Unmanned Helicopters Market By Application (Military & Defense, Civil & Homeland Security, Commercial) - Growth, Future Prospects & Competitive Analysis, 2017 – 2025

Helicopters have among the highest rates of crashes as compared to other aircraft, including airplanes, balloons, and blimps. Although the fatality rate is relatively low, the economic loss in a helicopter crash is significantly high. As a result, unmanned helicopters have been developed to operate in critical operations that endanger human life. Unmanned helicopters are unmanned systems that operate without the presence of a human operator. These are equipped with an artificial intelligence system along with a combination of sensors and autonomous control systems. This helps these helicopters operate and navigate safely by themselves, even in harsh environments with numerous obstacles.

The overall market is being driven primarily by rising government spending on unmanned systems in the defense sector. Unmanned systems offer numerous advantages, including reduced personnel loss, more efficient operation in harsh conditions, and a low overall cost of operation. In addition, unmanned helicopters offer the benefit of operation in critical terrain where unmanned aircraft face limitations in operation. Various national governments are promoting research activities for the development of robust autonomous helicopter designs. Similarly, aerospace and defense companies such as Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Saab Group, and several others are investing heavily in designing more effective autonomous helicopters so as to cater to a wide range of applications.

Apart from the defense sector, the unmanned helicopter market is also driven by the increasing prospects for these helicopters across commercial applications. Unmanned helicopters are already being used for agriculture surveys and are considered to be a viable solution for air cargo. Similarly, unmanned helicopters are believed to be significantly more suitable for transporting passengers. Thus, a wide range of prospective applications for unmanned helicopters is expected to substantially drive the overall market in the following years. However, challenges such as the requirement of skilled personnel and limited radio control in remote areas pose a significant challenge for unmanned helicopters. Continual efforts to improve autonomous controls and flight time are expected to mitigate the impact of these challenges in the following years.

Some of the major players profiled in the report are Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Boeing Company, Airbus SE, Leonardo S.p.A., China North Industries Corporation (Norinco), Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd., Aeroscout GmbH, American Unmanned Systems, LLC, Aurora Flight Sciences (Boeing company), AirStar International, Inc., Yamaha Motor Company, Saab Group, Russian Helicopters JSC, and several others. The majority of the players are focused on conducting extensive research and development for the betterment of unmanned helicopter design. Payload carrying capacity and endurance are two major challenges for the unmanned helicopter sector. Companies operating in the market emphasize developing designs capable of carrying more payload systems with minimized helicopter weight. In addition, several companies, especially in China, are inclined toward developing unmanned helicopters capable of conducting combat operations.

On the basis of application, the global unmanned helicopter market is segmented into the following categories:

  • Military & Defense
  • Civil and Homeland Security
  • Commercial

The military and defense segment dominated the global unmanned helicopter market in 2016. In 2016, the military and defense segment accounted for more than 50% of the total revenue generated globally. The high revenue share of the segment is attributed to the strong expenditure on unmanned systems across different regions. The majority of unmanned helicopters are primarily designed for military applications in order to reduce personnel losses caused by manned helicopter accidents. With an increasing emphasis on expanding the fleet of unmanned systems, the military and defense segment would continue to dominate the market during the forecast period.

The civil and homeland security segment follows the military and defense segment. These unmanned systems are expected to gain popularity for applications such as disaster relief and surveillance, among others. The commercial segment is set to register the highest growth in the market over the forecast period. Autonomous helicopters are believed to be greatly efficient for applications such as cargo, transportation, photography, and several others. Since eliminating a human operator reduces operational costs significantly, autonomous helicopters may witness substantial demand in the following years.

Geographically, the global unmanned helicopters market is divided into the following regions and countries:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • U.K.
    • Germany
    • France
    • Russia
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • Japan
    • China
    • South Asia
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Rest of the World (RoW)
    • Middle East and Africa (MEA)
    • Latin America

The overall unmanned helicopter market worldwide is dominated by the North American region. In 2016, North America accounted for more than forty percent of the total unmanned helicopter market revenue generated worldwide. The market here is mainly backed by the U.S., which has huge expenditures on unmanned systems for the defense sector. In addition, the country is home to a large number of major aerospace and defense companies. These companies focus on extensive research and development for improving helicopter designs with the aim of acquiring contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

With the continually growing expenditure on expanding the unmanned systems fleet, North America is estimated to remain the largest market for unmanned helicopters in the following years. Nevertheless, Asia Pacific is poised to emerge as the most lucrative market for unmanned helicopters during the forecast period. China is expected to emerge as the major driving force in the Asia Pacific unmanned helicopter industry. Apart from China, countries such as Japan, India, and South Korea also represent promising markets. In addition, Russia and Israel are also prominent markets for unmanned helicopters.

Frequently Asked Questions:

The market for Unmanned Helicopters is expected to reach US$ XX Bn in 2025.

The Unmanned Helicopters market is expected to see significant CAGR growth over the coming years,at XX%.

The report is forecasted from 2017-2025.

The base year of this report is 2016.

Aeroscout GmbH,Airbus SE,AirStar International, Inc.,American Unmanned Systems, LLC,Aurora Flight Sciences (a Boeing company) are some of the major players in the global market.

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Published Date:  Dec 2017
Category:  Aerospace & defense
Report ID:   58916
Report Format:   PDF
Pages:   120
Rating:    4.5 (70)
Delivery Time: 24 Hours to 48 Hours   
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