Tactical UAV Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The Tactical UAV Market is segmented by Application (Military, Law Enforcement, and Other Applications) and Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle-East and Africa, and Latin America). The report offers market size and forecasts for the Tactical UAV Market in value (in USD billion) for all the above segments.

Market Snapshot

tactical UAV Market Size
Study Period: 2018-2027
Base Year: 2021
Fastest Growing Market: North America
Largest Market: North America
CAGR: >12 %

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Market Overview

The Tactical UAV market is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 12% during the forecast period (2022-2027).

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the defense industry was considerably low. However, in the defense sector, the pandemic led to disruptions in the supply chain. This was caused by lockdowns in some countries, which led to delays in the delivery of the final products. Nevertheless, the investments in procurement and development of new tactical UAV systems remained unaffected.

Real-time information can be the most powerful weapon for warfighters, commanders, and troops, in critical military missions, to protect themselves. Hence, tailoring their response to the threat requires superior tactical intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. This is generating the demand for tactical UAVs from the armed forces across the world.

The technological advancements and trends in newer generation tactical UAVs are unlikely to stop and will experience accelerating growth in the coming years. Several UAV manufacturers are developing newer generation tactical UAVs with an advanced payload of electro-optical or infrared sensors, with capabilities to transmit live video and other invaluable information that can empower troops. Demand is also higher for developing lightweight ISR payloads with faster processing capabilities. With the advancement of technology and the growing applications for tactical UAVs, the demand for this technology is expected to increase significantly.

However, the military operations of a country occupy the major portion of the demand for tactical UAVs. The increasingly efficient drone technologies, combined with various functionalities like target designation, mine countermeasures, electronic warfare, undetected surveillance, and reconnaissance, are some areas where tactical UAVs find applications.

Scope of the Report

Tactical UAVs find their application in Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA). They can also be used in applications like target designation, strike, chemical-bio detection, mine countermeasures, theater air missile defense, electronic warfare, and information warfare. The market study is segmented by Application and Geography. By application, the market has been segmented into Military, Law Enforcement, and Other Applications. The report also offers the market sizes and forecast for the tactical UAV market across the major regions in the world. For each segment, the market sizes and forecasts are done based on value (USD billion).

By Application
Law Enforcement
Other Applications
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle-East and Africa
Saudi Arabia
Rest of Middle-East and Africa
Latin America
Rest of Latin America

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Key Market Trends

The Military Segment is Expected to Generate a Significant Demand for Tactical UAVs over the Forecast Period

The increasingly diverse military applications and the requirement for highly effective and objective surveillance and reconnaissance for some of the most critical military applications are driving the highest demand from the military applications segment of the market. With increasing global unrest due to the ongoing conflicts between major global military superpowers, several militaries are focusing on expanding the fleets of their tactical UAVs to counter any adversary actions from enemies successfully. Tactical UAVs are also critical to ensure uninterrupted surveillance at the borders. Due to its diverse application profile, the demand for tactical UAVs has witnessed a multifold increase during the last decade. Hence, several procurements are underway or being placed to cater to the increased demand from global military forces. For instance, in May 2022, Switzerland announced it had received the first two of six Elbit Systems’ Hermes 900 unmanned aerial systems from Israel. The country will receive four other drones by the end of 2023.

Furthermore, border patrol and air surveillance are other critical areas of application for these drones, driving the demand for tactical drones. In March 2022, Saudi Arabia’s Intra Defence Technologies unveiled its Samoom tactical MALE UAV, with the design to be optimized for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance tasks. The Saudi Armed Forces anticipated becoming the first customer of the drone. Such developments are expected to drive the market for tactical UAVs in the military sector in the years to come.

tactical UAV Market trends

Asia-Pacific Region to Experience the Highest Growth during the Forecast Period

The Asia-Pacific region is expected to register the highest growth rate and demand during the forecast period due to increasing R&D activities and increasing procurements by countries in the region. The increased purchase of drones for major tactical applications has increased the demand from various countries involved in developing these drones. The rising emphasis on effective border patrol and maritime patrol used by naval forces has increased the demand for tactical drones to be used in these applications. In June 2022, the Taiwan Army purchased 50 short-range tactical UAVs to improve joint battalion reconnaissance capabilities. The Army prepared a budget of NTD 779.98 million (USD 26.5 million) from 2020 to 2023 to buy 14 UAVs in 2022 and 36 sets in 2023. Furthermore, Japan has also resumed its plan to procure Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4 Global Hawk Drone in a deal worth USD 528 Million in January 2022. The RQ-4 Global Hawk is a High-Altitude surveillance drone to be stationed at the ASDF Misawa Air Base in Japan. On the other hand, there is an increasing emphasis on the indigenous development of Tactical UAVs led by various countries in the Asian region. In late 2021, India’s indigenous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) program Rustom-II achieved an important milestone in its development cycle by reaching an altitude of 25,000 feet and an endurance of 10 hours, which helped it inch closer to the production stage. Such developments are anticipated to accelerate the growth of the market during the forecast period

tactical UAV Market Growth rate

Competitive Landscape

The market of tactical UAVs is highly fragmented, with several providers and UAVs that can be used for tactical and ISR missions. The key players in the market are The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Elbit Systems Ltd, and AeroVironment Inc. These players are all major international companies trying to expand their presence and product portfolio by adopting different strategies. Several UAV manufacturers are developing newer generation tactical UAVs with advanced payloads of electro-optical or infrared sensors and capabilities to transmit live video and other invaluable information that can empower troops. The growing focus on the indigenous development of tactical UAVs is anticipated to help the advent of new players in the market. In recent years, several smaller players have constantly grown their market presence. They are expected to play a critical role in the future as their technology matures and gains flight hours while building technologies and capabilities made for their local users, including both military and non-military customers.

Recent Development

In March 2022, Boeing's Insitu Pacific Pty Ltd was selected by Australia's Department of Defence (DoD) to supply the Australian Army with 24 of its Integrator unmanned aerial systems (UASs) as part of an AUD650 million (USD 475 million). These drones can provide intelligence, undertake reconnaissance and surveillance missions, and acquire targets for weapons systems across the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

In October 2021, Safran announced that the company's Patroller tactical UAV completed a series of flight tests under the French Defence Procurement Agency's (DGA) tactical drone system (SDT) program. As part of the program, Safran will deliver 14 UAVs and five ground control stations to the French Army, with the first deliveries expected in 2022.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Market Drivers

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints

    4. 4.4 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      3. 4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

  5. 5. MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size and Forecast by Value - USD billion, 2018 - 2027)

    1. 5.1 By Application

      1. 5.1.1 Military

      2. 5.1.2 Law Enforcement

      3. 5.1.3 Other Applications

    2. 5.2 Geography

      1. 5.2.1 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

      2. 5.2.2 Europe

        1. United Kingdom

        2. France

        3. Germany

        4. Rest of Europe

      3. 5.2.3 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. India

        3. Japan

        4. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.2.4 Middle-East and Africa

        1. Saudi Arabia

        2. Turkey

        3. Israel

        4. Rest of Middle-East and Africa

      5. 5.2.5 Latin America

        1. Brazil

        2. Rest of Latin America


    1. 6.1 Vendor Market Share

    2. 6.2 Company Profiles

      1. 6.2.1 DJI

      2. 6.2.2 Aeronautics Ltd

      3. 6.2.3 General Atomics

      4. 6.2.4 BAYKAR

      5. 6.2.5 BlueBird Aero Systems

      6. 6.2.6 Elbit Systems Ltd

      7. 6.2.7 AeroVironment Inc.

      8. 6.2.8 Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)

      9. 6.2.9 The Boeing Company

      10. 6.2.10 Safran SA

      11. 6.2.11 Leonardo SpA

      12. 6.2.12 Textron Inc.

      13. 6.2.13 Lockheed Martin Corporation

      14. 6.2.14 Northrop Grumman Corporation

      15. 6.2.15 Saab AB


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Frequently Asked Questions

The Tactical UAV Market market is studied from 2018 - 2027.

The Tactical UAV Market is growing at a CAGR of >12% over the next 5 years.

North America is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

North America holds highest share in 2021.

The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Elbit Systems Ltd, AeroVironment Inc. are the major companies operating in Tactical UAV Market.

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