EJL Defence & Aerospace has projected that the revenues for the US Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) would increase by $16.4billion between the financial years 2012 and 2016. The revenues have been forecasted exclusively for the business generated from aircrafts and payload.
Revenues resulting from ground contracts, maintenance and support have not been taken into account for the analysis. The projection was also done based on the orders placed by the US Air Force, Navy, Marines, Army and Special Operations Command (SOCOM), and not on the actual delivery dates of the UAVs.
An analysis of the total number of UAV aircraft orders that have already been placed, revealed AeroVironment to be in the lead with 57% share in the market. This was mainly due to the fact that the company’s RQ-11B Raven aircraft has attained the full-fledged production status. However, when potential revenues from future aircraft contracts were considered, Northrop Grumman is likely to lead the market with 55% share. The US Air Force has decided to spend $2.6 billion on the Global Hawk UAV, which is manufactured by Northrop Grumman. General Atomics is likely to take a 20% market share followed by AeroVironment, which will account for 19%.
UAV users, particularly the US Army is now looking to expanding the capabilities of the UAV from Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) to tactical attack so that these can be used by platoons to detect and destroy the enemy. The demand for mini and macro UAVs, which can perform both ISR and attack functions is expected to bring in more new UAV manufacturers in the future.