According to the latest report by IMARC Group, titled “UAV Payload and Subsystems Market Report: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2019-2024”, the global UAV payload and subsystems market size reached US$ 7.6 Billion in 2018. The UAV is a remote aircraft, also referred to as a drone, that can either be operated by a pilot at a ground station or fly autonomously based on pre-programmed flight plans or dynamic automation systems. Payloads are essential components in UAVs that are added to perform specific operational missions. Advancements in electro-optical payloads have enabled unmanned vehicles to see and avoid obstacles, navigate accurately, detect movement, locate the enemy, and inform the potential for buried improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Earlier, UAVs were designed to maximize military endurance and range, but technological advancements have enabled private entrepreneurs to develop commercial applications for these systems.
Some of the key players being AeroVironment, Inc. (AVAV), Boeing (BA), Elbit Systems (ESTL), BAE Systems (BAESY), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC), Harris Corporation, CACI International, Rheinmetall AG, Thales Raytheon Systems, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Israel Aerospace Industries, General Dynamics Corporation, GA-ASI, Raytheon and Textron Systems.
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The defense industry is one of the key areas that widely utilize UAVs. Owing to the stealth technology, which enables the aircraft to go undetected by radars, UAVs are employed by the military and defense sector to execute intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. In addition, UAVs are also used for various purposes in wildlife research, photography, oil and gas, and agriculture industries. Apart from this, the launch of innovative variants, such as miniature and hybrid UAVs by manufacturers, is also contributing significantly to the market growth. Also, an increasing number of partnerships between several key players with the aim to create advanced UAVs with the latest technology is also expected to influence the market growth. For instance, BAE Systems and engineers from Prismatic collaborated to develop a new solar powered high-altitude long endurance (HALE) UAV subsystem known as PHASA-35. It has a long-life battery and ultra-lightweight solar cells that have the potential to maintain flights for up to 12 months. Looking forward, the market value is projected to reach US$ 11.6 Billion by 2024, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.3% during 2019-2024.
- Based on the type, the market has been segmented as camera and sensors, weaponry, radar and communications, and others. Amongst these, cameras and sensors are currently dominating the market.
- On the basis of the subsystem, the ground control station (GCS) system accounts for the largest market share. Some of the other subsystems are signal transmission and propulsion system.
- Based on the application, the market is segmented into military and civil. Currently, the market is being dominated by the military segment.
- Region-wise, North America holds the leading position in the market. Other major regions include Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America.
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