Washington, DC, February 17, 2009 / Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) continue to be the most dynamic growth sector of the world aerospace industry, report Teal analysts in their latest integrated market analysis.
Teal Group's 2009 market study estimates that UAV spending will almost double over the next decade from current worldwide UAV expenditures of $4.4 billion annually to $8.7 billion within a decade, totaling just over $62 billion in the next ten years.
"The most significant catalyst to this market has been the enormous growth of interest in UAVs by the US military, tied to the general trend toward information warfare and net-centric systems," said Teal senior analyst Steve Zaloga, on of the authors of the new, 364-page study. "UAVs are a key element in the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) portion of this revolution, and they are expanding into other missions as well with the advent of hunter-killer UAVs."
The study suggests that the US will account for 72% of the worldwide RDT&E spending on UAV technology over the next decade, and about 61% of the procurement. "We expect that the sales of UAVs will follow recent patterns of high-tech arms procurement worldwide, with Europe representing
the second largest market, followed very closely by Asia-Pacific," said Zaloga. "Indeed, the Asia-Pacific region may outpace Europe in UAV development."
The sixth edition of the sector study, World Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems 2009 market profile and forecast, examines the worldwide requirements for UAVs, including UAV payloads, and provides ten-year forecasts by country, region, and classes of UAVs.
The 2009 study also provides 10-year funding and production forecasts for a wide range of UAV payloads, including Electro-Optic/Infrared Sensors, Synthetic Aperture Radars (SARs), SIGINT and
EW Systems, C4I Systems, and CBRN Sensors, worth more than $2 billion in Fiscal Year 2009 and forecast to increase to nearly $5 billion in Fiscal Year 2018. The UAV electronics market will grow steadily, with especially fast growth and opportunities in SAR and SIGINT/EW.
"The payload portion of the 2009 study includes many new systems and system types, with expanded forecasts of the exploding SAR and SIGINT/EW markets," said Dr. David Rockwell, second author of the new UAV study. "Few now question the U.S. Air Force's claim that ISR is 'the centerpiece of our global war on terrorism', and while production ramps up for major endurance UAV systems such as the APY-8 Lynx, MP-RTIP, and ASIP, new RDT&E efforts will bring large-aircraft capabilities to smaller and smaller UAVs; tactical and mini/micro/nano-UAVs will offer some of the best electronics opportunities over the next decade.
The 2009 study also includes a UAV Manufacturers Market Overview that reflects the worldwide UAV market "as one of the hottest areas of growth for defense and aerospace companies," said Philip Finnegan, third author of the new Teal Group UAV study. The new study will increase the number of companies covered and reflect the fundamental reshaping of the industrial environment.
"Smaller companies can successfully compete against larger players, as AAI Corp., Insitu, General Atomics and AeroVironment have all shown," Finnegan said. "Now the prime contractors are buying the successful smaller companies." AAI Corp., Insitu and Athena Technologies have all been acquired in a little bit more than a year.
As prime contractors and small companies compete in the dynamic UAV market, they are adopting widely different strategies. "Our overview tracks the widely varying approaches being taken by these key companies, ranging from outright acquisitions to teaming arrangements and internal development of new UAV systems," said Finnegan.
"Teal Group analysts already cover the UAV market in their World Missiles & UAV Briefing, which examines the UAV market on a program-by-program basis," said Zaloga. "The sector study examines the UAV market from a complementary perspective, namely national requirements, and includes both a comprehensive analysis of UAV system payloads and key UAV manufacturers."
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