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Unmanned Loitering Munition Market Growth & Key Player Analysis, 2023-2033 | BIS Research


In recent years, the landscape of military technology has witnessed a paradigm shift with the emergence of unmanned systems. Among these groundbreaking innovations, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have garnered substantial attention for their multifaceted applications. Within the realm of UAVs lies a distinct category known as Unmanned Loitering Munitions (ULMs) – a disruptive force reshaping modern warfare strategies.

The global unmanned loitering munition market is estimated to reach $1.83 billion in 2033 from $1.06 billion in 2022, at a CAGR of 4.45% during the forecast period 2023-2033. Loitering munitions are a category of aerial weapon systems designed to loiter around the target area until a target is located, enabling faster reaction times and more selective targeting. Originally developed in the 1980s as specialized weapons to target anti-aircraft systems, loitering munitions have evolved to become alternatives to airstrikes, mortar rounds, and grenade tosses.

Applications Across Defense and Security

The applications of Unmanned Loitering Munitions extend across various domains:

  1. Strategic Operations: ULMs are deployed for strategic strikes against high-value targets with precision, reducing the risk to friendly forces.

  2. Tactical Reconnaissance: These systems provide real-time intelligence by loitering over an area, identifying potential threats, and relaying crucial information to ground stations.

  3. Counterterrorism and Counter-Insurgency: ULMs offer a responsive and precise means to neutralize threats in asymmetric warfare scenarios without risking soldiers' lives.

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Middle East and Africa dominate the unmanned loitering munition market in the region. driven by various activities in Ukraine, Russia, Poland, and France. Increased spending by commercial organizations such as WB Group, Baykar Tech, Roketsan, Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc., and government key agencies for different end users is expected to drive huge growth in the global unmanned loitering munition market during the forecast period.

Key Market Drivers:

  • Counter-Terrorism Operations: The rise of asymmetric warfare and counter-terrorism operations have fueled the demand for ULMs. These drones can swiftly neutralize threats with minimal risk to friendly forces.
  • Increased Defense Budgets: Many countries have allocated larger portions of their defense budgets to acquire modern, high-tech weapons systems, including ULMs
  • Advancements in Technology: Advances in drone technology, artificial intelligence, and miniaturization have made ULMs more capable and affordable.
  • Reduced Collateral Damage: ULMs offer greater precision in targeting, reducing the risk of collateral damage compared to traditional airstrikes.

Recent Developments in the Global Unmanned Loitering Munition Market

  • In May 2023, Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) signed an agreement with the Republic of Estonia for the procurement of advanced long-range loitering munitions. The agreement would strengthen the Republic of Estonia's defense capability by enhancing its indirect fire capabilities.
  • In April 2023, AeroVironment, Inc. received a contract worth $64.6 million from the U.S. Army Tactical Aviation and Ground Munitions (TAGM) to provide Switchblade 300 unmanned loitering systems. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, would oversee the contract, which is expected to be delivered by 2024.
  • In January 2023, BAYKAR TECH received a contract worth $370 million from the Kuwait Defence Ministry to provide TB2 drones. The amount and delivery date of drones to be delivered were not disclosed.

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Competitive Landscape

The competitive landscape of the global unmanned loitering munition market consists of several organic and inorganic strategies followed by the key players to increase their market share. The strategies include product innovations, contracts, partnerships, acquisitions, and business expansions, among others.

Some of the key players in the global unmanned loitering munition market include BAYKAR TECH, AeroVironment, Inc., UVision Air Ltd., Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI), Elbit System Ltd., and more. These companies are aiming for a wide range of partnerships, collaborations, agreements, and contracts to expand their operations and increase their market presence globally to generate revenues and attract new customers.

Key Questions Answered in this Report:

  • What is unmanned loitering munition, and what types of components are used in such combat drones?
  • What are the futuristic trends in the unmanned loitering munition market, and how is the market expected to change over the forecast period 2023-2033?
  • What are the key drivers and challenges faced by the companies that are currently working in the global unmanned loitering munition market?
  • How is the market expected to grow during the forecast period 2023-2033?
  • What are the opportunities for companies to expand their businesses in the unmanned loitering munition market?
  • Which region is expected to lead the unmanned loitering munition market by 2033?
  • What are the key developmental strategies implemented by the key players to sustain in this highly competitive market?

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