Home Aerospace And Defense Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market Demand, Share to 2031

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Type (Fixed wing (MALE, HALE, TUAV), VTOL), By Applications (Military, Civil and Commercial), By Maximum Take-off Weight (MTOW) (0-15 kg, 15-50 kg, 50-200 kg, 200+ kg), By Range (Visual Range of Sight (VLOS), Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS)) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2024-2032

Report Code: SRAD54515DR
Study Period 2020-2032 CAGR 12.67%
Historical Period 2020-2022 Forecast Period 2024-2032
Base Year 2023 Base Year Market Size USD XX Billion
Forecast Year 2032 Forecast Year Market Size USD XX Billion
Largest Market Europe Fastest Growing Market Asia Pacific
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Market Overview

The global unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market size was valued at USD 11,679.10 million in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 42300.31 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 12.67% during the forecast period (2023-2031). 


  • The fixed-wing segment is the highest contributor to the market by type.
  • The construction and mining segment is the highest contributor to the market by application.
  • The 15-50 kg segment is the highest contributor to the market by weight.
  • The Visual Range of Sight (VLOS) segment is the highest contributor to the market by range.
  • Europe is the most significant revenue contributor by region.

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is a mode of aerial transportation that operates without an onboard crew or passengers and is controlled remotely, autonomously, or both. UAV is the aircraft technology of the next generation used for surveillance, assessment, logistics, and photography, among other applications. The introduction of rules and regulations regarding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles by various nations directly impacts the market for unmanned aerial vehicles. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are commonly referred to as drones. The increasing deployment of intelligent technology for surveillance, analysis, and imaging, among other applications, is anticipated to fuel the expansion of the unmanned aerial vehicle market (UAV). It is utilized in the military, defense, agricultural, civil and commercial, logistics and transportation, healthcare, building, and mining industries.

Market Dynamics

Global Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market Drivers

Growing Use of Drones in Various Military, Civil, and Commercial Applications

Over time, drones have become increasingly popular with businesses and regular people. Drones are becoming increasingly common in many applications because of their benefits, including being quick and compact and avoiding terrestrial traffic. Aerial photography, express shipping, and delivery gathering data or providing supplies for disaster management, geographic mapping of inaccessible terrain and locations, building safety inspections, precision crop monitoring, crewless cargo transport, law enforcement, border control surveillance, storm tracking, and hurricane and tornado forecasting are just a few of the commercial applications that have benefited from the use of drones over the years.

After getting the necessary regulatory permits, logistics organizations are about to expand their businesses by offering drone delivery services. Drone delivery is something that many major courier and product delivery companies, like Amazon, Domino's, Zomato, and DHL, are planning to use. Longer-range drones may one day revolutionize healthcare delivery in underserved regions and rural places, where patients and doctors may be miles apart from prescriptions and supplies.

Global Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market Restraints

Accidents Involving Drones and Claims of Privacy Violations

Despite regulations governing where drones can and cannot fly, some unmanned aerial vehicle operators make independent flight decisions that endanger others. Concerns about public disturbance, privacy, safety, and security have long been top priorities for drones. Drones have frequently been implicated in reports of threats to aircraft, persons, or ground-based properties. Additionally, several verified collisions and close calls have involved amateur drone pilots flying against aviation rules. Around 140,000 passengers were inconvenienced when multiple aircraft operations at London Gatwick Airport were delayed in December 2018 due to drone sightings.

Similar interruptions were caused by unlicensed drones flying close to Singapore Changi Airport in June 2019. According to the country's Civil Aviation Authority (CAAS), severe weather and drones caused 18 aircraft to be delayed and seven diverted. Following this, CAAS cautioned the public that wayward uncrewed aircraft operations, which may harm other people's safety or pose hazards to aviation, are seriously considered by the authorities. Although drones are commonly allowed, there have been reports of privacy invasions supposedly caused by drones. There have been numerous reservations about drones in several nations where drones are progressively gaining favor.

Global Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market Opportunities

Rising Investments in Drone Startups

Despite being new, the UAV industry has already seen consolidation efforts and significant investments from industrial conglomerates, chip manufacturers, IT consulting firms, and prominent industrialists. Big ideas and widespread knowledge of drone capabilities are what is driving this. Investments in drone startups have increased significantly over time. In many nations that have recently implemented clear regulatory laws, investments in drone businesses are expected to increase. For instance, after laying out the necessary regulations, India, the world's largest importer of drones for military use, permitted their use for commercial mapping, surveys, and photography in 2018. As a result, the traditionally underfunded drone startups operating in the nation are now seeing an increase in investor interest.

However, due to recent failures involving a few venture capital-funded startups, such as Airware and CyPhy Works, venture capitalists are now focusing on investing in fewer businesses with solid growth prospects. Additionally, as market trends in technology and end users have become more apparent, investors have begun concentrating their investments on particular companies that have more significant development potential. Examples of typical applications include drone delivery, security, and mining.

Regional Analysis

The global unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market is bifurcated into four regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA. 

Europe Dominates the Global Market

Europe is the most significant revenue contributor and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.90% during the forecast period. As the property and construction industries have used drones to examine buildings and turbines and for land surveys, the United Kingdom has enormous potential for commercial drone use. About 400 commercial drone operators operated throughout the nation in 2014. There were more than 5,000 operators by 2020. The government has established the UAV Pathfinder Program to allow private companies to produce drones that can operate beyond the line of sight for various uses, including remote sensing, construction, and agriculture. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) released a handbook in December 2019 to assist with beyond-visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) drone operations.

Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.30% during the forecast period. Only a few of India's drone industry businesses are producing and meeting demand. The regulatory talks that could simplify the process of obtaining approvals and certifications are of more significant concern to businesses. India abruptly outlawed the use of civil drones in 2014, delaying the development of the nation's budding drone sector for years. But in 2018, the Indian government created a drone usage regulating framework after seeing a missed potential in the industry. The government established the Digital Sky Platform, a pioneering national Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM).

The Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry introduced new regulations on drone use in the nation's agriculture industry in January 2021. According to the new laws, everyone working with crops must have a specific license. The paper also establishes sanctions for infractions and says remote equipment must adhere to national civil aviation regulations. In the domestic market, some startups have appeared with specialized product offers for various end-user sectors. For instance, Robostate has created the Surroundrone, which can autonomously perform inspection tasks on building sites, rivers, solar parks, etc. The country's Aviation Law is what governs drone activities in Israel. The licensing and oversight of civilian flight activities are under Israel's Civil Aviation Authority (CAAI), which also has a dedicated unit for UAV operations.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
By Type
  1. Fixed wing (MALE, HALE, TUAV)
  2. VTOL
By Applications
  1. Military
  2. Civil and Commercial
By Maximum Take-off Weight (MTOW)
  1. 0-15 kg
  2. 15-50 kg
  3. 50-200 kg
  4. 200+ kg
By Range
  1. Visual Range of Sight (VLOS)
  2. Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS)
Company Profiles DJI Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd Parrot SA Yuneec International Co. Ltd Delair SAS General Atomics BAYKAR Lapis Aerospace Technology BlueBird Aero Systems Elbit Systems Ltd AeroVironment Inc. Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market is segmented by type, application, maximum take-off weight, and range.

Based on type, the global UAV market is bifurcated into fixed-wing (MALE, HALE, TUAV) and VTOL.

The fixed-wing segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 8.45% during the forecast period. Instead of vertical lift rotors, fixed-wing drones use a wing like a regular aircraft to provide lift. They need the energy to continue forward as a result. Fixed-wing UAVs often have a more extended range and can fly longer with a heavier payload than VTOL UAVs while using less power. In addition to having higher efficiency, gas engines are also a viable option for fixed-wing UAVs because of their higher energy density, allowing them to fly for extended periods. Therefore, they are ideal for long-range tasks like mapping, surveillance, and defense when endurance is crucial.

Although they hold a significant market share in manned aviation, helicopters still occupy a modest portion of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market. A single-rotor helicopter has the advantage of being far more efficient than a multi-rotor helicopter and can use a gas motor for even higher endurance. Single-rotor drones can hover while carrying a large payload, as well as a combination of flowing and long endurance or forward-moving flight. The larger blades on these drones make flying them riskier and necessitate more experience. Drones with multiple rotors are frequently utilized in the public, private, and government sectors. Although less efficient than a single rotor, quadcopters are more efficient than an octocopter. The multi-rotor drone market is quite fragmented, with several companies selling drones with varying payload capacities depending on the task.

Based on application, the global UAV market is bifurcated into military, construction and mining, inspection and monitoring, delivery, law enforcement and first responders, and other applications.

The construction and mining segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 8.60% during the forecast period. Farmers have adopted various high-tech tools to boost production and maintain sustainability in the agricultural industry. Modern, precise farm technology is being introduced and used, revolutionizing farming. The requirement for practical agriculture will only increase due to rising population numbers and shifting climatic trends. The construction industry's operating procedures have revolutionized due to the widespread use of drones. Drones are swiftly replacing traditional land surveillance techniques because they significantly reduce the labor and time required to collect essential data while eliminating the possibility of human error. 

Combat drones are no longer seen as a purely discretionary asset by many nations' armed forces but as critical strategic enablers. The market for crewless combat aerial vehicles has reached a new phase in which armed drone capabilities are becoming the standard due to the development of numerous domestic UCAV projects and the impact of Chinese-made armed drones on the global market. The primary forces driving this trend are the tactical and strategic advantages provided by UCAVs, where the benefits related to cost, dependability, and operational risk mitigation are matched by the platform's increased capacity for power projection, either through deniability or by making UCAVs accessible to proxies and allies.

Based on maximum take-off weight, the global UAV market is bifurcated into 0-15 kg, 15-50 kg, 50-200 kg, and 200+ kg.

The 15-50 kg segment owns the highest market and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 9.20% during the forecast period. This category includes mini drones with fixed and rotor wings with comparatively higher payload carrying capacity and durability than nano and micro drones. The ISTAR capabilities of Aeronautics Ltd.'s Orbiter 4 STUAS, which can transport several payloads, were increased. The MTOW and endurance of Orbiter 4 are each 50 kg. It can carry a payload of around 12 kg. Orbiter 3 has an MTOW of 30 kg, a 5.5-kilogram payload capacity, and a 7-hour endurance. IAI started producing hundreds of the Birds Eye 650D Small Tactical Unmanned Aerial System in 2016. (STUAS).

This MTOW category only includes a small number of UAVs employed in military operations. Insitu received the Short-Range Tactical UAV (SRTUAV) contract from the Netherlands Ministry of Defense in June 2017 for its suggested Integrator package. The standard proposal is to purchase three Insitu Integrator systems to replace the ScanEagle systems that the NMOD defense forces have used since 2012. The Integrator UAV can fly for up to 24 hours and has an MTOW of over 61 kg. The RQ-21A Blackjack uncrewed aerial vehicles were approved for a potential foreign military sale to the United Arab Emirates in 2019, according to the US State Department (UAVs). UAE had asked for the purchase of 20 RQ-21A Blackjack UAVs.

Based on range, the global UAV market is bifurcated into visual range sight and beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS).

The Visual Range of Sight (VLOS) segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 9.90% during the forecast period. In the past, drones could only be used inside the pilot's line of sight, which was their maximum permitted operating distance. Visual line of sight (VLOS) refers to an operation that takes place at fewer than 400 feet (120 meters) above the ground and a distance of no more than 500 meters from the remote pilot. Compared to BVLOS, VLOS flights are generally safer since the operators can avoid potential obstructions without using additional collision avoidance technology. The training and certification requirements for VLOS are also relatively straightforward. Several nations still forbid BVLOS drones and only allow them under specific circumstances. 

Since the pilot may only be keeping an eye on potential obstructions through a remote video feed or, in the case of automated flights, there may be no human monitoring, BVLOS operations raise significant safety concerns. As a result, there is an increased chance of aircraft collisions and harm to people and property, mainly when flights are conducted in non-segregated airspace. BVLOS flights typically need extra gear, training, and certification and are frequently subject to approval from aviation authorities in many different jurisdictions throughout the world. Regulations present the most significant difficulty for BVLOS operations. Technology for drones is advancing much more quickly than regulatory agencies can keep up.

Market Size By Type

Recent Developments

  • May 2023- General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) secured a US government contract for MQ-9B SkyGuardian unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) for Taiwan.
  • February 2023- India’s first indigenous advanced unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for strategic reconnaissance and surveillance will make its public debut next week, while another home-grown weaponized drone is also slated to undertake its first flight test by June-July.

Top Key Players

DJI Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd Parrot SA Yuneec International Co. Ltd Delair SAS General Atomics BAYKAR Lapis Aerospace Technology BlueBird Aero Systems Elbit Systems Ltd AeroVironment Inc. Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd Others

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How big is the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market?
The global unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market size was valued at USD 11,679.10 million in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 42300.31 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 12.67% during the forecast period (2023-2031).
DJI, Parrot SA, Delair SAS, General Atomics, BAYKAR, Lapis Aerospace Technology, BlueBird Aero Systems, Elbit Systems Ltd, and AeroVironment Inc are the prominent players in the market.
The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market is growing at a CAGR of 8.90% in Europe during the forecast period.
The rising use of drones in numerous military, civil, and commercial applications is the major growth factor of the market.
The construction and mining market sector is expected to dominate over the forecast period.

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