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Military Robots Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Platform (Airborne, Land, Naval), By Mode of Operation (Semi-Autonomous and Autonomous), By Mode of Propulsion (Manual, Electric, and Hybrid), By Application (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, Search and Rescue, Combat Support, Transportation, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027

Last Updated: May 06, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI104663



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The global military robots market size was valued at USD 13.87 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow from USD 13.03 billion in 2020 to USD 64.13 billion in 2032 at a CAGR of 12.50% during the forecast period 2020-2032. Europe dominated the global market with a share of 33.74% in 2019.


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The sudden fall in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over. The growing demand for surveillance and border security issues among countries has facilitated technologically advanced robots' procurement. There have been no recent announcements related to the cancellation of defense procurement post-COVID-19 pandemic.

Technological advancements in modern warfare activities have facilitated the demand for autonomous machines or robots to minimize military personnel risk and optimize operational efficiency during battlefield management. Leading countries such as the U.S., China, and Russia are investing in advanced aerial robots to conduct critical operations during combats, rescue activities, surveillance, and others.

Moreover, key companies based in the U.S. and Russia are adopting various marketing strategies, including mergers & acquisitions, new product launches, collaboration, and others to expand their business across different geographies. For instance, in February 2019, FLIR Systems, Inc. acquired Endeavor Robotics for around USD 382 million.

This acquisition enabled FLIR Systems to establish a competitive edge in platforms such as ground-based robots and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Short-term Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Military Robots

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the dynamics of the defence industry. The sudden slowdown in the supply chain has hampered the long-term contracts for military robots. However, companies are redesigning their supply chain strategies to overcome the impact of the pandemic. Key companies such as Raytheon Technologies, BAE Systems, and Northrop Grumman Corporation have experienced a lesser impact of the pandemic than small-scale defence companies. Thus, according to our study, the pandemic will have a short-term impact on the market.


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Growing Human Augmentation and Robotics to Contribute Growth

The growing trends of synergizing humans and robots on the battlefield are expected to accelerate unmanned military systems. Robots can perform tasks faster with more precision, thus minimizing the number of casualties during the war. For instance, in November 2019, the Australian military introduced killer robots to protect and defend Australian armed forces from enemies. Besides, the establishment of multi-mission robots is creating a potential impact on the military robots market share. These robots are integrated with the miniaturization of electronic components and other explosive elements and weapons. The combination of robots with advanced electronic components enables military personnel to make tactical decisions during warfare.


Integration of Advanced Technologies in Military Robots to Propel Market

Integration of technologies such as artificial intelligence, real-time data monitoring, and the Internet of Things (IoT) in military robots has drastically changed modern warfare dynamics. Soldiers' uncertain threat could be easily identified and monitored through AI-integrated robots on air, ground, and sea platforms. These robots are used to track, record, and perform required counter-attacks on the targets located far away from the soldiers. This is also known as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) activity through robots.

Moreover, companies are involved in designing and developing small robots capable of transmitting images and videos of the ground-based station's target enemy base. This assists soldiers in making the required real-time decisions on battlefield scenarios. Thus, advancement in technologies is creating a potential impact on this market size.


High Initial Costs to Inhibit Market Growth

The market is growing rapidly due to their multi-tasking abilities across various military applications. These robots are integrated with various programming software to perform different tasks. This involves high costs associated with procuring and programming such robots resulting in slowing down the market. Also, small companies find it difficult to invest in such robots due to their high design and manufacturing costs, further limiting the market's growth. In addition, this robot performs a repetitive task that enables enemies to track such robots' operations, leading to a disadvantage for the market.


By Platform Analysis

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Rising Border Security Concerns to Exhibit a Higher Growth Rate 

Based on the platform, the market is segmented into airborne, land, and naval. The land segment is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period due to the higher adoption of land robots across various countries, rising investment and research & development activities conducted to upgrade ground robots, and increasing border security concerns in Asian countries. Furthermore, the deployment of such robots is used for extensive tactical military applications and is expected to fuel the market's growth.

Airborne and naval segments are expected to grow at a considerable rate due to rising manufacturers' interest in upgrading existing robots, government initiatives to invest in military & defence sectors, and various military modernization programs.

By Mode of Operation Analysis

The Autonomous Segment is Expected to Grow Significantly during the Forecast Period

The market is classified into semi-autonomous or human-operated robots and autonomous robots based on the mode of operation.

The autonomous segment is expected to grow significantly in the coming years due to the augmentation of advanced aerial robots equipped with missiles and weapons used for reconnaissance without endangering pilots. Further, the usage of technologies such as light detection and ranging (LiDAR), fiber optics tether, and 3D imaging integrated into autonomous robots is driving the market.

The semi-autonomous segment is expected to grow rapidly due to government initiatives to procure and invest in conventional military robots and robots for border surveillance activities.

By Mode of Propulsion Analysis

Growing Demand for Electric Propelled Robots for Aerial and Naval applications is Expected to Boost the Growth of the Market

Based on the mode of propulsion, the market is segmented into manual, electric, and hybrid.

The manual segment accounted for the largest market share in 2019. These robots are generally known as command control robots, widely used for long-range ground-based operations. Engines, thrusters, and other transmissions propel these robots. These robots use a global positioning system (GPS) and 3G technology for navigation and communication purposes.

The electric propulsion segment is anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The wide use of electric motor and battery-operated robots for aerial and naval-based robots is expected to drive the growth. These robots are controlled by using ultrasonic and infrared sensors. The hybrid segment comprises robots operated with integrated electric propulsion and manual systems. Solar panels and electric propulsion systems can also propel hybrid robots.

By Application Analysis

ISR Activities to Dominate Market

The market is segmented into intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, search and rescue, combat support, transportation, and others based on application.

The intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance segments are estimated to be the largest market segment in 2019.  ISR segment is also expected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to a rise in ISR activities in North America and Asian countries. The major countries' defense forces in these regions are highly dependent on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) for aerial and ground operations. Similarly, unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) for naval operations. Defence forces rely on these advanced robots to monitor and gather minute details related to the enemy locations and their activities.

The transportation segment is expected to grow considerably due to the wide usage of robots for transporting weapons, ammunition, and soldiers to remote locations on the battlefield. Advanced robots such as R-gator, iRobot Warrior, Armored Combat Engineer Robot (ACER), Squad Mission Support System (SMSS), and Multifunction Utility/Logistics and Equipment vehicle (MULV) are some of the widely used military autonomous robots for transportation applications.

Combat support and search and rescue segments are expected to show a substantial growth rate. These applications serve militaries to gauge real-time situations and support rescue activities based on critical operations in remote locations.


Military Robots Market Size

Geographically, the global market is segmented across five major regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. They are further categorized into countries.

In 2019, Europe's military robots market size was USD 4.68 billion, holding the highest share in the market owing to the presence of major manufacturers operating in this market. According to The World Robotics 2019, 700 service robot manufacturing companies are identified across the globe, out of which 307 companies are operating in Europe. Moreover, this region has a strong command over integrating a broad spectrum of technologies. This includes speech and haptics-based human-machine interface, navigation and collision avoidance, motion and task planning, and others. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, European countries are presently focusing on national security aspects and are restructuring their defense planning in 2020. This may hamper the growth of the market in the year 2020 and 2021.

Following Europe, Asia Pacific is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. This is mainly due to China’s investment in military programs for air, land, and sea defense. China and India emphasize investing in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and nanotechnology that will fundamentally change military robots' capabilities.

North America is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period due to a considerable number of suppliers and electronic component providers and government interest to invest in research & development activities deliberately.

The Middle East and Africa, and Latin America are expected to grow at a steady rate due to the rising government initiatives to modernize its military capabilities by adopting autonomous systems.


Leading Key Players are Focusing on Introducing Technologically Advanced Military Robots

Key manufacturers are proactively strengthening their market position by upgrading robots to cater to different military applications. Further, key suppliers integrate the robots with advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence, IoT, and big data, to enhance their features. In addition, governments of developed countries are allocating funds to uplift the defense sector, further propelling this market.

List of Key Companies Profiled:

  • Northrop Grumman Corporation (The U.S.)

  • Thales Group (France)

  • FLIR Systems, Inc. (The U.S.)

  • Clearpath Robotics Inc. (Canada)

  • Cobham Limited (The U.K.)

  • QinetiQ (The U.K.)

  • AeroVironment, Inc. (The U.S.)

  • BAE Systems. (The U.K.)

  • Elbit Systems Ltd. (Israel)

  • Raytheon Technologies (The U.S.)


  • November 2020: - Tyndall Air Force Base is the first in America to have semi-autonomous robot dogs patrolling its 38 square kilometre area. These robot dogs are expected to be deployed to enhance situational awareness by patrolling remote locations in the U.S.

  • September 2020: - AeroVironment, Inc. had an agreement with Robotic Skies to provide field maintenance, inspection, and repair support for AeroVironment clients. This agreement will help the company offer advanced after-sales support to clients.


An Infographic Representation of Military Robots Market

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The military robots market research report provides detailed information regarding various insights into the industry. Some of them are growth drivers, restraints, competitive landscape, regional analysis, and challenges. It further offers an analytical depiction of the military robot market trends and estimations to illustrate the forthcoming investment pockets. The market is quantitatively analyzed from 2020 to 2027 to provide financial competency. The information gathered in the report has been taken from several primary and secondary sources.

Report Scope and Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD billion)


By Platform

  • Airborne

  • Land

  • Naval

By Mode of Operation

  • Semi-Autonomous

  • Autonomous

By Mode of Propulsion

  • Electric

  • Mechanical

  • Hybrid

By Application

  • Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR)

  • Search and Rescue

  • Combat Support

  • Transportation

  • Others (Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Mine Clearance, and Firefighting)

By Region

  • North America (By Platform, Mode of Operation, Mode of Propulsion, Application, and Country)

    • The U.S. (By Platform)

    • Canada (By Platform)

  • Europe (By Platform, Mode of Operation, Mode of Propulsion, Application, and Country)

    • The U.K. (By Platform)

    • Germany (By Platform)

    • France (By Platform)

    • Rest of Europe (By Platform)

  • Asia Pacific (By Platform, Mode of Operation, Mode of Propulsion, Application, and Country)

    • China (By Platform)

    • Japan (By Platform)

    • India (By Platform)

    • Southeast Asia (By Platform)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Platform)

  • The Middle East & Africa (By Platform, Mode of Operation, Mode of Propulsion, Application, and Country)

    • South Africa (By Platform)

    • GCC (By Platform)

    • The rest of the Middle East & Africa (By Platform)

  • Latin America (By Platform, Mode of Operation, Mode of Propulsion, Application, and Country)

    • Brazil (By Platform)

    • Mexico (By Platform)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Platform)

Frequently Asked Questions

As per Fortune Business Insights, the market was worth USD 13.87 billion in 2019.

The market is expected to reach USD 25.66 billion in the future

The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 10.15 % during the forecast period (2020-2027).

The land platform segment is expected to lead the market.

Rapid technological developments in IoT, artificial intelligence is a key factor driving the market.

Northrop Grumman Corporation, Thales Group, and QinetiQare are the top companies in the market.

Asia Pacific is expected to hold the highest CAGR in the market

The Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance application hold the major market share.

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