Canadian Security Magazine

News
Drones sales in U.S. to double by 2020

Demand for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, in the U.S. is projected to rise 10 per cent annually to US$4.4 billion in 2020, and the number of vehicles sold will more than double to 5.5 million, according to research from The Freedonia Group.


July 11, 2016
By Canadian Security

There are currently two major markets for unmanned aerial systems (UAS): the military market, which accounts for the vast majority of demand in dollar terms, and the consumer market, which accounts for over 99 per cent of all units sold. These and other trends are presented in Drones (UAVs), a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

The Freedonia Drones report explains that the military and consumer markets have very different growth prospects. US Department of Defense spending for drones will climb at only a moderate pace through 2020 and beyond, tempered by budgetary constraints and a shift in the product mix to smaller, less expensive vehicles. Most segments of the consumer UAV market, on the other hand, are in the early stages of development, and over the next decade sales are forecast to grow at explosive rates.

Much smaller commercial and nondefense government markets also exist, together accounting for less than five per cent of the 2015 drone sales total in value terms. Freedonia notes that the use of UAVs in commercial and (to a lesser extent) nonmilitary government markets has to date been severely constricted by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. If FAA regulations on commercial drones ease as anticipated, the organization believes the commercial market will expand faster than any other major market over the next decade in both dollar and unit terms.

Nevertheless, the consumer market will remain a key driver of overall sales growth, fueled by technological advances that are making drones easier to fly, and by the reduced cost and improved capabilities of key subsystems, which are allowing manufacturers to boost product performance without having to raise prices. Military UAVs will remain the largest single market in value terms, accounting for over half of total spending in 2020.

Advertisment
US DRONE DEMAND

(million U.S. dollars)

  2010

2015

2020

2010- 2015

% Annual Growth

2015- 2020

% Annual Growth

           
Drone Demand

3590

2740

4410

-5.3

10.0

Government

3390

2100

2425

-9.1

2.9

Civilian

200

640

1985

26.2

25.4

Drones (UAVs) is available for $5300 from The Freedonia Group.