The Billion Dollar Drone Industry


RQ-4 Global Hawk's first flightUnmanned aerial vehicles, otherwise known as drones, have become key components of the so-called War on Terror and other shadow wars. The US has been spending millions expanded drone fleets.  Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and the Central Intelligence Agency are all expanding drone fleets. But, America isn’t the only country buying drones. A new report finds that the global drone market is expanding, and is worth billions:

The global UAV payload market, valued at approximately $43.7 billion at the end of 2012, is estimated to increase to $68.6 billion by 2022, representing a compound annual growth rate of 4.6% during the forecast period. Market demand is anticipated to be driven by increased UAV procurement by several countries across the world and continuous requirement formulations in areas such as persistent surveillance, suppression/destruction of enemy air defense (SEAD/DEAD), communications relays and combat search and rescue (CSAR). Another major factor which is expected to drive the market over the forecast period is the increasing incorporation of UAVs in civilian applications such as Homeland Security, disaster management and border surveillance.

In recent times, UAVs have attracted significant attention for use in both military and homeland security. As the best substitute to the otherwise used manned aircraft for surveillance and reconnaissance missions, UAVs are now attracting significant investment by several countries. Payloads are essential systems in the UAVs which are instrumental in carrying out various missions and the demand for UAV payloads is thus expected to increase proportionally with the UAVs.

Report highlights anticipate growth in market demand and diversity in UAV applications, there is a growing requirement for the future UAV and payload design to combine multi mission, modular, open architecture features, capable of accomplishing diverse missions. In addition, with the drive towards austerity measures in defense budgets in developed countries, the UAVs are expected to be flexible enough for diverse operations than dedicated to a single mission.

Read more here.

Photo: RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft prepares to taxi Oct. 7, 2010, for its first flight at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, since its arrival Sept. 20, 2010 from US Air Force.

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