Unmanned Systems Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The Unmanned Systems Market is segmented by Type (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Unmanned Ground Vehicles, Unmanned Sea Systems), Application (Military, Law Enforcement, Commercial), and Geography.

Market Snapshot

Space Propulsion Systems Market Overview
Study Period: 2018 - 2026
Base Year: 2020
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: North America
CAGR: >12 %

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Market Overview

The unmanned systems market is expected to witness a CAGR of above 12% during the forecast period.

  • The use of unmanned systems for combat and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions is gaining importance over the past few years for reducing troop casualties. Due to this, the armed forces are prioritizing the development and procurement of unmanned systems over the manned systems.
  • The increasing use of unmanned systems in the commercial sectors, like UGVs in firefighting and agriculture, USVs for underwater sea exploration, and UAVs for disaster relief, recreational uses, and photo and videography, is expected to support the growth of the market during the forecast period.
  • Significant investments in emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence in the UAVs, UGVs, and USVs, to make them autonomous, are increasing. Such investments on autonomous systems are bringing various companies together to develop advanced autonomous vehicles.


Scope of the Report

The market study of unmanned systems includes the details of driving factors and global procurement of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV or UAS), unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), and unmanned sea systems. The market for UAVs is further segmented based on size into small, medium, and large UAVs. They are defined as follows.

  • Small UAVs are group 1 UAVs, which have a maximum gross takeoff weight (MTOW) of about 0 lbs - 20 lbs.
  • Medium UAV comes under group 2 UAVs, which have an MTOW of about 21 lbs - 55 lbs.
  • UAVs classified under group 3,4, and 5 are known as large UAVs. The large group of UAVs has an MTOW of more than 55 lbs.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Small UAVs
Medium UAVs
Large UAVs
Unmanned Ground Vehicles
Unmanned Sea Systems
Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs)
Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs)
Military and Law Enforcement
North America
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Unmanned Ground Vehicles
Unmanned Sea Systems
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Unmanned Ground Vehicles
Unmanned Sea Systemss
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Unmanned Ground Vehicles
Unmanned Sea Systems
Latin America
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Unmanned Ground Vehicles
Unmanned Sea Systems
Middle-East and Africa
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Unmanned Ground Vehicles
Unmanned Sea Systems

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Key Market Trends

The Unmanned Sea Systems Segment to Experience the Highest Growth During the Forecast Period

The unmanned sea systems segment of the market is expected to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Currently, the use of unmanned sea systems is higher by various research organizations for deep-sea exploration. For instance, NASA, in collaboration with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET), launched the Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog (SUBSEA) project in August 2018, for better understanding of the deepest parts of space, with the study of the environment in deep-sea. It launched Hercules and Argus robots to study the biology, geology, and chemistry at an area near the deep-sea volcano at the coast of Hawaii, which is similar to that of Saturn's moon, Enceladus. The use of autonomous surface and underwater vehicles by educational institutes is supporting this growth. Moreover, in the military sector, the United States, China, and Russia are working toward increasing its fleet of unmanned sea systems.

Space Propulsion Systems Market_Type

The Asia-Pacific Region is Expected to Generate the Highest Demand during the Forecast Period

The Asia-Pacific region is expected to generate the highest demand for unmanned systems during the forecast period. This growth is primarily due to an increase in defense spending by the countries in this region, along with the changing regulations for the use of unmanned systems in the commercial sector. Countries, like India, Japan, and Indonesia, are currently working on the use of UAVs for transportation of parcels and cargo. Similarly, the development of UGVs is being carried out in South Korea, Japan, and China, among others, for assisting their armed forces with a range of manual handling tasks, like moving heavy loads and field equipment, and casualty evacuations. The Government of Australia announced in mid-2018 that it plans to invest in the procurement of UGVs, which may be used by the army following a 12-month evaluation trial. The market of unmanned sea systems in the Asia-Pacific region is in its initial stages compared to the UGVs and UAVs. South Korea, in July 2019, unveiled the prototype of Hae Gum, an unmanned surface vessel (USV) designed for conducting maritime surveillance and reconnaissance in hostile environments at the Changwon Marine Defense Exhibition 2019.

Space Propulsion Systems Market_Country

Competitive Landscape

The market for unmanned systems is highly fragmented, with a large number of suppliers who provide different unmanned platforms, like UAVs, UGVs, and USVs. The prominent players in the unmanned systems market are Lockheed Martin Corporation, BAE Systems plc, Saab AB, The Boeing Company, and Northrop Grumman Corporation. There are few players, like Saab AB, BAE Systems, and ECA Group, among others who provide all types of unmanned systems, which help the companies to capitalize and expand their geographic presence, as well as diversify their cash flows. Product innovation is the primary factor that aids companies in getting new contracts from the defense, as well as commercial sectors. In addition to this, the mergers and acquisitions of the local companies with the major companies are allowing them to expand their product portfolio and market presence. For instance, in the first quarter of 2019, FLIR Systems acquired Endeavor Robotics Holdings Inc., a manufacturer of tactical UGVs, and Aeryon Labs Inc., a manufacturer of high-performance UAS, expanded their product portfolio in the military, public safety, and critical infrastructure markets.

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 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 Type

      1. 5.1.1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

        1. Small UAVs

        2. Medium UAVs

        3. Large UAVs

      2. 5.1.2 Unmanned Ground Vehicles

        1. Wheeled

        2. Tracked

        3. Legged

        4. Hybrid

      3. 5.1.3 Unmanned Sea Systems

        1. Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs)

        2. Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs)

    2. 5.2 Application

      1. 5.2.1 Military and Law Enforcement

      2. 5.2.2 Commercial

    3. 5.3 Geography

      1. 5.3.1 North America

        1. Overview

        2. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

        3. Unmanned Ground Vehicles

        4. Unmanned Sea Systems

      2. 5.3.2 Europe

        1. Overview

        2. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

        3. Unmanned Ground Vehicles

        4. Unmanned Sea Systemss

      3. 5.3.3 Asia-Pacific

        1. Overview

        2. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

        3. Unmanned Ground Vehicles

        4. Unmanned Sea Systems

      4. 5.3.4 Latin America

        1. Overview

        2. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

        3. Unmanned Ground Vehicles

        4. Unmanned Sea Systems

      5. 5.3.5 Middle-East and Africa

        1. Overview

        2. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

        3. Unmanned Ground Vehicles

        4. Unmanned Sea Systems


    1. 6.1 Vendor Market Share

    2. 6.2 Company Profiles

      1. 6.2.1 QinetiQ Group PLC

      2. 6.2.2 Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd

      3. 6.2.3 General Dynamics Corporation

      4. 6.2.4 Rheinmetall AG

      5. 6.2.5 Teledyne Technologies Incorporated

      6. 6.2.6 ECA Group

      7. 6.2.7 The Boeing Company

      8. 6.2.8 Elbit Systems Ltd

      9. 6.2.9 Lockheed Martin Corporation

      10. 6.2.10 Saab AB

      11. 6.2.11 BAE Systems PLC

      12. 6.2.12 Northrop Grumman Corporation

      13. 6.2.13 L3Harris Technologies Inc.

      14. 6.2.14 DJI

      15. 6.2.15 FLIR Systems Inc.*

    3. *List Not Exhaustive

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Unmanned Systems Market market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The Unmanned Systems Market is growing at a CAGR of >12% over the next 5 years.

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

North America holds highest share in 2020.

Northrop Grumman Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, BAE Systems PLC, Saab AB, The Boeing Company are the major companies operating in Unmanned Systems Market.

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