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10 Best Military Drone Manufacturers in the World, 2021

July 27, 2021 | Aerospace & Defense

Military drones are aerial vehicles that can be remotely piloted. They play a crucial role in the defense sector and are used in several applications such as mapping, border management, surveillance, target acquisition, etc. Military drones are experiencing advancements in technology, and global economies are increasing their defense expenditures for equipping their military with advanced weapons and equipment. Increasing instances of threats and violence amongst nations are fueling the adoption of military drones.

Drones offer numerous advantages. To begin with, drones increase manpower and act as force multipliers for security and safety. They also speed up transportation by up to 50% in comparison to regular vehicle road transportation. Additionally, the integration of artificial intelligence is enhancing precision and persistence and modernizing the drone industry. As per Fortune Business Insights™, the global market size for military drones is projected to reach USD 23.78 billion by 2027.

10 Best Military Drone Manufacturers in the World

COVID-19 Pandemic- Delayed Projects & Sluggish Growth Evident During the Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has inflicted a long-term and strenuous impact on global economies. Military drone’s production and manufacturing levels got hindered due to severe lockdowns. Delayed projects and delayed deliveries due to lockdowns across several countries also negatively impacted the operations of key players in the sector. However, a few businesses continued to grow amidst the unprecedented crisis heaved by the pandemic.

Fortune Business Insights Identifies the Following as the Top 10 Leading Manufacturers in the Global Market of Military Drones:

1. Northrop Grumman Corporation- 

10 Best Military Drone Manufacturers in the WorldBased in Falls Church, Virginia, USA, it is a leader in autonomous systems, including unmanned aerial vehicles, and produces UAVs for military applications such as real-time intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

  • The company is emphasizing on integrating the Internet of Military Things (IoMT) capabilities to the military equipment, weapons, UAVs, etc.

  • Northrop Grumman Corporation obtained a contract worth USD 82 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to test and develop MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft systems for the U.S. Navy.


2. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

10 Best Military Drone Manufacturers in the WorldWith its headquarters in Poway, California, USA, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of remotely piloted aircraft systems, unmanned aircraft, and sensor systems.

  • In April 2021, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., L3Harris Technologies Inc., and the U.S. Air Force collaborated strategically to enhance the mission capabilities of the U.S. Air Force’s MQ-9 Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft.

  • In November 2020, General Atomics Aeronautical System received a contract worth USD 93.3 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop intelligence tools for unmanned aircraft.


3. The Boeing Company

10 Best Military Drone Manufacturers in the WorldThe Boeing Company is one of the leading manufacturers of autonomous systems for air, water, and land application. The company also manufactures unmanned aircraft systems for military operations. The company emphasizes the development of modern technology, strategic agreements, and contracts to endure its position in the market.

  • In April 2020, the U.S. Navy awarded the Boeing Company a contract to modify three additional MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueling aircraft.


4. Elbit Systems Ltd.

10 Best Military Drone Manufacturers in the WorldWith its headquarters based in Haifa, Israel, Elbit Systems Ltd. provides a wide range of unmanned aerial systems, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) UAS Force is the company’s most prominent customer. The company has continuously been developing innovative UAS solutions and is likely to create growth opportunities in the forthcoming years.

  • In March 2021, Elbit Systems Ltd. received a five-year contract approximately worth USD 300 million to supply Hermes 900 UAS to an Asian country.


5. Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd.

10 Best Military Drone Manufacturers in the WorldIsrael Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) offers unmanned aerial systems for gathering intelligence, border surveys, and target missions. The company possesses five tactical medium-range surveillance UAS: Tactical Heron, Searcher Mk II, BirdEye 650D, BirdEye 650, and Hovermast 100.

  • In September 2020, Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. announced a half acquisition of BlueBird Aero Systems to expand its tactical UAV activities.


6. AeroVironment Inc.

10 Best Military Drone Manufacturers in the WorldIt is a major unmanned aircraft solution provider for tactical intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations. The company possesses a wide range of UAS products and continuously focuses on developing groundbreaking UAS technologies.

  • In October 2020, the U.S. Department of Defense Foreign Military Sales assigned AeroVironment, Inc. a contract worth USD 8.4 million to deliver Puma 3 AE unmanned aircraft systems.


7. Lockheed Martin Corporation

10 Best Military Drone Manufacturers in the WorldThe company offers unmanned systems for commercial and military applications. The company also provides fixed-wing and rotary-wing UAVs for ISR operations. Essentially a security and aerospace company, a huge portion of Lockheed Martin's business is with the U.S. federal government agencies and the U.S. Department of Defense.

  • The Swiss Army in July 2020 appointed Lockheed Martin Corporation to deliver a fleet of Indago 3 small UAS for tactical reconnaissance and surveillance.


8. Thales Group

10 Best Military Drone Manufacturers in the WorldThales offers UAS systems for military surveillance and monitoring operations. The company has delivered Europe’s largest UAV program and is leading the development of future UAS capabilities. The company focuses on agreements, partnerships, contracts, and acquisitions to lead the market position.

  • In January 2021, Thales Group signed an agreement with Bharat Dynamics Ltd. to manufacture STARStreak Air Defence System.


9. BAE Systems

10 Best Military Drone Manufacturers in the WorldA leading manufacturer of UAS in the U.K., the company concentrates on designing and developing next-generation UAS technologies.

  • In October 2020, BAE Systems Inc. received a contract worth USD 400 million from the U.S. Air Force to develop a digital design for a low-cost, autonomous robotic combat drone that can collaborate with piloted warplanes under the U.S. Air Force's Skyborg program.


10. Saab Group

10 Best Military Drone Manufacturers in the WorldHeadquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Saab Group’s UAV program possesses application capabilities across military, defense, maritime, and civil security sectors. The company recently formed a joint venture with UMS Aero Group AG named UMS SKELDAR.

  • In March 2020, UMS SKELDAR, a joint venture between Saab Group and UMS Aero Group, launched its new V-150 unmanned aerial vehicle that can support tactical operations along with Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL).

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