The market for the unmanned ground vehicle is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 8% during the forecast period.
- There is a growing use of UGVs to carry counter-insurgency and combat operations. This is primarily to reduce human casualties in such situations.
- Increasing demand for UGVs for ISR missions.
- Demand for UGVs is also increasing for commercial applications, such as in the oil and gas sector, firefighting, and agriculture.
- Several countries are significantly spending on the R&D of unmanned ground systems to overcome the challenges that are associated with such systems. Reliability of the systems and the need for improvement in the power supply to UGVs are some of the prominent challenges for the manufacturers of UGVs.
Key Market Trends
Military Segment will Register the Highest Growth During the Forecast Period
There has been an radical evolution of UGVs since their inception in the 1960s. Currently, armed forces of several countries are deploying UGVs for various missions. For instance, in May 2018, the Russian military revealed its combat-tested Uran-9 robot tank in Syria. Also, in 2015, Russia’s Military Industry Committee announced its objective of deploying 30% of Russia’s kinetic weapons on remote-control platforms by 2025. UGVs have been successfully deployed for missions related to clearing mines and IEDs. Also, the role of UGVs are shifting toward addressing chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) threats. For instance, in July 2018, a collaboration agreement was signed between Croatian mine-clearing vehicle manufacturer DOK-ING and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to produce a CBRNE UGV. Advancements in UGV capabilities and miniaturization of these vehicles will support the growth of UGVs in the military segment in the coming years.
North America and Europe are Expected to Generate Huge Demand for UGVs in the Coming Years
Major investments in the UGV market are expected from North America followed by Europe over the forecast period. Both Russia and the United States have progressed rapidly in the development of advanced unmanned ground systems. The popular UGVs in service with the US Armed Forces are the Foster-Miller TALON remotely operated vehicle series and PackBot military robots. Recently, the US Army awarded a five-year contract to Endeavor Robotics to modernize and maintain the US Army’s existing fleet of UGV platforms. The contract is worth USD 32 million. Moreover, during the Army Warfighting Experiment 2018, the British Troops put four Milrem Robotics’ and QinetiQ TITAN unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) through three weeks of rigorous tests. The UGVs were used in a number of different roles with missions conducted in urban, open, and forested terrain. Similar developments are undergoing in Russia, India, Japan, France, and Estonia, among others.
The market is highly fragmented with several major players. Most of the UGV procurement and development involves local players. However, due to the lack of technological expertise, some smaller local companies enter into a partnership with global players. Some of the prominent players in the market are Qinetiq, Oshkosh Defense, Lockheed Martin Corporation, iRobot Corporation, FLIR, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and BAE Systems, among others. Recently, FLIR completed the acquisition of Endeavor Robotics for USD 385 million. Such acquistion of regional players by global players will help them capture new product portfolio as well the market improving the market share in the market. In addition to this, product innovation will also play a vital role for the success of any UGV manufacturer.
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