The report "Small Drone Market by Platform (Civil & Commercial and Defense & Government), Type (Fixed Wing, Rotary Wing, and Hybrid), Application, Mode of Operation, Power Source (Fully Powered, Battery Powered) & Region - Global Forecast to 2027" The small drone market is projected to grow from USD 3.8 billion in 2022 to USD 6.2 Billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 10.1% from 2022 to 2027. The market growth can be attributed to growing demand for small patrolling drones for marine border security.
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The growth of the market across the globe can be attributed to surging adoption of small drones in civil and military applications. Small drones are being extensively used in various commercial applications, such as photography, product and medicine delivery, 3D mapping, data transmission, and inspection & monitoring in confined spaces. They are also used in the agriculture, real estate, and oil & gas industries. In the agricultural industry, the use of small drones has led to the evolution of precision farming, which has enabled farmers to monitor the health of crops, keep track of irrigation equipment, and identify different types of weeds, among others. Moreover, using drones for photography has become commonplace.
Drones are simple to operate and can be purchased for less than USD 500. Because they take advantage of advanced digital techniques, drones can deliver beautiful, high-quality aerial photos and videos. One of the main uses of drone photography is mapping. Drone photographers use both vertical and oblique photographs for planning land-use projects, movie production, environmental studies, archaeology, power line inspection, oil & gas surveying, surveillance, commercial advertising, and even art projects. Furthermore, drones are particularly important for inspecting difficult-to-reach locations at certain altitudes or in contaminated surroundings. The use of drones has modernized the telecommunication tower scrutiny as they can be used to carry out supervision of these towers cost-effectively and in less time. Drones can also be employed for aerial evaluation of buildings and other infrastructures, such as pipelines, electric grids, offshore plants, and solar plates.
Based on platform, the defense & government segment is anticipated to record the highest growth rate during the forecast period
Based on platform, the small drone market has been segmented into civil & commercial and defense & government. The civil & commercial segment is further segmented into micro and small. Whereas the defense & government segment is further classified into nano, micro, and mini. Presently, governments of different countries worldwide are using drones for law enforcement and governance applications due to their compactness and quick services.
Drones are used in the defense sector to provide battlefield intelligence. Nowadays, the armed forces of different countries across the globe do not rely completely on human scouts for information gathering. They use drones, as these drones can remain almost invisible to enemy forces. Drones help monitor enemy forces or specific areas and send video feeds to the concerned ground stations with the help of GPS. These drones are used in ISR operations to record information about potential targets that are otherwise difficult to detect. WASP, developed by US-based AeroVironment and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is deployed on battlefields to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance activities. In July 2022, a drone rolled out across Spanish beaches saved the life of a 14-year-old boy as he struggled against a powerful current.
Based on application, the commercial segment is estimated to register large share in the base year
Based on application, the small drone market has been classified into military, commercial, government & law enforcement, and consumer. The use of small drones has been prevalent among defense forces worldwide for a long time. However, in recent times, several investments have been made by public and private sector organizations in developing new and sophisticated UAVs according to their requirements.
The potential of UAVs to be used in several prospective applications in the civil & commercial sector has led to advancements in small drones. The civil & commercial application segment of the small drone market is projected to grow significantly in the next 10 years. For instance, small drones are employed in Japan to spray pesticides on farms. Amazon (US) plans to use small drones for product delivery in the coming decade. There have been significant R&D investments in small drones, which have widened their applicability in mining, surveying, and 3D mapping, along with oil & gas exploration, film industry, etc.
The Asia Pacific region is projected to be high growth potential markets for the small drone during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific is known as a global leader in technology and innovation. In recent times, it has been the fastest-growing technology companies based on percentage revenue growth over three years. China, Malaysia, South The growth of the small drone market in Asia Pacific can be attributed to the rise in military spending (both in defense and homeland security) of countries in the region to enhance their defense capabilities. Moreover, political tensions in Asia Pacific have led to the deployment of drones to ensure the security of national borders. This serves to be one of the most significant factors driving the growth of the small drone market in the region.
The small drone market in Asia Pacific has witnessed significant growth, which can be attributed to innovations in UAV technology, low-cost manufacturing of UAV parts, and increased demand for doorstep deliveries. China, India, Japan, Australia, and South Korea contribute to the growth of the small drone market in Asia Pacific.
The major players include DJI (China), Parrot Drone SAS (France), Israel Aerospace Industry Ltd. (Israel), AeroVironment, Inc. (US), and Lockheed Martin Corporation (US).