Follow Us

Teal Group gathers, classifies, and analyzes information from a wide range of sources. Our analysts publish News Briefs several times a year. Subscribe via email to receive each News Brief when it is published or join our mailing list to receive updates quarterly.

View All News Briefs     Subscribe Via Email     Join Mailing List

19 August 2015

PRESS RELEASE: UAV Production Will Total $93 Billion

Phil Finnegan

PRESS RELEASE: UAV Production Will Total $93 Billion

Teal Group Predicts Worldwide UAV Production Will Total $93 Billion in Its 2015 UAV Market Profile and Forecast

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) continue as the most dynamic growth sector of the world aerospace industry this decade, report Teal analysts in their latest market analysis. New unmanned combat aerial vehicle programs, commercial, and consumer spending all promise to drive more than a tripling of the market over the next decade.

Teal Group's 2015 market study estimates that UAV production will soar from current worldwide UAV production of $4 billion annually to $14 billion, totaling $93 billion in the next ten years. Military UAV research spending would add another $30 billion over the decade.

"The market for UAVs looks very strong, increasingly driven by new technologies such as the next generation of unmanned combat systems, and the development of new markets such as civil and consumer drones," said Philip Finnegan, Teal Group's director of corporate analysis and an author of the study.

This year's study includes consumer UAVs for the first time because of their rapid growth and the blurring of the commercial and consumer markets. "Consumer UAVs are showing that they can do many of the easier commercial missions such as simple real estate photography," Finnegan said.

Civil UAV Market

"Our coverage of the civil UAV market continues to grow with each annual report, mirroring the increase in the civil market itself," said Finnegan. "Our 2015 UAV study calculates the UAV market at 72% military, 23% consumer, 5% civil cumulative for the decade." Of the three areas, civil UAVs grow most rapidly over the forecast period as airspace around the world is opened, but it grows from a very low base.

"The Teal Group study predicts that the US will account for 64% of total military worldwide RDT&E spending on UAV technology over the next decade, and about 38% of the military procurement," said Teal Group senior analyst Steve Zaloga, another author of the study. The larger, higher value systems procured by the United States help drive the relative strength of the US market over the decade.

The 12th edition of the sector study, World Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems, Market Profile and Forecast 2015, examines the worldwide requirements for UAVs, including UAV payloads and companies, and provides ten-year forecasts by country, region, and classes of UAVs.

Teal Group analysts already cover the UAV market in their World Missiles and UAV Briefing, which examines the UAV market on a program-by-program basis. Sensor payloads are also treated in Teal's Military Electronics Briefing. The sector study examines the UAV market from a complementary perspective, namely national requirements, and includes both a comprehensive analysis of UAV system payloads and key UAV manufacturers.

UAV Payloads

The 2015 study provides 10-year funding and production forecasts for a wide range of UAV payloads, including Electro-Optic/Infrared Sensors (EO/IR), Synthetic Aperture Radars (SARs), SIGINT and EW Systems, and C4I Systems, forecast to double in value from $3.1 billion in FY15 to $6.4 billion in FY24. EO/IR is still the default sensor for the vast majority of UAVs, but recent years have seen up-and-down funding and considerable uncertainty, as legacy endurance UAV production has ended.

New sensor markets will see great increases as radio frequency (RF) systems supplant EO/IR capabilities, and next-generation UAVs at all scales require much more sophisticated - and expensive - sensors. "Rapidly increasing capabilities for RF sensors will be funded, as potential conflicts shift from clear-skies Central Asia to the more restrictive geographies of Eastern Europe and the Pacific," according to Dr. David Rockwell, author of the electronics portion of the new study. "And out-years UCAV and nano-UAV procurements will see much more expensive and capable sensors."

"UAVs will continue to provide the world's fastest-growing aerospace payload market, but not through continued growth of 'the usual suspects' from the past decade. Instead, new sensor programs for current and future air vehicles will result in more unexpected growth spurts and losses. We now forecast a number of speculative new programs in the out-years, including estimates of classified programs. Wise companies will plan today for growth tomorrow," according to Dr. Rockwell.

UAV Companies

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 covering almost 50 U.S., European, South African and Israeli companies, and reveals the fundamental reshaping of the industrial environment as UAV technology proliferates worldwide.

As prime contractors and small companies compete in the dynamic UAV market, they are adopting widely different strategies. "Our overview tracks the widely varying approaches being taken by these key companies, ranging from outright acquisitions to teaming arrangements and internal development of new UAV systems," said Finnegan.

"UAVs are no longer of interest only to aerospace companies, but increasingly technology companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon see a need to be in the market," he said.

The 2015 edition includes UAV market forecast spreadsheets, permitting data manipulation and offering a powerful strategic planning mechanism.

The Teal Group is an aerospace and defense market analysis firm based in Fairfax, Virginia USA. It provides competitive intelligence to industry and government worldwide.

Teal Group offers online access to all our products through the web. Contact our Sales Staff to obtain a user ID and password for online access. Instructions for accessing the Online Demo are found below. You will only have access to the Online Demo product. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read the reports on the online access site.


  1. Log on using Demo User ID 2306 and Demo Password teal.
  2. A list of Teal Group Products will appear on the next screen.
  3. You will have access to the online demo and you will be able to see what is available in other services. Accessible reports will appear as clickable text in red under the Title of the Briefing. You will not be able to access reports in unsubscribed services. These report titles will appear as normal text in black.
  4. Click on "Online Demo". The various briefing titles will appear. Click on a section and the sample reports in that section will appear. At this point you can click on the sample report to access the file.


To inquire about online access and site licenses please contact Mr. Tim Storey.