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The global unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.6% over the next decade, rising from a valuation of US$43.7 billion recorded at the end of 2012, to hit a market value of US$68.6 billion by 2022.
In the past decade, UAVs have been the most dynamic growth sector of the global aerospace industry.
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 defence (SEAD/DEAD), communications relays and combat search and rescue (CSAR).
Europe and North America account for an estimated 80% of global defence spending. These countries were, however, among the hardest hit by the global financial crisis.
This has led to austerity measures being introduced by national governments, which in turn have resulted in reduced defence budgets and the cancellation and indefinite delay of various UAV and associated payload projects.
With the expected growth in market demand and diversity in UAV applications, there is a growing requirement for the future of UAV design to combine multi mission, modular, open architecture features, capable of accomplishing diverse missions.
In addition, with the drive towards austerity measures in defence budgets in developed countries, UAVs are expected to be flexible enough for diverse operations, rather than dedicated to a single mission.
Overall, the industry consists of approximately 36 companies, and is dominated by a few large firms. The new entrants and smaller firms are encountered with substantially high barriers to secure a considerable share of the market.
For example, in the UAV and payload industry of the US, a major share of more than half of the total market revenue is shared by the top four companies.
For more information on the global UAV market, see the latest research: Global UAV Market
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