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Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Class (Small UAVs, Tactical UAVs, and Strategic UAVs), By Technology (Remotely Operated, Semi-autonomous, and Fully-autonomous), By System (UAV Airframe, UAV Payloads, UAV Avionics, UAV Propulsion, and UAV Software), By Application (Military, Commercial and Recreational), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI101603



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The global unmanned aerial vehicle market size was valued at USD 10.72 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 25.13 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 12.23% during the forecast period. The North America UAV market was USD 3.88 billion in 2019.


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Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are the important components of the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) commonly called a drone. The autonomous aircraft are well equipped with onboard computers that are remotely controlled from ground-based controllers. The aerodynamic structures are designed to perform several functions with the desired navigation system. The technology was introduced for dangerous military missions without risking human life in several military applications. Military UAVs are fully equipped with a missile for hitting the specific targets which are operated at high altitude. Also, the military operated UAVs are modified propulsion systems using liquid hydrogen fuel for long-range operation. These are employed in enemy troop tracking, observing behavior, and other information collection.

Giants such as Google, Amazon, DHL, Uber, Boeing, and Airbus are highly investing inR&D in UAV technology from the past few years due to lucrative opportunities in the market around the world.  However, the use has rapidly expanded in numerous applications in commercial, scientific, recreational, and other civil services. These are used to gather a large amount of information in disaster relief, forest monitoring, and vegetation monitoring. Nowadays, consumer drones are mainly used for cinematography, surveying, and aerial mapping.

Economic Potential of Drone Market: Construction Industry to Contribute to Growth

According to the PwC 2018 report, the global construction industry in terms of volume is projected to grow by 85% and expected to reach USD 15.5 trillion up to 2030. Moreover, the larger share of around 57% will contribute to key countries such as the U.S., China, and India, in the total industry growth. The industry has significance in design and planning before stepping into major infrastructure and construction. There is a strong requirement for data collection from surveys and map designing of complex surface areas. Most companies require a large amount of time, money, and manpower to perform related surveys and data collection in which drones can save millions of dollars by providing more accurate information in less time. The potential application for the UAV market also includes automated mapping, cadastral surveying, LiDAR mapping, and volumetric calculation by the drone software. The construction industry is likely to provide over USD 45 billion during the forecast period.

Usage of Drones to Send Medical Supplies amidst COVID-19 will Affect Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Market Positively

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on this market is expected to be moderate due to several lockdown situations in the major economies such as the U.S., Germany, U.K., France, Italy, and India. The commercial and military demand across the world has reduced drastically in the pandemic period. But the domestic companies are utilizing drones as an important tool in the handling of COVID-19 diseases spread. For example, China-based drone delivery operator Antwork Inc. aided by delivering medical supplies in the fastest possible way through drones and reduced the involvement of medical staff in the pandemic. The uses and applications have increased in several countries on monitoring by drones for public gathering to limit direct physical contact. Countries such as China, France, India, Russia, Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands are utilizing drones for spraying disinfectants on large places such as public health care infrastructure, emergency hospitals, and government buildings.


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Integration of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Technology to Drive Growth

The superior capabilities of drones to analyze millions of images are enabling safe, secure, and more accurate data, thereby helping in the enhancement of decision-making skills for the management in several industries. Companies are relying more on accurate data collection and information analysis from the software, which is further enhancing the global business output. The new development of hardware and components is helping customers to generate real-time maps regularly owing to the advanced cameras, modern computing, and faster microprocessors.

Modern computing is capable of creating real-time drone maps with live maps through aerial imaging technology. Therefore, major companies are focused on integrating machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyze a large amount of data in the form of millions of aerial images collected by the drones regularly. Many companies are creating software tools that can automate site analysis from object identification and measurement systems. This advancement is projected to be helpful in disaster response, emergency services, and relief operations. Therefore, the new development will fuel the unmanned aerial vehicle market growth in the future.


Rising Demand for UAVs inNumerous Military Applications to Drive Growth

Strong demand for UAVs in numerous countries has been observed from the last few years due to the emergence of drone technology and the several capabilities associated with it. Numerous countries have registered the large purchase of  UAV due to an increase in the incidence of enemy trespassing and border crossing. It is designed to perform activities that include intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance in various missions. The aerodynamic structures are designed for airstrikes at the predecided targeted areas. Around 50 countries have purchased and developed their version of military drones to prepare for warfare scenarios and counter-terrorism activities in the future. The U.S., Israel, China, and the U.K. are the major countries operating in the military drone market. However, the U.S. has major capabilities for producing armed drones and its various types as combat-ready weapons. These key factors are projected to fuel market growth in the coming years.

The emergence of Commercial Drones Applications to Propel Growth of Market

Most industries have registered for drone use to gather large information to ought for the desired strategic decisions. It has become the fastest-growing market in the commercial sector along with its various applications such as construction, mining, oil & gas, and agriculture around the world. The construction industry is likely to provide a major opportunity for market expansion due to high commercial use for mapping, observation, surveying, and inspection studies.

Massive infrastructure development projects need real-time data to understand the ground reality and potential challenges in the future. The construction industry is experiencing the fastest adoption of drones of wide variety and sizes. It is helping numerous engineers and experts to make smarter business decisions owing to the exceptional data analyzing software by mapping millions of aerial images and information. The growing adoption in commercial and civil applications is projected to fuel market growth in the future period.


Lack of Skilled Pilots and Stringent Regulations to Hamper Future Demand

Commercial drones are used in various countries for surveying, mapping, and monitoring applications. The industry is facing major challenges for the market expansion in several countries due to stringent government regulations for using airspace to avoid any accidental damages and safety concerns. Moreover, the lack of air traffic management related to the commercial flights of UAVs and restrictions in urban areas is projected to hamper future growth during the forecast period. The other key concern faced in various countries includes the lack of skilled professional pilots to operate unmanned aerial vehicles with different payloads and sizes. Hence, the risk of collateral damages, safety issues, and security concerns with monetary loss can hamper demand in the future years.


By Class Analysis

Small UAVs Segment to Grow Rapidly Backed by Their Usage in Commercial Applications

Based on class, the market is categorized into small UAVs, strategic UAVs, tactical UAVs, and special purpose UAVs. The small UAVs segment is projected to be the fastest-growing in the market due to its numerous military and civil applications across the globe. They are widely used for security, monitoring, and surveillance purposes. The growing demand for small military drones for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) applications is driving market growth. High usage of small UAVs for commercial applications such as agriculture, mapping, surveying, and logistics around the globe is also expected to fuel their demand in the coming years.

By Technology Analysis

Remotely Operated Segment to Exhibit High Share Owing to Applications in Aerial Mapping & Others

Based on technology, the market is segmented into remotely operated, semi-autonomous, and fully-autonomous. The fully autonomous segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR in the market during the forecast period. It consists of a command delivery system and flight planning system in which the flight route and range are decided before the operation. It is fully controlled by the UAVs without an external command from the ground operator. These are mission-based high payload UAVs designed for specific operations in various countries such as the U.S. China, Russia, and Israel.

The remotely operated segment held a major unmanned aerial vehicle market share in 2019. It is likely to continue leading the market during the forecast period due to a wide range of products being operated by the remote sensing technology. The drone is operated precisely at the lower altitude by wide range drones such as Beyond the Visual Line Sight (BVLS) type to collect information through remote sensing. Numerous commercial applications for agriculture, forest monitoring, aerial mapping are also operated through the remote sensing technology.

By System Analysis

Avionics Segment to Show High CAGR Stoked by Rising Adoption of Modern Electronic Systems

In terms of system, the market is segmented into payload, airframe, avionics, propulsion, and software.

The avionics segment is likely to grow at a rapid pace during the forecast period due to the adoption of a modern electronics system, path control, and automated flight management system. Many companies are focusing on improving their navigation system based on the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) to sure flight efficiency. This development will enhance the capability of drones for object detection, collision avoidance, and automatic flight control system. The software system will be more accurate and fully equipped with the detection of real-time, airspeed, altitude detection, and position for warfare mission, logistic & transportation, and disaster relief operations. This factor is likely to drive the software system growth in the future years.

By Application Analysis

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CommercialSegment to Register Higher CAGR Fueled by Increasing Investments by Companies

In terms of application, the UAV market is segmented into military, commercial, and recreational. The military segment is anticipated to hold the maximum share during the forecast period. An increase in the demand for tactical UAVs and strategic UAVs for military application is driving the segment growth. Several countries have increased their purchase for special purpose UAVs such as Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV and High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) UAV for various missions. It is likely to boost demand in the coming years.

Major operations including border monitoring, surveillance, and border security are set to fuel the demand across the globe. The commercial segment will grow significantly in the future owing to the rapid adoption in surveying, aerial mapping, crop monitoring, forest monitoring, and logistic. The high investment by major companies such as Uber for the development of Air Taxi and logistics giant DHL Logistics for innovating new air transportation by UAVs is expected to boost the commercial segment's high growth during the forecast period.


North America Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)

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Based on geography, the UAV market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the rest of the world.  North America held a larger market share in 2019. The dominance of this region is attributable to the increasing use of drones in infrastructure surveys, aerial mapping, forest monitoring, and other military applications. The U.S. is one of the prominent manufacturers of military UAVs by exporting to several countries around the globe. The strong presence of the key player in the U.S. such as General Atomics, Textron, and Boeing is supporting the positive business outlook. 

The market in Europe is expected to grow at a moderate pace owing to the increasing demand for cameras, software, avionics, and navigation systems for the past few years. The European countries have major technology companies operating, such as Parrot Drones and Delair addressing the demand across the globe. The market in the Asia Pacific is expected to exhibit significant growth owing to the increasing demand for modern warfare unmanned aerial vehicles for strategic and tactical applications in the future years. The major importer countries such as India, and Pakistan, along with China, are likely to secure large revenue in the future years. The rest of the world is set to gain a lower share of the market owing to the presence of a hugely under-penetrated market in countries such as South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil.


Strong Product Portfolio of DJI, Yuneec, and ParrotAttributed Dominance in the Market

The market is highly fragmented in nature, owing to the presence of many manufacturing companies operating in the market. The leading companies have a strong product portfolio and widespread distribution network in both developed and emerging countries. Currently, DJI (China), Parrot (France), and Yuneec (China) are leading the market, accounting for a dominant share of the global market in 2019.  However, the lack of strong barriers to new entry is expected to lead to the rising number of domestic players entering the global market. The other key players are 3D Robotics (U.S.), GoPro (U.S.), Holy Stone (Taiwan), Autel Robotics (U.S.), Sense Fly (Switzerland) and Kesper Drone (U.S.), Hexagon (Sweden), Delair (France), and  AeroVironment Inc., (U.S.). Introduction of the innovative product range of UAVs along with their wide variety and size, acquisition, collaboration, and partnership are some of the major strategies adopted by the players operating in the unmanned aerial vehicle market.


  • DJI (China)

  • Parrot (France)

  • Yuneec (China)

  • 3D Robotics (U.S.)

  • Go Pro (U.S.)

  • Holy Stone (Taiwan)

  • Autel Robotics (U.S.)

  • Sense Fly (Switzerland)

  • Kesper Drone (U.S.)

  • Hexagon (Sweden)

  • Delair (France)

  • AeroVironment Inc., (U.S.)

  • Other Players


  • In June 2021, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has awarded a USD 200 million worth contract to provide support services for the Heron unmanned aerial vehicle. Heron is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV system mainly manufactured to perform strategic reconnaissance and surveillance operations.

  • In May 2021, Teledyne FLIR LLC received a USD 15.4 million worth contract from the US Army to deliver the Black Hornet 3 palm-sized unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The Black Hornet 3, dubbed a personal reconnaissance system, weighs 33 g and is 168 mm long with a 123 mm rotor diameter.

  • In January 2021, Aerovironment, Inc. announce that it has completed the acquisition of Arcturus UAV, Inc., a provider for complete unmanned aerial systems for USD 405 million.

  • In January 2021, The Indian Army announced that it has awarded a USD 20 million worth contract to ideaForge Technology Pvt.Ltd. to deliver high-altitude SWITCH unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This fixed-wing UAV with vertical takeoff and landing capabilities can be used for day and night surveillance at high altitudes and in hostile conditions. The SWITCH UAV is an ideal choice for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) application.

  • In January 2021, The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted American Robotics, Inc. a permission to operate fully automated drones without the presence of humans. The FAA is getting closer to developing an Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management system as a result of this.


The unmanned aerial vehicle market research report provides a detailed market analysis. It focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading applications of the product.

An Infographic Representation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market

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Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key UAV industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the advanced market over recent years.

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Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD billion)


By Class

  • Small UAVs

  • Tactical UAVs

  • Strategic UAVs

By Technology

  • Remotely Operated

  • Semi-autonomous

  • Fully-autonomous

By System

  • UAV Airframe

  • UAV Payloads

  • UAV Avionics

  • UAV Propulsion

  • UAV Software

By Application

  • Military

  • Commercial

  • Recreational

By Geography

  • North America (U.S. and Canada)

  • Europe (U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, and Rest of Europe)

  • Asia-Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia, Southeast Asia, and Rest of Asia- Pacific)

  • Rest of the World (Latin America, Middle East& Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 10.72 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 25.13 billion by 2027.

In 2019, the North America market value stood at USD 3.88 billion.

Registeringa CAGR of 12.23%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).

The military segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

The increasing demand for military UAVs for warfare mission, security, and surveillance applicationsis the key factor driving the growth of the market.

DJI, 3D Robotics, and Yuneecare the major players of the global market.

North America dominated the marketin terms of share in 2019.

The launch of advanced technologies and major brandssuch as Phantom series, Mavic,and Mavic Proareexpected to drive the adoption of unmanned aerial vehicle.

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