ORLANDO, Fla. --- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) will continue to be the most dynamic growth sector of the world aerospace industry. A forthcoming Teal Group market study, previewed today during this week's AUVSI Unmanned Systems North America 2006, estimates that UAV spending will more than triple over the next decade from current worldwide UAV expenditures of $2.7 billion annually to $8.3 billion within a decade, totaling close to $55 billion in the next ten years.
"The most significant catalyst to this market has been the enormous growth of interest in UAVs by the US military, tied to the general trend toward information warfare and net-centric systems," said Teal senior analyst Steve Zaloga, one of the authors of the new study. "UAVs are a key element in the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) portion of this revolution, and they are expanding into other missions as well with the advent of hunter-killer UAVs."
The study suggests that the US will account for 77% of the worldwide RDT&E spending on UAV technology over the next decade, and about 64% of the procurement. These US expenditures represent higher shares of the aerospace market than for worldwide defense spending in general, with the US accounting for about 67% of total worldwide defense RDT&E spending and 37% of procurement spending, according to forecasts in International Defense Briefing, another Teal Group competitive intelligence service.
"These discrepancies are due to the heavier US investment in cutting-edge technologies, and the marked lag time in such research and procurement elsewhere, especially major aerospace centers such as Europe," said Zaloga.
Teal Group expects that the sales of UAVs will follow recent patterns of arms procurement worldwide, with Europe representing the second largest market and the second most significant center for high-tech research, about 20% of the worldwide total. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to be the principal market for UAVs outside the US and Europe, followed by the Mid-East.
Teal Group anticipates that a civil UAV market will slowly emerge over the next decade, starting first with government organizations requiring surveillance systems similar to military UAVs such as coast guards, border patrol organizations and similar national security organizations.
"A commercial, non-governmental UAV market is unlikely to emerge except in some niche markets, such as Japan, until the airspace access issue is fully resolved," said Zaloga.
The fourth edition of the sector study, World Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems, Market Profile and Forecast 2007, examines the worldwide requirements for UAVs, including UAV payloads, and provides ten-year forecasts by country, region, and classes of UAVs.
"Teal Group already covers the UAV market in its World Missiles and UAV Briefing, which examines the UAV market on a program-by-program basis," said Zaloga. "The sector study examines the UAV market from a complementary perspective, namely national requirements."
The Teal Group is an aerospace and defense market analysis firm based in Fairfax, Virginia USA. It provides competitive intelligence to industry and government worldwide.