A small UAV, miniature UAV, or drone refers to an unmanned aerial vehicle with a size small enough to be man-portable. Small UAVs vary from micro air vehicles (MAVs) to man-portable UAVs. The term is normally used for those used for military purposes. The small global UAV market has recorded enormous growth in the past few years. The market's growth is primarily accredited to the growing use of small UAVs in the defense sector in various nations across the globe.
Furthermore, the use of small UAVs across various commercial use-cases like precision agriculture, product delivery, aerial remote sensing, and surveying mapping & monitoring has scaled up lately, which in turn is causing an upsurge in the growth of the small UAV market. Moreover, the use of drones in the agricultural sector is another crucial aspect propelling the market's growth. However, the issues related to security and safety and the lack of effective air traffic management across several nations are likely to restrict the market's growth over the coming years.
The COVID-19 outbreak has had a debilitating impact on the small UAVS industry, given the temporary shutdown of several manufacturing facilities and weakened demand. Amidst the growing focus on curbing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, players in the global market for small UAVs are trying to boost their supply chains and accelerate their operations to restrict further revenue losses. Additionally, with the gradual lifting up of the lockdown across countries and the novel coronavirus under control, the global market can recover faster in the ensuing years.
Rising Use in Defense Sector Across Various Countries to Boost Market Growth
The striking growth in the use of small UAVS by the defense forces across the globe has been an important growth booster in the worldwide market. Additionally, the rising use of small UAVs in commercial use-cases, such as surveying mapping and monitoring, aerial remote sensing, product delivery and precision agriculture, has also contributed significantly to the market expansion rate worldwide.
Africa and the Middle East to Provide Highly Lucrative Opportunities to Players
Over the years, the use of UAVs has increased substantially in emerging countries for border security and surveillance applications. One of the prime examples of the same is the Middle East, with Israel emerging as a prominent manufacturer and exporter of UAVs. The demand for small UAVs in the construction industry for applications like land surveying, 2D and 3D modelling and mapping, waste reduction, progress monitoring, and job site surveillance has surged and this is viewed as a major opportunity for leading players worldwide.
The agriculture industry in Africa has been increasingly deploying small UAVs for soil scanning (electrical conductivity monitoring, nitrogen content monitoring), fish population monitoring, pesticide spraying, crop monitoring, weed, and pest detection, to name a few.
Improper Air Traffic Management of UAVs to Challenge Growth
Lack of effective air traffic management in various countries with respect to UAVs combined with the issues related to security and safety can pose significant challenges to the major manufacturers in the years to follow.
Micro UAVs to Experience Massive Growth
By type, the market divides into micro and mini-UAVs. The demand for micro UAVS has been surging at a robust pace, since these facilitate remote monitoring of dangerous environments that are generally inaccessible to the vehicles on ground. Micro UAVS are majorly deployed in aerial photography, aerial robotics contests, and more.
Rotary Wing Platform to be the Leading Segment
Key platforms discussed in the MRFR study are fixed-wing, rotary-wing, and others. The rotary wing segment could gain the upper hand over its counterparts, on account of the robust demand for the same in the defense sector for reconnaissance and surveillance applications. Rotary wing is also witnessing growing demand in the commercial sector for applications like wildlife survey, agriculture, firefighting, search & rescue operations, photography, disaster management and law enforcement.
Civil & Commercial Segment to Take the Top Spot
Application-wise, the market can be split into civil & commercial purposes, military & defense and more. The civil & commercial segment can emerge as the top segment in the years to come, given the escalating use of small UAVs for a number of applications like surveying, monitoring, remote sensing and mapping.
North America Gives Stellar Performance
North America is presently the market leader and is expected to record a growth rate of 7% over the review period. The strong backing from the US, which is the top performer in the region and the thriving military and defense sector are responsible for the incredible growth trajectory. The US army remains the biggest buyer of small UAVs in the world, while the presence of reputed UAV manufacturers in the country also add to the market value. Some of the top companies in the US are Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, AeroVironment and General Atomics.
Asia Pacific Makes Tremendous Progress as Air Traffic Soars
Asia Pacific exhibits a spectacular growth potential in the global landscape and can gain considerable grounds in the oncoming years. The regional market can be characterized by the rampant demand for small UAVs in China, in view of the country’s growing military capabilities and the resultant increase in the need for advanced tools during critical military operations. The Chinese government is currently planning to use small UAVs for coastal and patrol surveillance, which will further enhance the market demand in the region over the ensuing years.
Players Collaborate with Other Firms to Expand Product Offerings
A number of firms in the global small UAV market focus on introducing new products to cater to the constantly evolving tastes and preferences of the end-users. Additionally, market leaders frequently collaborate or acquire other companies to expand their offerings as well as customer base. In view of these factors, the global market has become extremely competitive, while the presence of large and small firms also adds to the rivalry quotient.
Furthermore, in-house production capacity, geographical footprint, R&D investments, robust client base and product offerings are a few other highly crucial focus areas for the players to gain the competitive edge in the global market. Firms are also competing on the basis of product quality, reliability, cost as well as aftermarket services. It is absolutely vital for companies to provide high-quality and advanced small UAVs to remain ahead in the fiercely competitive industry.
List of Key Companies Covered in this Report
The report industry overview gives the small UAV market analysis, covering the base year, projected period as well as the size during the given period. The market study also comprises some of the key developments post the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of the novel coronavirus along with the lockdown on the growth of the global market. The report also throws light on the latest business scenario covering the expected as well as the historical value, in terms of volume and value, technological developments, and the top factors that foster the small UAV market growth. Additionally, the report profiles the notable manufacturers with their respective small UAV market share along with the competitive strategies adopted by them to stay relevant.
Scope of the Report
The scope of the report offers the small UAV market forecast, with major focus on the leading small UAV market manufacturer, emerging small UAV market supplier, various small UAV market uses and the small UAV market demand rate in the coming years.