Spending for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to double over next 10 years worldwide, says 2013 Teal Group forecast

Posted by John Keller

WASHINGTON, 18 Aug. 2013. Worldwide spending for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will double over the next decade, rising from $5.2 billion in 2014 to $11.9 billion in 2023, predict analysts at market researcher the Teal Group Corp. in Fairfax, Va.

Teal analysts released their latest worldwide UAV forecast this week at the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) 2013 conference and trade show in Washington.

UAV research throughout the world will increase from $1.9 billion in 2014 to $4 billion in 2023, while procurement will increase from $5.2 million next year to $7.6 million in 2023.

The U.S. military will lead the world in UAV research and procurement spending over the next decade, accounting for 65 percent of the UAV research and 51 percent of the UAV procurement. The Asia-Pacific region will be second in UAV spending, while Europe will be third, Teal analysts say.

Medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAVs, such as the U.S. MQ-1 Predator, will account for the lion's share of spending over the next decade with a total of $15.5 billion from 2014 to 2023. Unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) will total $9.9 billion; high-altitude long-endurance UAVs will account for $9.4 billion; tactical UAVs (TUAVs) like the U.S. Shadow, will total $5.1 billion; naval UAVs will account for $4.4 billion in spending; mini UAVs will account for $1.3 billion in spending; while small tactical UAVs (STUAVs) like the U.S. Integrator will total $1 billion, Teal analysts say.

The forecast expects a drop in U.S. mini UAV acquisition over the period as combat operations wide down in Iraq and Afghanistan; those conflicts have had a significant effect on unit numbers, though not in dollar values, analysts sa.

Worldwide, for example, 22,010 mini UAVs will be purchased over the next decade with a dollar value of $1.3 billion. Over the next decade worldwide, 2,259 STUAVs will be purchased; 1,695 TUAVs will be purchased; followed by 828 MALE UAVs, 436 naval UAVs, 105 HALE UAVs and 87 UCAVs, analysts say.

UAVs continue to be one of the most dynamic growth sectors in the world aerospace industry, Teal experts say. In the U.S., particularly, UAVs are a key element in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, while the use of hinter-killer UAVs is expanding.

This UAV forecast is part of the Teal Group's tenth edition of the World Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems, Market Profile and Forecast 2013. For more information contact the Teal Group online at www.tealgroup.com.

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