Military Drones: Market Shares, Market Strategies, and Market Forecasts, 2015 to 2021

Date: 2015-09

Next generation drones leverage better technology, launching from ships anywhere and from the battlefield should that be necessary. The drone technology is evolving: better launching, better navigation, softer landings, longer flights, better ability to carry different payloads are available. The study has 881 pages and 415 tables and figures.

The military drones are able to achieve terrorist control tasks. They have been evolving air camera integration for surveillance systems capability. They are used for surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence missions. They do 3D mapping and support ground troops. These are more energy efficient, last longer and have a significantly lower cost of operation than manned aircraft.

Drone aircraft are sophisticated and flexible. They take off, fly and land autonomously. They
enable engineers to push the envelope of normal flight. Reconnaissance drones can fly for days continuously. Remote, ground-based pilots can work in shifts.

Drone technology extends everywhere, even to airline control towers. Drones evolving technology is extending uses, making units combat enabled. The use of drone technology to control moving devices remotely extends the notion of drones, creating a larger potential drone market. Military drones will make every navy ship an aircraft carrier. They can be launched from anywhere, not needing an airfield in many cases.

Drone unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology has reached a level of maturity that has put these systems at the forefront of aerospace manufacturing. Procurement around the world is adapting to drone availability. Use in the global war on terrorism has demonstrated unique usefulness for military intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and communications relay.

Removal of the need for an onboard pilot ushers in an era of low cost drone aerial craft. The drone elimination of the need for human support systems on aircraft dramatically reduces the aircraft’s size, complexity, and power requirements. The drones effectively reduce overall program cost, development time and risk. Many advanced flight technologies are for piloted craft. These are initially tested using unmanned subscale demonstrators.

Designers work to simplify the aircraft’s configuration, making systems that are adaptable to different payloads on different days. Drones can be redesigned and tested at reduced risk than with development of manned aircraft. Drones allow configurations that would be impossible or impractical for human occupation. Drones are becoming easier to control.

A common issue with UAV platforms is the need to optimize these aircraft. UAVs need to carry useful payloads. These platforms are flexible as to payload, permitting interchangeable or additional sensors and other electronics, extra fuel or weapons systems. The sole function of an unmanned aircraft is to get to a target location, perform a task, and then return in the most efficient and cost-effective way. Without a pilot aboard, the return trip is optional. Light weight is central to UAV design.

Drones represent a way to use air to travel faster and at less cost. The market is divided between large and small military drones. Military drones represent the future of the national security presence for every nation. Increasing technology sophistication and lower costs are achieving dramatic market shifts.

Unmanned aircraft systems are achieving a level of relatively early maturity. Fleets of unmanned aircraft systems have begun to evolve. The U.S. Army has achieved one million flight hours for its unmanned aircraft systems fleet. Unmanned aerial systems have good handling characteristics. UAS units are designed to perform high-speed, long-endurance, more covert, multi-mission intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and precision-strike missions over land or sea.
“Quantities of fielded military and commercial systems of every size and description are set to increase. Every ship can become an aircraft carrier with drones, Military drone units feature a variety of internal loads, including 2,000 lb payload, an Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR) sensor, and an all-weather GA-ASI Lynx® synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indicator (SAR/GMTI), maximizing long loiter capabilities.”

Military drone markets at $3 billion in 2014 are anticipated to reach $11 billion by 2021. Segments are persistent, penetrating, tactical, small tactical, and mini, Persistent drones represent the largest revenue segment in 2015 and remain the biggest throughout the forecast period.

Companies Profiled

Market Leaders
Northrop Grumman
Boeing / Insitu
General Atomics
Lockheed Martin
Textron / AAI
Market Participants
ASN Technologies
Aurora Flight
Aviation Industry Corp (Avic)
BAE Systems
Challis UAV Inc.
China Aerospace
Denel Dynamics
General Atomics
General Dynamics
Integrated Dynamics
Israel Aerospace Industries
L-3 Communications
Laird / Cattron Group International
Lockheed Martin
Marcus UAV
Northrop Grumman
Prox Dynamics
Proxy Technologies
RUAG Aerospace
Safran Morpho
Scaled Composites
Wing Loong

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