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The global military drone market size is projected to reach USD 23.78 billion by 2027 on account of the increasing demand for remotely operated unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), shares finds Fortune Business Insights™ in its report, titled “Military Drone Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Product Type (Fixed Wing, Hybrid and Rotary Wing), By Range (Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS), Extended Visual Line Of Sight (EVLOS), and Beyond Line Of Sight (BLOS)), By Technology (Remotely Operated Drones, Semi-Autonomous Drones, and Autonomous Drones), By Application (Intelligence, Surveillance Reconnaissance and Targeting(ISRT), Combat Operations, Battle Damage Management, Logistics & Transportation and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027”. According to the report, the global market value was at USD 10.53 billion in 2019 and is anticipated to register a CAGR of 12.12% from 2020 to 2027.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to hamper the military drone market growth as contracting economic growth has forced countries to redirect their resources towards healthcare and other essential sectors. Defense expenditures, as a result, have reduced, especially in developing countries, which has slowed down the adoption of UAVs.
US Air Force Awards Drone Contract to Four Companies
Four aerospace & defense giants, Boeing, Kratos, General Atomics, and Northrop Grumman, bagged a major contract from the US Air Force (USAF) in July 2020 to build Skyborg, the USAF’s AI-enabled drone wingman. The USAF aims to build an arsenal of UAVs powered by artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to adapt to battlefield conditions through the Skyborg program. The idea is to engineer Skyborg drones that are cost-effective, yet strong enough to sustain in field conflicts as well as deliver wingman functionalities to manned fighter jets. The estimated worth of the contract is approximately USD 400 million.
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Increasing Deployment of UAVs in Border Conflicts to Accelerate Growth
The deployment of military drones by armed forces for border security has steadily expanded in the past few years in response to the growing intensification of border conflicts between neighboring countries. The most recent example in this context is the resurgence of border tensions between India and China, which led the two countries to rapidly upgrade and deploy advanced military technologies along their borders. In May 2020, for instance, China deployed its AR500C unmanned helicopter equipped with strike capabilities along with tools to disrupt electronic communication at high elevations in response to the alleged deployment of UAVs by India to monitor contested areas. In July 2020, India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) developed indigenous drones to bolster the Indian Army’s response against China’s maneuvers on the border. Similar actions can be witnessed in Israel, which deployed its Skylord counter-UAV system to perform surveillance along the troubled Gaza border, and in Eastern Europe, where Ukraine has been shooting down Russian spy drones.
Government-Defense Companies Partnerships to Characterize Market Competition
With growing emphasis on beefing up national security, government agencies are increasingly partnering with private defense companies, OEMs, and institutions to develop advanced defense technologies. As a result, key players in the market for military drone are engaged in a constant race to secure government contracts to strengthen their R&D activities and widen their offerings. Besides this, companies are also collaborating with each other to engineer novel drone systems to efficiently conduct surveillance operations and enhance military capabilities.
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Value (USD Billion)
By Product Type