Military Drone Market is driven by the increasing procurement of UAVs for combat operations and surveillance purposes by the government across the countries. The increasing internal and external threats are encouraging the government to adopt the drone technology for gathering intelligence related to the developments on the battlefield, assessing battle damages, and performing high-level reconnaissance activities. Furthermore, the increasing utilization of UAVs for administrative functions such as traffic monitoring and police investigations along with emergency response services that include firefighting and disaster management also foster the market growth.
The changing face of warfare in the recent years has been a pivotal factor stimulating military drone market. Aided by cumulative product demand and rapidly progressive technological advancements, this vertical is expected to add a new dimension to the evolving smart industry. Ironically, the latest news about the U.S. military having developed drones that can decide who to kill has created major undulations in military drone industry. As a potential aftermath, the world is still debating over what such a technology can mean for the future of warfare and war ethics. However, it would be fair to state that the advantages of using drones in warfare and military operations have surpassed all debatable boundaries. This is quite evident from the estimates that claim military UAV market share to register a CAGR of 12% over 2017-2024.
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China is counted among the top regional contributors in military drone market, given its massive production of UAVs and its involvement in innovative drone development. Recently, at the Zhuhai 2016 Airshow, China displayed its surveillance and high-attack drones in addition to giving a glimpse of its futuristic products – stealthy drones to be precise, tentatively titled CH-X. In addition, China is also working on the development of drones which will be capable of flying from aircraft carriers. The nation’s high-flying goals to outmaneuver its rivals including Russia and U.S., with the launch of highly advanced drone technologies, is likely to expedite the regional military UAV market share.
The effectiveness of military drones, as demonstrated by the United States, has caught the attention of nations that have been aiming to achieve a robust arsenal of weapons. Thus, countries like China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey have invested in research and development of drone programs, a trend indicating the strong growth of the military drone market in future. China recently set a world record in its demonstration of drone swarm, a topic of much discussion for its implications in the future of warfare. China has used the popular notion of using an overwhelming number of drones to gain tactical advantage over a target and flown 1108 dronebots as a single unit to exhibit the skill of its drones in autonomous flight capabilities and intelligent use of instruments.
Asia Pacific military drone market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 17% during the forecast period. The growth of the market is attributed to the growing demand for the drones from the developing economies including India and China. China accounts for more than 50% share in the Asia Pacific market, driven by the increasing investments by the Chinese government for the procurement of the drones. The government is focusing on enhancing the domestic production of drones to reduce the imports from the U.S. For instance, in July 2017, China started the production of the CH5 Rainbow that will cost half as compared to the U.S. MQ-9 Reaper.
The military drone market growth is credited to increasing investments in the drone technology by military and defense departments. The government across the countries are spending heavily to increase their UAV fleet size. The U.S. federal government has allocated approximately 4.5 billion for drone procurement in the 2017 budget proposal. The proposal indicates a paradigm shift in the technology, as the major drone procurement program was launched, with the funding assigned for new research and development. Similarly, the government of India has also formed an alliance with the General Atomics to deliver 22 sea guardian drones worth approximately USD 2.0 billion. The South Korean government has also announced a five-year plan to invest more than USD 1 billion in the industry for the next five years.