Teal Group predicts worldwide UAS spending more than $374B through 2032

Aerospace and defense market analysis firm Teal Group forecasts non-military unmanned aerial systems (UAS) production will jump from $7.2 billion a year to $19.8 billion by 2031, a 9.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in constant dollars. Total civilian UAS purchases will reach $139 billion through that decade.

The company’s 2022/2023 World Civil UAS Market Profile and Forecast predicts commercial use will drive the market as consumer drone purchases slow and government purchases remain a small but growing portion of the market. The greatest potential appears to be the delivery market in middle-mile (factory to warehouse) transportation, rather than in last-mile deliveries due to the complicated regulatory environment.

Venture funding has flowed into analytical software to handle the data coming from UAS and control networks.

Teal Group’s World Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems, Market Profile and Forecast 2022/2023 estimates that worldwide UAS procurement spending will increase from $12.1 billion in 2023 to $16.4 billion in 2032, totaling $162.2 billion through the next 10 years. Military UAS research spending adds another $72.5 billion, including classified U.S. spending.

Teal Group predicts the U.S. will account for 81% of total military worldwide research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) spending on UAS technology during the next decade and nearly 48% of military procurement.

Black Hawk flies complex autonomous missions

Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin company Sikorsky and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) demonstrated an uncrewed Black Hawk helicopter flying autonomously, safely, and reliably performing internal and external cargo resupply missions and a rescue operation. Performed for the U.S. Army at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, the flights show how existing and future piloted utility helicopters could fly complex missions in reduced crew or autonomous mode.

Sikorsky’s MATRIX technology autonomy system forms the core of DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) project.

Demonstrating long-endurance medical resupply, the Black Hawk flew 83 miles loaded with 500 lb of real and simulated blood without pilots onboard, descending as low as 200ft above ground level at 100kts.

In a cargo delivery and casualty evacuation, the helicopter lifted off with a 2,600 lb external load attached to a 40ft sling and flew at 100kts for 30 minutes toward a landing zone. The helicopter was redirected in flight, demonstrating how a ground operator with a secure radio and tablet can take control of the uncrewed helicopter, command it to release its sling load, and land to evacuate a casualty. Once the mannequin on a litter was placed aboard, the ground operator relaunched the Black Hawk and a battlefield assisted trauma distributed observation kit (BATDOK) integrated with the helicopter’s communications system relayed the simulated patient’s vitals in real-time to a ground-based medical team.

Sikorsky and DARPA are working to transition the technology for aircrew support and operations, logistics and medical resupply, casualty evacuation, and commercial applications such as firefighting, cargo, and urban air mobility.

November December 2022
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