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Experts say, the market for military drones is expected to almost double by 2024 and is likely to reach beyond $10 billion. The conclusion has been arrived based on the report published by specialist defence publication IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review.
The global defence and security market for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will expand at 5.5 per cent per year over this decade, from the current figure of $6.4 billion. Derrick Maple, principal analyst on unmanned systems for the London-based group said, Unmanned systems are here to stay.
He said, these systems are well established, combat proven and are an essential and expanding element of future operations across the globe.
It is to be mentioned that Israel was the top exporter of UAVs last year, but is set to be overtaken by the United States through sales of General Atomics Predator series and Northrop Grumman Global Hawk, said the report.
Western Europe is forecast to reach $1.3 billion in sales by 2024 as it seeks to reduce its reliance on US and Israeli imports.
However, it also faces competition from China, Russia, India, South Korea and Japan — whose combined sales are predicted to reach $3.4 billion by 2024. Experts say, the market is being driven by demand for new technology and different ways of using UAVs.
They saw, operators are now moving to expand their mission sets beyond visual surveillance and reconnaissance, and are introducing sophisticated intelligence and electronic warfare systems, as well as a wider range of munition.
Drones were used extensively by the US military during its operations in Afghanistan, but have since been increasingly used in civil applications.