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Drones (Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles) for Maritime Operation – Thematic Research

In the last 20 years, unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAVs), commonly called drones, have been adopted rapidly in many sectors, both in the civil and defense fields. They have become a force multiplier used in many naval operations, especially intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), with their low operating cost, versatile and long-term endurance, and being able to be used safely in dangerous areas. Countries across the globe are therefore investing in the procurement, research, and development of UAVs.

Drones have the potential to be used as force multipliers in many areas of maritime operations, with their modular structures and their ability to carry many different payloads.


Navies and companies, cooperating with universities and research and development centers, have been developing and experimenting with various UAVs for many years and have transitioned some of these efforts into procurement/manufacture programs. There are still many UAV programs under development and at the technology demonstration level.

A key driver for the development of drones is to move people away from contested and dangerous environments to avoid casualties, and to extend ISR capabilities.

The majority of today's UAVs are designed for ISR, search and rescue and constabulary missions. Advanced navies seek to enhance their utilization of UAVs in logistic transport and other naval operations such as anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), mine counter measure (MCM) and electronic warfare (EW). Future UAVs will be quite stealthier, faster, highly advanced equipped for more autonomous, more lethal, and would be able to deploy a large set of mini-UAVs in swarm groups.

Reasons to Buy

Corporations: Helps CEOs in all industries understand the disruptive threats to their competitive landscape.

Investors: Helps fund managers focus their time on the most exciting investment opportunities in global Aerospace & Defense.

Whilst most investment research is underpinned by backwards looking company valuation models, GlobalData’s thematic methodology identifies which companies are best placed to succeed in a future filled with multiple disruptive threats. Compared to all our rival thematic research houses, our unique differentiator is that our thematic engine has a proven track record of predicting leaders and challengers.

Gain an in-depth understanding of the underlying factors driving demand for UAVs in the top spending countries across the world and identify the opportunities offered by each of them

Strengthen your understanding of the market in terms of demand drivers, industry trends, and the latest technological developments, among others.

Companies Mentioned

General Atomics, Northrop Grumman, AeroVironment, Elbit Systems, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Airbus, Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG), Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Ural Civil Aviation Plant (UZGA), Kroshtadt, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), BAE Systems, Raytheon, Sukhoi, Kratos, Harbin Aircraft Industry, UMS AERO, Saab, Baykar Defense, Dassaut Aviation, Denel Dynamics, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Textron, Martin UAV, DJI, Schiebel, Leonardo Aero360, Thales, Instant Eye, Laflamme, Yuneec, Parrot.

Table of Contents

Executive summary


Technology briefing


Industry analysis

Value chain


Sector scorecards


Further reading

Our thematic research methodology

About GlobalData

Contact Us

List of Tables

Defense and technology trends

Macroeconomic trends

Regulatory trends

Global UAV development

Mergers and acquisitions


Companies: Leaders

Companies: Challengers


Further reading

List of Figures

Who are the leading players in drones, and where do they sit in the value chain?

UAV maritime applications

UAV payloads

The global military UAV market

Global military UAV market shares

Global UAV for maritime

The drones value chain

Drones value chain: component layer: Hardware layer

Drones value chain: component layer: Software layer

Drones value chain: component layer: Services segment

Defense sector scorecard

Thematic screen

Valuation screen


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