Will defense budget cuts affect the UAV market? Some programs might be affected but not the UAV market as a whole, says the market study U.S. Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Market Forecast 2013-2018. Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are considered today a key component of U.S. defense transformation and an integral part of U.S. military doctrine. The U.S. military UAV market is projected to grow at an 12% CAGR reaching $18.7 billion in 2018.
Five reasons why defense budget cuts will not affect the UAV Market:
- Don’t fully believe the government budget documents – things are not as they appear. For example, DoD often closes certain programs only to reappear in the budgets of other departments. UAV programs are run by Army, Navy, Air Force and by about a dozen of different government agencies, among them DHS, CIA, DOE, etc. UAV R&D spending is distributed in even more byzantine ways in the vast annual $60-plus Billion Science and Technology budget.
- Reliance on UAV is a key component of the current U.S. military doctrine based on technology superiority and minimizing risks to U.S. military personnel. None of the U.S. potential adversaries have the UAV technology to meaningful extent.
- UAV fleet has grown rapidly over the past decade, while training, support and maintenance have been lagging behind. These are huge market segments growing exponentially as UAV park expands.
- Payloads are quickly becoming obsolete, often modernized and upgraded, with number of sensors per UAV aircraft ever growing.
- DoD spending policies change with White House administrations and demands of potential military conflicts. In any confrontation with Iran or North Korea the UAV fleet could be an invaluable asset.