipated to drive the adoption of small UAVs further during the forecast period.

According to the FAA, there were 855,860 drones registered in the United States by May 2022. Of these, 63% of registrations (536,183) were for recreational purposes, and 37% (316,075) were for commercial operations. Also, the FAA has awarded 277,845 remote pilot certificates. Thus, the growing use of drones for various commercial and defense applications drives market growth across the United States.

North America Small UAV Market: UAV Registrations, United States, Category, in Thousands, April 2022

North America Small UAV Industry Overview

The North American small UAV market is comprised of a handful of established players who enjoy a strong foothold in the market, such as AeroVironment Inc., Thales Group, IAI, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Elbit Systems Ltd. However, several small companies and startups entered the market in the past few years due to the high profitability in the market. Companies are competing to gain market shares and are developing advanced technology-integrated drone hardware and software solutions that reduce human effort in applications such as mining, construction, and aerial mapping. Since the payload, endurance, and flight range of a drone platform are the primary concerns of OEMs and operators alike, the emergence of alternative fuel-powered drones is expected to cause significant changes in the competitive scenario. Moreover, the use of composite-based materials for the construction of critical components and parts of drones would likely increase the capabilities of the drone platforms and fuel their widespread adoption across different industries.

North America Small UAV Market Leaders

  1. Elbit Systems Ltd.

  2. Thales Group

  3. AeroVironment Inc.

  4. Lockheed Martin Corporation

  5. IAI

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order

North America Small UAV Market Concentration
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North America Small UAV Market News

  • In May 2022, Teledyne FLIR Defense signed a contract worth 14 million to deliver Black Hornet 3 drones to the US Army. The advanced nano UAVs augment squad and small unit surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities as part of the Army's Soldier Borne Sensor program.
  • In February 2022, the United States army signed a contract with Skydio, a drone manufacturer, to supply X2D UAVs to the US Army's Short-Range Reconnaissance Program (SRR). The contract is expected to be worth USD 99.8 million for a five-year duration.

North America Small UAV Market Report - Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    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: Porters 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


    1. 5.1 UAV Type

      1. 5.1.1 Fixed-wing

      2. 5.1.2 Rotary-wing

    2. 5.2 Propulsion Technology

      1. 5.2.1 Hydrogen Cell

      2. 5.2.2 Hybrid

      3. 5.2.3 Solar

      4. 5.2.4 Lithium-ion

    3. 5.3 End-user Industry

      1. 5.3.1 Construction

      2. 5.3.2 Agriculture

      3. 5.3.3 Energy

      4. 5.3.4 Entertainment

      5. 5.3.5 Defense and Law Enforcement

      6. 5.3.6 Other End-user Industries

    4. 5.4 Country

      1. 5.4.1 United States

      2. 5.4.2 Canada


    1. 6.1 Vendor Market Share

    2. 6.2 Company Profiles

      1. 6.2.1 Elbit Systems Ltd

      2. 6.2.2 Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd

      3. 6.2.3 Thales Group

      4. 6.2.4 AeroVironment Inc.

      5. 6.2.5 BAE Systems PLC

      6. 6.2.6 SZ DJI Technology Co. Ltd

      7. 6.2.7 Aeronautics Ltd

      8. 6.2.8 Lockheed Martin Corporation

      9. 6.2.9 Skydio

      10. 6.2.10 Parrot Drone SAS


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North America Small UAV Industry Segmentation

Small UAVs are pilotless platforms that weigh a maximum of 25 kg. These platforms are either remotely controlled by a human operator or navigated autonomously by a programmed onboard computer.

The North American small UAV market is segmented based on UAV type, propulsion technology, end-user industry, and country. By UAV type, the market is segmented into fixed-wing and rotary-wing. By propulsion technology, the market is segmented into hydrogen cell, hybrid, solar, and lithium-ion (Li-ion). By end-user industry, the market is classified as construction, agriculture, energy, entertainment, defense and law enforcement, and other end-user industries. By country, the market is divided into the United States and Canada. The other subsegment in the end-user industry includes the deployment of drones for operations such as firefighting and aerial mapping. The market sizing and forecasts for each segment are provided in values in USD million.

UAV Type
Propulsion Technology
Hydrogen Cell
End-user Industry
Defense and Law Enforcement
Other End-user Industries
United States
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North America Small UAV Market Research FAQs

The North America Small UAV Market is projected to register a CAGR of greater than 7% during the forecast period (2024-2029)

Elbit Systems Ltd., Thales Group, AeroVironment Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation and IAI are the major companies operating in the North America Small UAV Market.

The report covers the North America Small UAV Market historical market size for years: 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023. The report also forecasts the North America Small UAV Market size for years: 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028 and 2029.

North America Small UAV Industry Report

Statistics for the 2024 North America Small UAV market share, size and revenue growth rate, created by Mordor Intelligence™ Industry Reports. North America Small UAV analysis includes a market forecast outlook to 2029 and historical overview. Get a sample of this industry analysis as a free report PDF download.

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North America Small UAV Market Size & Share Analysis - Growth Trends & Forecasts (2024 - 2029)