Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) continue as the most dynamic growth sector of the world aerospace industry this decade, according to Teal Group, an aerospace and defense market analysis firm based in Fairfax, Va.
Teal Group’s 2012 market study estimates that UAV spending will almost double over the next decade from current worldwide UAV expenditures of $6.6 billion annually to $11.4 billion, totaling just over $89 billion in the next ten years.
In January, the Pentagon announced plans to cancel the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk Block 30 UAV program and use the aging manned Air Force U-2 spy plane as a replacement.
“The UAV market will continue to be strong despite cuts in defense spending,” said Philip Finnegan, Teal Group’s director of corporate analysis and an author of the study. “UAVs have proved their value in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and will continue to be a high priority for militaries in the United States and worldwide.”
“The Teal Group study predicts that the U.S. will account for 62 percent of the worldwide Research, Development, Test & Evaluation spending on UAV technology over the next decade, and 55 percent of the procurement,” said Teal Group senior analyst Steve Zaloga, another author of the 574-page study.
One new technology UAV was unveiled in February by leading aerospace and defense website Aviation Week. The company revealed a new U.S. Air Force’s X-plane, the X-56A UAV. The aircraft is designed to test new technologies that will push the development of slender, lightweight, high-aspect-ratio wings for future transports and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.
The Teal Group study, titled “World Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems, Market Profile and Forecast 2012,” examines the worldwide requirements for UAVs, including UAV payloads and companies, and provides ten-year forecasts by country, region, and classes of UAVs.
The 2012 study provides 10-year funding and production forecasts for a wide range of UAV payloads, like electro-optic/infrared sensors, synthetic aperture radars (SARs), signal intelligence (SIGINT) and electronic warfare (EW) systems, Command, Control, Communications, Computers, & Intelligence systems, and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear radiation sensors, worth $2.7 billion in fiscal year 2012 and forecast to increase to $6 billion in fiscal year 2021.
“The payload portion of the 2012 study includes many new systems and system types, including a new section on UAV self-defenses,” said David Rockwell of Teal Group.
The study also includes a UAV Manufacturers Market Overview that reflects the worldwide UAV market “again continuing as one of the prime areas of growth for defense and aerospace companies,” said Finnegan. The new study reflects the rapid growth of interest in the UAV business by increasing the number of companies covered to some 40 U.S., European, South African and Israeli companies.
All companies have been updated including their involvement and strategy in UAVs and five new companies have been included: Canada’s Aeryon and CAE, Inc., South Africa’s Denel, U.S.-based Griffon Aerospace and France’s Dassault Aviation.
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