According to a new market research report titled, “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market by Component (Hardware, Software), Class (Mini UAVs, Micro UAVs), End-User (Military, Commercial, Agriculture), Type (Fixed Wing, Rotary-Wing UAVs), Capacity, and Mode of Operation– Global Forecast to 2027”, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.1% from 2020 to 2027 to reach $21.8 billion by 2027. Also, in terms of volume, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.2% from 2020 to 2027 to reach 13.2 million units by 2027.
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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones are aircrafts which can be operated remotely by a pilot or by pre-programmed schedules or automation systems, allowing it to fly autonomously. A wide range of industries and organizations, including military, government, industrial and recreational users, deploy this technology across the globe. As the drone technology advances, these aircrafts are expected to become more popular and affordable. Rising adoption of UAVs in civil and commercial application, increasing deployment of UAV in border patrolling and combating terrorism, and regulations by the federal aviation administration (FAA) to permit the use of UAVs in several industries are the key factors driving the growth of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market. However, the restrictions imposed on the commercial use of UAVs in various countries are anticipated to obstruct the growth of this market to some extent.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market
UAV manufacturers worldwide are struggling to meet production deadlines as the coronavirus continues to impact Chinese electronic component manufacturing industries. A growing number of component suppliers worldwide are also experiencing slowdowns or shutdowns in response to the COVID-19, which affects the availability of sub-components in a snowball effect.
China is the home for major consumer electronics manufacturers. After the outbreak of COVID-19, many technology sectors are facing new challenges in the supply chain. It has been almost two decades since the SARS virus spread across China, affecting thousands of people in the country and heavily impacting the global economy. The Chinese economy accounted for only 4% of the world’s GDP back in 2003; however, it accounts for around 16% in 2020. China has made the world heavily dependent on its manufacturing capabilities since 2003. However, after the WHO’s official announcement of the coronavirus outbreak in January 2020, exports from China have reduced significantly. As a result, UAV industries across the world that are dependent on imports of battery, gimbal, camera, or a small piece of plastic manufactured from China have suffered severe setbacks. For instance, the U.S.-based Skydio assembles UAVs in the U.S., but the company is suffering from the supply-chain disruption caused by the slowdown in manufacturing of the parts.
Further, as per the press release of DJI (the largest UAV manufacturer in the world), DJI is working to limit the impact on customers but says that shortages may occur. Also, disruptions in the supply chain due to COVID-19 have slowed down the shipments of UAVs to major markets across the globe.
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COVID-19 Impact Assessment by Meticulous Research®
The COVID-19 impact on unmanned aerial vehicle market is analyzed on the basis of 3 scenarios, namely severe impact, slow recovery, and fast recovery growth.
- The severe impact situation considers a sharp decline in market revenues during 2020 and 2021, followed by a period of gradual market growth during the forecast period.
- The slow recovery scenario considers a minor dip in terms of market revenue during 2020 and 2021, while the market recovers at a slow to moderate pace 2022 onwards.
- Under the fast recovery scenario, market revenues during 2020 and 2021 are somewhat affected, followed by a consolidation of market revenues during the subsequent years of the forecast period
Meticulous Research® predicted that the UAV market growth would be somewhat staggered during 2020, owing to a limited military spending by countries, globally. Several of the defense contracts that were slated to commercialize in 2020 have been put on hold due to the pandemic, forcing countries to focus their spending on healthcare sector. Meticulous Research® estimates a major dip in terms of revenue generated from military contracts. A bulk of revenue generated in military segment would come from renewals, and refurbishment activities. An optimistic opinion cites the recovery from COVID-19 by August which would offer vendors in the market with new revenue generation opportunities.
However, the decline from military segment is in tandem to the growth and adoption of UAVs in non-military applications. The commercial and civil applications would continue to generate new revenue prospects for the global unmanned aerial vehicles market amidst the COVID-19 epidemic. Meticulous Research® estimates that the global unmanned aerial vehicle market revenue and demand will reflect fast recovery and the market would take less time to get back on track for a moderate pace growth. The bigger picture that has emerged amidst the coronavirus pandemic highlights the rising importance and usability of UAVs/drones in conducting automated operations, thereby safeguarding human safety in critical situations like these.
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The overall unmanned aerial vehicle market study presents historical market data in terms of value and volume (2018 and 2019), estimated current data (2020), and forecasts for 2027. The market is segmented on the basis of component (UAV hardware, UAV software); class (small UAVs, strategic & tactical UAVs, special-purpose UAVs); type (fixed-wing UAVs, fixed-wing VTOL UAVs, rotary-wing UAVs); capacity (<25 Kilograms,25-170 Kilograms, >170 Kilograms); mode of operation (remotely operated UAVs, semi-autonomous UAVs, fully autonomous UAVs); and end user (military, commercial, law enforcement, agriculture, energy & power, construction & mining, media & entertainment, wildlife & forestry, insurance). The study also evaluates industry competitors and analyses the market at a country level.
Based on component, the UAV hardware segment is estimated to emerge as the largest shareholder during the forecast period in the overall unmanned aerial vehicle market in 2020. The large share of this segment is primarily accounted to the rising need for replacement, upgradation, and modification of drone hardware components to improve drone lifespan and performance as well as to gain competitive advantage. In addition, several UAV manufacturers are coming up with lighter and robust hardware structures to make them function under extreme climatic conditions, which further augments the growth of this segment. However, the advancements in drone software technology and increasing demand for better data analysis will result in the software segment emerging as the fastest growing segment during the forecast period.
Geographically, in 2020, the North America region is estimated to account for the largest share of the global unmanned aerial vehicle market, followed by Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. The large share of the North America region is attributed to the presence of major UAV manufacturing companies and their focus on developing advanced UAV technology, along with increasing funding by the government on UAVs for border surveillance and maritime activities. In addition, favorable government initiatives regarding the advancement in drone technology coupled with the increasing demand for drone acquired data from businesses will further drive North America UAV market growth. Moreover, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released new regulations that provide more concise and clear guidelines on the legal and safe operation of UAVs in commercial spaces. These rules and regulations are expected to reduce entry barriers and increase the adoption of UAVs in the region. On the other hand, the Asia Pacific region is projected to grow at the fastest CAGR of 16.7% during the forecast period. The high growth rate is attributed to the supporting government initiatives across the region and investments by major UAV companies.
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However, Asia-Pacific region is expected to witness rapid growth during the forecast period, driven by the factors such as increasing adoption of automation and advanced technologies across a wide range of industries such as China and Japan to counter the rising labor costs; favorable government initiatives across the region; and investments by major UAV companies. For instance, in 2018, Airbus (a European multinational aerospace corporation) launched the Airbus Aerial commercial drone services in the Asia-Pacific region, with Singapore as the headquarter. Further, the Chinese government is also taking initiatives for development of UAV across the country which is expected to support the growth UAV market in the region. For instance, in July 2017, the State Council of China released a “New Generation Artificial Intelligence (AI) Development Plan” with the goal of guiding China to become a global leader in AI by 2030. AI technology development is at the helm of this initiative. Under this strategy, the UAV is one of the focus sectors. This national strategy guideline calls for the production of UAVs and autonomous vehicles for consumers and industrial use.
The report also includes extensive assessment of the key strategic developments adopted by the leading market participants in the industry over the past 4-5 years. The unmanned aerial vehicle market has witnessed number of products launches in recent years. For instance, in November 2019, Elbit Systems launched MAGNI, a fully autonomous and robust multi-rotor Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). This new MAGNI is a compact and lightweight (2.5 kg) and features rapid deployment and launch (in less than 1 minute) of any combat vehicle, making it an effective tool for intelligence gathering. Similarly, in October 2019, DJI introduced Mavic Mini, an ultra-light folding drone that is intended to serve as the FlyCam for daily use. This new Mavic Mini Weighing a meagre 249 grams is lightweight, easy to operate, optimized for safety, and ideal for recreational or educational purpose.
The global unmanned aerial vehicle market is consolidated and dominated by few major players, namely Elbit Systems Ltd. (Israel), Northrop Grumman Corporation (U.S.), General Atomics (U.S.), AeroVironment, Inc. (U.S.), Lockheed Martin Corporation (U.S.), Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (Israel), Parrot S.A.(France), Microdrones GmbH (Germany), PrecisionHawk Inc (U.S.), SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd (China), 3D Robotics (U.S.), Textron Inc. (U.S.), Boeing (U.S.), Aeronautics (U.S), Saab AB (Sweden), BAE Systems plc (U.K.), Ehang (china), Raytheon Company (U.S.), Turkish Aerospace Industries (Turkey), and Yuneec International (China) among others.
Scope of the Report:
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market by Component
- UAV Hardware
- UAV Airframes
- UAV Avionics
- UAV Flight Control Systems
- UAV Navigation Systems
- UAV GPS/GNSS
- UAV INS/IMU
- UAV Sense & Avoid Systems
- UAV Sensors
- Speed Sensors
- Light Sensors
- Proximity Sensors
- Temperature Sensors
- Position Sensors
- UAV Communication Systems
- UAV Propulsion Systems
- UAV Engines
- Electric Engines
- Gas Engines
- UAV Batteries
- Solar Cells
- Fuel Cells
- Hybrid Cells
- UAV Engines
- UAV Ground Control Stations
- UAV Launch & Recovery Systems
- UAV Software
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market by Class
- Small UAVs
- Mini UAVs
- Micro UAVs
- Strategic & Tactical UAVs
- Special-Purpose UAVs
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market by End-user
- Law Enforcement
- Energy & Power
- Construction & Mining
- Media & Entertainment
- Wildlife & Forestry
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market by Type
- Fixed-Wing UAVs
- Fixed-Wing VTOL UAVs
- Rotary-Wing UAVs
- Single Rotor wing UAVs
- Multi-Rotor wing UAVs
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market by Capacity
- <25 Kilograms
- 25-170 Kilograms
- >170 Kilograms
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)Market by Mode of Operation
- Remotely Operated UAVs
- Semi-Autonomous UAVs
- Fully Autonomous UAVs
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market by Geography
- North America
- Rest of Europe
- Rest of Asia-Pacific
- Latin America
- Middle East and Africa
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