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UAV Development Will Drive Advanced Aerospace Technologies

File photo: A160 Hummingbird UAV.
by Staff Writers
London UK, (SPX) May 30, 2006
In 2000, the world market for UAVs represented only approximately $2.4 billion, but in the next decade, that figure is expected to top $15 billion, according to a new visiongain report.

The study, entitled 'The World UAV Market 2006', reveals that the U.S. alone plans to invest $1.9 billion by 2011. As unmanned aircraft continue to prove their worth in the battlespace - and their potential in civilian applications - the demand for increased capabilities, and the accompanying technology, will continue to drive this dynamic market.

To date, UAVs have primarily been used as reconnaissance vehicles or target drones. This, however, provides only a partial indication of future uses and applications of unmanned aircraft.

Visiongain believes there will be a vast expansion in terms of their roles and capabilities, which will encompass both military and civilian applications. The main market opportunities will be in advanced sub-systems and payloads, as well as in associated support and training packages, according to the study.

"UAVs are transforming the defence aerospace business. The extent to which this will be a truly revolutionary change is still an open question," comments report author Professor Keith Hayward. "But there is no doubting that these systems have come of age and, given further technological innovation, will offer new market opportunities for traditional aerospace suppliers and new entrants alike."

Unmanned aircraft are a key element in Network Centric Warfare / Network Enabled Operations strategies in both the United States and Europe. The development of Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) is also increasingly seen as vital to the future of combat aerospace industrial capabilities in those countries.

A growing appreciation of a potential civil market for UAV platforms is also developing, but there are a number of technological, operational and regulatory issues that must be resolved before the full potential of UAVs will be realised.

'The World UAV Market 2006' analyses the current UAV market on a regional basis, examines where the best opportunities for investment will occur, and forecasts the potential opportunities (and possible pitfalls) in the market.

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