The small UAV market is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 15% during the forecast period.
- As several countries look to increase their military surveillance capability, huge investments are being made in the development of small drones. Militaries across the world are procuring nano drones for different military missions.
- Over the years, regulations have also been changed for the commercial usage of drones in certain countries which has increased the procurement of drones by civilians.
- Growing applications of small UAVs in aerial photography, 3D mapping, surveying, and oil and gas pipeline monitoring, among others are propelling the growth of the small UAV market.
Key Market Trends
The Civil and Commercial Segment is Expected to Register the Highest CAGR During the Forecast Period
The use of UAVs is dominant in the defense sector, primarily due to its applications in various military missions. In the past decade, the use of small UAVs by law enforcement agencies has increased steeply. Recently, FLIR Systems was assigned the task to provide the US Army with Black Hornet Personal Reconnaissance Systems (PRS). Research institutions, like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, developed a honeybee-sized drone featuring a new navigation chip. According to the institution, the small drone is capable of processing complex images, up to 171 frames per second. Preference for miniaturization of UAVs is the current trend in the market.
However, the commercial and civil sector is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This is due to the growing use of small drones in the energy and agriculture sector. Companies, like Amazon, are planning to use small drones for faster delivery of goods. Medical institutions and hospitals are also considering the use of small drones to deliver medical packs during an emergency. With the changes in regulations on the use of commercial drones, the market for small drones is poised to register a steep rise, especially in the commercial and civil segment in the coming years.
North America Held a Major Share in the Small UAV Market in 2019
Countries, like the US, China, Russia, the UK, and India, are progressing rapidly, in terms of technology advancement in small drones. In 2019, North America accounted for a major market share, followed by Asia-Pacific and Europe. The procurement of small UAVs is on a rise in the United States and Canada by the military, law enforcement, and commercial sector. However, several countries in Asia-Pacific are also increasing their procurement of smaller drones. India is a rapidly evolving market, especially in the drones market. Recently, the Government of India amended its regulations on the commercial use of drones, which is expected to fuel the growth of the small drones market in the next five years.
There are several players in the small UAV market. Few prominent players in the market are DJI, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Parrot Drones SAS, AeroVironment Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Textron Inc. Product innovation plays an important role and helps companies in expanding their market presence. The intensity of rivalry is high, as companies look to venture into new regions and to gain long-term contracts.
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