Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecasts (2020 - 2025)

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Market is segmented by UAV Size (Small UAV, Medium UAV, Large UAV), Application (Military, Civil and Commercial), and Geography.

Market Snapshot

Study Period:


Base Year:


Fastest Growing Market:

North America

Largest Market:

Asia Pacific


14 %

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Market Overview

The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) market is anticipated to register a CAGR of more than 14% during the forecast period (2020 - 2025).

  • Unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) are considered as low-cost alternatives to combat aircraft and they provide less collateral damage than missiles or aerial bombing deployed from manned aircraft. UCAVs are highly effective for targeting fast-moving infantry and can also fire warning shots with the real-time diversion of a fired missile to intentionally miss the target.
  • The growing realization of the UAV deployment in military operations has also encouraged vendors to offer UAVs that can be used in numerous commercial applications. These UAVs are also getting acceptances in other applications, including internet provision in remote places, aerial photography and video recording, survey and document wildlife, and public service missions. Several companies primarily offer small-UAVs that are used in agricultural, aerial photography, and data collection applications.
  • However, the growth of the UAV market can be hindered by technological and legal constraints such as limited endurance, SWaP and bandwidth challenges, and the presence of non-uniform laws and regulations that can restrict the usage of such systems in the airspace of certain countries.

Scope of the Report

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are pilotless platforms that can be either remotely controlled by a human operator or navigated autonomously by a programmed onboard computer. UAVs provide the tremendous potential to transform urban and rural infrastructure and enhance agricultural productivity in developing countries. The scope of the report encompasses the use of drones for commercial, civil, and military applications. Based on the size, the UAV market has been segmented into small UAVs with a maximum gross takeoff weight (MGTOW) of about 20 lbs, medium UAVs with an MGTOW of 21-55lbs, and large UAVs with an MGTOW of more than 55lbs.

UAV Size
Small UAV
Medium UAV
Large UAV
Civil and Commercial
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
South Korea
Rest of Asia-Pacific
Latin America
Rest of Latin America
Middle-East and Africa
United Arab Emirates
Saudi Arabia
Rest of Middle-East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Military Segment is Expected to Dominate the UAV Market

During the last decade, the adoption rate of medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAVs has drastically increased as the major operators such as the US Army have been seeking to optimize the use of such robotic process automation (RPA) for addressing the persistent challenges in the ISR missions. Various new contracts are being awarded to cater to the increased demand. Emerging military powerhouses such as China, India, and Iran are upgrading their UAV arsenal to counter the threat of being outgunned on the aerial front. In February 2018, China's domestically produced UAV completed a 6-day live-fire test with various ammunition covering both extensive bombing and precise targeting. The CH-4 was developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), based on the previous model, the CH-3. It reportedly claims to offer better basic performance than the General Atomics' MQ-1 Predator.

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Asia-Pacific is Expected to Experience the Fastest Growth in the UAV Market

During the forecast period, Asia-Pacific is expected to witness the highest growth rate, owing to the expansion of defense capabilities in key countries such as China, India, Japan, and South Korea. The paradigm shift in favor of unmanned systems reflects the military’s general tendency to be at par with the most advanced technology available and perceptions of the emergence of asymmetrical warfare. Countries such as China, India, and Pakistan have been upgrading their respective inventories of military UAVs. Collaborative efforts are underway by dominant market players to capture the high growth potential of the market. Similarly, in March 2016, the Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced its intention to acquire over 5,000 UAVs worth nearly USD 3 billion over the next decade. This has resulted in Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) partnering with Bengaluru-based Dynamatic Technologies and Elcom Systems to cater to the production, assembly, and support of UAVs in India. As of May 2018, India's indigenously developed Rustom-II MALE UAV prototype has been undergoing flight tests for making design changes to increase its flight altitude and is expected to enter service by 2020. The development of home-grown UAVs is likely to increase owing to the rising initiatives for indigenous aerospace platforms, which would significantly boost the UAV market in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Competitive Landscape

The unmanned aerial vehicles market is highly competitive and is marked with the presence of many prominent players competing for a larger market share. The stringent safety and regulatory policies in the defense and homeland security segment are expected to restrict the entry of new players. However, the commercial and civil segment is expected to witness rapid growth due to the entry of many players as the segment is not governed by the economies of scale. Companies with superior technical capabilities are expected to contribute significantly toward technological advances in the propulsion systems and payload characteristics of the UAVs. This would result in a shorter development cycle time and can significantly augment the operational capabilities of mini UAVs. Since the payload, endurance, and flight range of a UAV platform are the primary concerns of OEMs and operators alike, the emergence of alternative fuel-powered UAVs 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 UAV would likely increase the capabilities of the UAV platforms and fuel its widespread adoption across different industries.

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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 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 UAV Size

      1. 5.1.1 Small UAV

      2. 5.1.2 Medium UAV

      3. 5.1.3 Large UAV

    2. 5.2 Application

      1. 5.2.1 Military

      2. 5.2.2 Civil and Commercial

    3. 5.3 Geography

      1. 5.3.1 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

      2. 5.3.2 Europe

        1. United Kingdom

        2. Germany

        3. France

        4. Italy

        5. Rest of Europe

      3. 5.3.3 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. India

        3. Japan

        4. South Korea

        5. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.3.4 Latin America

        1. Brazil

        2. Mexico

        3. Rest of Latin America

      5. 5.3.5 Middle-East and Africa

        1. United Arab Emirates

        2. Saudi Arabia

        3. Rest of Middle-East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Vendor Market Share

    2. 6.2 Company Profiles

      1. 6.2.1 SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd.

      2. 6.2.2 AeroVironment, Inc.

      3. 6.2.3 BAE Systems plc

      4. 6.2.4 Northrop Grumman Corporation

      5. 6.2.5 Elbit Systems Ltd.

      6. 6.2.6 General Atomics

      7. 6.2.7 Parrot Drones SAS

      8. 6.2.8 IAI Group

      9. 6.2.9 Thales Group

      10. 6.2.10 Airbus SE

      11. 6.2.11 The Boeing Company

      12. 6.2.12 Microdrones GmbH


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