The military drone market is projected to grow from USD 12.0 billion in 2022 to USD 17.0 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 7.3% from 2022 to 2027.
Drones are remotely piloted aerial vehicles that have various applications in the defense sector. These vehicles are used in several military applications, such as intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and target acquisition (ISRT); combat operations; and battle damage management. The use of drones in new applications, such as cargo delivery in the defense sector, is expected to drive the growth of the military drone market globally. These drones can be used for resupply missions for soldiers on battlefields. Drones are commonly termed UAVs and are mostly known for their widespread use in various military missions, such as military attacks and border surveillance.
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Military drones are guided autonomously, by remote control, or by both means, and carry some combination of sensors, electronic receivers and transmitters, and offensive ordnance. Utilized for strategic and combat zone reconnaissance, they can also intervene on the front lines — either by designating targets for precision-guided munitions dropped or fired from manned systems, or directly, by dropping or firing these munitions themselves. The earliest UAVs were known as remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs) or drones. They were small radio-controlled aircraft first used during World War II for target training for fighters and antiaircraft guns. Today, all major military powers and even some militia groups employ battlefield surveillance UAVs to extend the view of the ground and naval forces and to enhance the reach and accuracy of their supporting fire.
Continuous technological advancements have not only reduced the cost of materials but also resulted in the miniaturization of components used to develop new and advanced drones capable of repeatedly flying for more extended periods. These drones have improved flight control systems using advanced software. However, the lack of proper air traffic management for drones acts as a significant challenge to the growth of the military drone market across the globe.
Major players like Northrop Grumman Corporation (US), Raytheon Technologies Corporation (US), Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (Israel), General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) (US), and Teledyne FLIR LLC (US) have adopted various growth strategies such as contracts, agreements, acquisitions, expansions, new product launches, partnerships & certifications, investments, venture capital funding, new service launches, and research & development (R&D) activities to further expand their presence in the military drone market.
Northrop Grumman Corporation (US) provides innovative systems, products, and solutions related to unmanned systems; cyber; and Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, & Reconnaissance (C4ISR).
Northrop Grumman Corporation is structured into four business divisions: Aeronautics Systems, Mission Systems, Defense Systems, and Space Systems. The Aeronautics Systems division provides a variety of situational awareness systems, early warning systems, air radar and management systems, navigation systems, communication systems, and logistics services. This division is reported in two business areas: Autonomous Systems and Manned Aircraft. The company has a presence across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific.
Raytheon Technologies Corporation (US) is a global provider of high-technology products & services for the defense and aerospace industries. It was formed through the merger of the Raytheon Company and the United Technologies Corporation aerospace businesses.
The company’s business segments include Collins Aerospace Systems, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Intelligence & Space, and Raytheon Missiles & Defense. Its reporting segments are Otis, Carrier, Pratt & Whitney, and Collin Aerospace Systems. The company specializes in aerostructures, avionics, interiors, mechanical systems, mission systems, and power & control systems that serve customers across the commercial, regional, business aviation, and military sectors. Pratt & Whitney designs, manufactures, and services advanced aircraft engines and auxiliary power systems for commercial, military, and business aircraft. Raytheon Intelligence & Space delivers disruptive technologies and solutions to civil, military, and commercial customers in more than 40 countries worldwide. Raytheon Missiles & Defense produces a broad portfolio of advanced technologies, including air & missile defense systems, precision weapons, radars, and command & control systems, for end-to-end solutions to detect, track, and engage threats.
Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (Israel) is a leading manufacturer in both defense and commercial markets and delivers state-of-the-art technologies and systems in all domains. The company provides a wide range of solutions and services for aerial defensefrom special mission aircraft and advanced unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to precision-guided munitions, multi-layered missile defense, loitering munitions, upgrades for military aircraft and helicopters, and sophisticated C4I, ISTAR, and navigation systems. It operates in varied markets around the world, from North America through Brazil and Colombia in the South and India and South Korea in the East to Germany in Europe.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) (US), a subsidiary of General Atomics, specializes in research and technology development and provides remotely operated surveillance aircraft, Predator family systems, and airborne sensors. GA-ASI provides long-endurance, mission-capable UAVs with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight that enables situational awareness and rapid strike.
The company’s wide range of products and services include remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), ground control stations (GCS), detect and avoid systems, sensor control/image analysis software, meta-material antennas, integrated intelligence centers, and pilot training and support services.
Teledyne FLIR LLC (US), a Teledyne Technologies subsidiary, develops and markets thermal imaging systems, visible-light imaging systems, locater systems, measurement and diagnostic systems, and sophisticated threat-detection solutions. It also works in the field of digital imaging.
The company operates through four business segments: Digital Imaging, Instrumentation, Aerospace & Défense Electronics, and Engineered Systems. These segments have 6 divisions – surveillance, instruments, security, OEM & emerging market, maritime, and detection. Teledyne FLIR LLC also offers the widest range of infrared (also known as thermal imaging) solutions in the world, with products ranging from consumer-use thermal camera smartphone accessories to highly advanced aircraft-mounted imaging systems for military and search and rescue applications.
Military Drone Market by Platform, Type (Fixed Wing, Rotary Wing, And Hybrid), Application, Mtow, Propulsion (Turbo Engine, Piston Engine and Battery), Operation Mode, Speed, Launching Mode & Region - Global Forecast to 2027
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