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Redding, California - May 14, 2024

Military Drones Market to be Worth $34.4 Billion by 2031

Military Drones Market Size, Share, Forecast, & Trends Analysis by type (fixed-wing, rotor-wing), range, operation mode, drone weight, propulsion type (ICE, Electric), payload capacity, application (surveillance and reconnaissance, transportation), and Geography - Global Forecast to 2031


Meticulous Research®—leading global market research company, published a research report titled, ‘Military Drones Market by Type (Fixed-wing, Rotor-wing), Range, Operation Mode, Drone Weight, Propulsion Type (ICE, Electric), Payload Capacity, Application (ISRT, Logistics & Transportation), and Geography - Global Forecast to 2031.’

According to this latest publication from Meticulous Research®, the military drones market is projected to reach $34.4 billion by 2031, at a CAGR of 11.4% from 2024–2031. The growth of the military drones market is driven by the growing use of UAVs for cargo delivery in military operations and the rising adoption of military drones for surveillance & reconnaissance. However, the high cost associated with advanced military drones restrains the growth of this market. Furthermore, the rise of advanced avionics technologies is expected to generate growth opportunities for the players operating in this market. However, the lack of highly skilled drone operators is a major challenge impacting market growth. Additionally, the increasing integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous capabilities is a prominent trend in this market.

The military drones market is segmented by type (fixed-wing drones, rotor-wing drones, and hybrid drones), range (visual line of sight (VLOS), extended visual line of sight (EVLOS), and beyond line of sight (BLOS)), operation mode (remote, semi-autonomous, and autonomous), drone weight (< 150 Kg, 151-1200 Kg, and > 1200 Kg), propulsion type (ICE propulsion and electric propulsion [battery-powered and fuel cell-powered]), payload capacity (0-5 Kg, 5-15 Kg, and > 15 Kg), application (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting (ISRT), combat operations, logistics & transportation, battle damage management, and other applications), and geography. The study also evaluates industry competitors and analyses the market at the country and regional levels.

Based on type, the military drones market is segmented into fixed-wing drones, rotor-wing drones, and hybrid drones. In 2024, the fixed-wing drones segment is expected to account for the largest share of above 85.0% of the military drones market. The segment's large market share is attributed to the growing use of UAVs in the military for real-time intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities; cost-effectiveness; and reduced instances of fatalities among military personnel involved in reconnaissance & strike missions.

However, the rotor-wing drones segment is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growth of this segment is attributed to the growing use of rotor-wing drones to operate in diverse environment such as urban areas and rugged terrain. Rotor-wing drones can fly at low speeds that help conduct close-range surveillance and reconnaissance.

Based on range, the military drones market is segmented into visual line of sight (VLOS), extended visual line of sight (EVLOS), and beyond line of sight (BLOS). In 2024, the visual line of sight (VLOS) segment is expected to account for the largest share of above 35.0% of the military drones market. The segment's large market share is attributed to the growing need to maintain a direct visual connection with the drone, allowing the operator to assess the surrounding environment in real time. Direct visual contact allows operators to monitor the drone's flight path and surroundings, and the VLOS operations involve shorter communication distances between the operator and the drone, leading to lower latency in command and control.

However, the beyond line of sight (BLOS) segment is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growth of this segment is attributed to the BLOS capabilities enable drones to operate over much greater distances compared to VLOS operations; the BLOS operations allow drones to maintain a low profile by operating beyond the adversary's line of sight; and the BLOS-capable drones detect & engage targets beyond the operator's line of sight, enabling over-the-horizon targeting capabilities.

Based on operation mode, the military drones market is segmented into remote, semi-autonomous, and autonomous. In 2024, the remote segment is expected to account for the largest share of above 80.0% of the military drones market. The segment's large market share is attributed to the growing adoption of remote-based drones to control drones from a safe location such as a military base or command center; the remote operation mode facilitates continuous, round-the-clock operations to detect and respond to threats; and the growing use of remote operation of drones for rapidly repositioned and redeployed in response to changing mission requirements.

However, the autonomous segment is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growth of this segment is attributed to the autonomous operation of military drones to reduce the risk of errors caused by fatigue, stress, or cognitive overload; the autonomous drones execute missions with greater efficiency, optimizing flight paths, energy usage, and operational parameters. Additionally, autonomous drones operate with minimal reliance on external communication links, making them less vulnerable to jamming, interference, or loss of connectivity.

Based on drone weight, the military drones market is segmented into < 150 Kg, 151-1200 Kg, and > 1200 Kg. In 2024, the 151-1200 Kg segment is expected to account for the largest share of the military drones market. The segment's large market share is attributed to the growing use of these drones due to their capability to be equipped with advanced sensors, cameras, radar, and signal intelligence. Additionally, these drones play a crucial role in border and maritime security operations, where they monitor coastlines, maritime traffic, and border areas.

Also, this segment is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

Based on propulsion type, the military drones market is segmented into ICE propulsion and electric propulsion. In 2024, the ICE propulsion segment is expected to account for the larger share of above 65.0% of the military drones market. ICE-powered military drones can carry heavier payloads compared to electrically powered drones. These drones can achieve higher speeds and greater flexibility. Additionally, refueling ICE-powered drones is faster and more convenient than recharging electrically powered drones.

Also, this segment is expected to register a higher CAGR during the forecast period.

Based on payload capacity, the military drones market is segmented into 0-5 Kg, 5-15 Kg, and > 15 Kg. In 2024, the 0-5 Kg segment is expected to account for the largest share of the military drones market. The segment's large market share is attributed to the increasing use of 0-5 Kg payload capacity military drones equipped with lightweight cameras, thermal sensors, and other reconnaissance equipment. These military drones help in reconnaissance and surveillance, force protection, target acquisition, communication relay, and battle damage assessment.

However, the > 15 Kg segment is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growth of this segment is attributed to the growing use of these drones to transport heavy payloads such as supplies, equipment, ammunition, and medical supplies to remote or inaccessible areas. Additionally, they help transport large cargo containers, vehicles, or engineering equipment to support military logistics, infrastructure development, and disaster relief efforts.

Based on application, the military drones market is segmented into intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting (ISRT), combat operations, logistics & transportation, battle damage management, and other applications. In 2024, the intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting (ISRT) segment is expected to account for the largest share of above 75.0% of the military drones market. The segment's large market share is attributed to the growing adoption of drones for real-time data and situational awareness, facilitating rapid decision-making and greater accuracy in targeting. Military drones allow for comprehensive coverage of a target area to detect subtle changes or patterns over time and the growing adoption of military drones to identify and track targets using advanced sensors and targeting systems.

However, the logistics & transportation segment is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growth of this segment is attributed to the growing adoption of drones to transport critical supplies, equipment, and medical aid to frontline troops or remote locations rapidly. Drones reduce the risk to military personnel involved in logistics operations by eliminating the need for manned transportation.

Based on geography, the military drones market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa. In 2024, North America is expected to account for the largest share of above 40.0% of the military drones market. North America’s significant market share can be attributed to the presence of major military drone manufacturers and their focus on developing advanced UAV technology and increasing funding by the government for advancements in military drones. Additionally, there is a rising adoption of military drones for surveillance and reconnaissance in the region.

However, the Asia-Pacific market is expected to register the highest CAGR of above 14.0% during the forecast period. The growth of this market is driven by the increasing adoption of automation and advanced technologies for military drones and the growing use of military drones for cargo operations in the region. Additionally, the increasing government spending in defense and military sector helps to increase the demand for military drones in the region.

Key Players

The key players operating in the military drones market are AeroVironment, Inc. (U.S.), Northrop Grumman Corporation (U.S.), Israel Aerospace Industries (Israel), Teledyne FLIR LLC (A Subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Incorporated) (U.S.), Teal Drones, Inc. (A Subsidiary of Red Cat Holdings, Inc.) (U.S.), The Boeing Company (U.S.), Anduril Industries, Inc. (U.S.), Thales Group (France), RTX Corporation (U.S.), Elbit Systems Ltd. (Israel), Saab AB (Sweden), Asteria Aerospace Limited (A Subsidiary of Jio Platforms Ltd) (India), Shield AI (U.S.), Quantum3D, Inc. (U.S.), and Aeronautics Ltd. (Israel).

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Key Questions Answered in the Report:

  • Which are the high-growth market segments in terms of type, range, operation mode, drone weight, propulsion type, payload capacity, and application?
  • What is the historical market size for military drones?
  • What are the market forecasts and estimates for 2024–2031?
  • What are the major drivers, restraints, opportunities, challenges, and trends in the military drones market?
  • Who are the major players in the military drones market, and what are their market shares?
  • What is the competitive landscape like?
  • What are the recent developments in the military drones market?
  • What are the different strategies adopted by major market players?
  • What are the trends and high-growth countries? 
  • Who are the local emerging players in the military drones market, and how do they compete with other players?

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Report ID: MRAUTO - 1041193 Pages: 300 Formats*:PDF Category: Automotive and Transportation
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