Washington DC, November 11, 2019

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) will be one of the most dynamic growth sectors of the world aerospace industry this decade, report Teal Group analysts in their latest market analysis.

Teal Group’s 2019/2020 market study estimates that UAV production will increase from current worldwide UAV production of $7.3 billion annually in 2019 to $10.2 billion in 2029, totaling $98.9 billion in the next ten years. Military UAV research spending would add another $61 billion over the decade.

“The UAV market continues to grow and evolve,” said Philip Finnegan, Teal Group’s director of corporate analysis and an author of the study. “Increasing trade in costly high-altitude, long-endurance systems, low cost Chinese exports, demand for armed UAVs, the development of the next generation of unmanned combat systems, and potential new applications are combining to fuel market growth.”

“The Teal Group study predicts that the US will account for almost 80% of total military worldwide RDT&E spending on UAV technology over the next decade, and about 47% of the military procurement,” said Teal Group senior analyst Steve Zaloga, another author of the study.

The latest edition of the sector study, World Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems, Market Profile and Forecast 2019/2020, examines the worldwide requirements for UAVs, including UAV payloads and companies, and provides ten-year forecasts by country, region, and classes of UAVs. It incorporates the latest budget data worldwide, including the fiscal 2020 US defense budget.

The 2019-2020 study provides forecasts for a wide range of UAV payloads, including Electro-Optical/Infrared Sensors (EO/IR), Synthetic Aperture Radars (SARs), SIGINT and EW Systems, and C4I Systems, forecast to grow in overall value from $5.5 billion in FY19 to $8.3 billion in FY28. Steady growth will occur in the “default sensor” EO/IR market, following a funding downturn in recent years as several legacy endurance UAV sensor programs ended. Teal forecasts a near-term rise from $1.6 billion in FY19 to $2.2 billion in FY22, led by funding for adding U-2 sensors to Global Hawk, by HD upgrade programs for Reapers and Gray Eagles, and by new production for classified UCAVs and mini/nano-UAVs.

This year, the study again breaks out more classified and future follow-on sensor program forecasts, to show all business opportunities. According to Dr. David L. Rockwell, Teal’s lead electronics analyst, “it is vitally important to forecast these programs, as they make up more and more of the available market, even though they are in none of the DoD documents or online sources.” He notes that, “Detailed speculative ‘available’ forecasts – totaling more than $40 billion for payloads through FY28 – are intended to give early warning of programs that are not yet in DoD budgets or under public discussion – to allow Teal’s clients to plan ahead before the RFPs are out.”

Along with EO/IR, comprehensive coverage of the sea change in the radio frequency (RF) market is also included, with UAV radars forecast to grow from $1.5 billion in FY19 to $2.3 billion in FY28, and SIGINT and Electronic Attack (EA) markets to grow from $1.5 billion to $2.1 billion with a 24.5% EA CAGR from FY19 to FY21 for major UCAV systems.

The 2019-2020 study also includes a UAV Manufacturers Market Overview that reflects the worldwide UAV market “again continuing as one of the prime areas of growth for defense and aerospace companies,” said Finnegan.

The study reflects the rapid growth of interest in the UAV business by covering approximately 60 U.S., European, Asia-Pacific, and Israeli companies, and reveals the fundamental reshaping of the industrial environment as UAV technology proliferates worldwide.