The global UAV payload market is expected to value US$3.9 billion by the end of 2012, which is estimated to increase to US$6 billion by 2022, representing a CAGR of 4.3% during the forecast period. Market demand is anticipated to be driven by increased UAV procurement by several countries across the world and continuous requirement formulations in areas such as persistent surveillance, suppression/destruction of enemy air defense (SEAD/DEAD), and communications relays and combat search and rescue (CSAR). Another major factor that is expected to drive the market over the forecast period is the increasing incorporation of UAVs in civilian applications such as Homeland Security, disaster management and border surveillance. The global market is expected to achieve a cumulative value of US$55.6 billion during the forecast period.
Although North America is expected to witness defense budget cuts during the forecast period, the region's expenditure on UAV payloads is expected to account for a 49% share of global spending during the forecast period. The US constitutes the largest market of the North American region and is taking substantial steps towards enhancing its UAV payload capabilities through a number of programs such as the five year contract awarded to ImSAR for the procurement of miniature Synthetic Aperture Radars suitable for small UAV applications, procurement of 174 STARLite radar systems, the US Air Force's contract awarded to Raytheon for the supply of Multi Spectral Targeting Systems for UAVs and the integration of SELEX Galileo's active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars and other sensors in the MQ-9 Reaper UAVs.
The recent endeavors undertaken by a number of private and public companies in the US, to implement open architecture designs for UAV payloads are also expected to drive the growth of the UAV payload market by allowing customers the flexibility to integrate future payload capabilities into existing systems. The US market is expected to get a further boost with increasing demand from government organizations that require surveillance systems similar to military UAVs such as coast guard, border patrol organizations, and other national security organizations.
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