Military Drone Market: Speed Segments and Strategic Applications

The Global Military Drone Market is projected to grow from USD 12.0 billion in 2022 to USD 17.0 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 7.3% from 2022 to 2027, according to a new report from MarketsandMarkets. The growth of the market can be attributed to the increasing investment in the development and procurement of modern military solutions to enhance defense forces capabilities.

Moreover, the rising incidences of piracy and island grabbing in regions such as Central Asia, South America, East Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and West Africa have led to increased maritime patrolling and anti-piracy operations, which has in turn increased the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for maritime patrolling to identify hot spots. UAVs can recognize and observe suspicious ships and safeguard routes that are of commercial importance by providing vital real-time information to concerned agencies in an effective manner.

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The report provides in-depth analysis of the military drone market based on platform, type (fixed-wing, rotary-wing, and hybrid), application, MTOW, propulsion (turbo engine, piston engine, and battery), operation mode, speed, launching mode, and region. The battery segment is expected to record the highest growth rate during the forecast period, with many short-range and medium-range drones adopting batteries besides the small drones. Battery or electrically-powered military drones use batteries to store energy and power electric motors. These drones are easy to operate and emit lesser noise as compared to turbo engine drones.

The subsonic segment contributed to the majority share of the market as currently, most military drones operate at conventional subsonic speeds. Drones with a speed of less than 100 km/hr generally include small ISR drones and some close-range drones. The growing demand for small drone platforms is set to boost the growth of the <100 km/hr segment. Moreover, drones with a subsonic speed ranging from 100–300 km/hr are generally medium endurance, low to medium range drones such as close range, short range, medium range, and tactical drones. The increasing use of tactical drones for ISR applications is set to boost the growth of the 100–300 km/hr segment. Furthermore, drones with a more than 300 km/hr subsonic speed are high endurance, medium to long range, high-speed drones. The growing demand for armed drones such as lethal drones and target drones is set to boost the growth of the >300 km/hr segment.

The Asia Pacific region is projected to be high-growth potential markets for the military drone during the forecast period. Asia Pacific has the fastest-growing technology companies based on percentage revenue growth over three years. China, Malaysia, South Korea, and India heavily invest in military drone development projects.

Key Market Players

The major players in the military drone market include Northrop Grumman Corporation, Raytheon Technologies Corporation, Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd., General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, and Teledyne FLIR LLC.

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