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REPORT: The global market for military drones will exceed $US10 billion in the next decade

A German soldier holds a military drone during a training exercise. Photo: Getty Images

A new report by specialist defence publication IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review has estimated the market for military drones will almost double to more than $US10 billion by 2024.

The analysis revealed market demand is being driven by technological innovation, creating new and alternative uses for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

According to Huw Williams, unmanned systems editor for IHS Jane’s, these uses include sophisticated intelligence and electronic warfare systems and a wider range of munitions.

“The global defence and security market for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) will expand at 5.5 percent per year over this decade, from the current figure of $US6.4 billion,” the analysis revealed.

Israel was the top exporter of UAVs last year, but the United States looks set to dominate in the near future, given the sales projections of drone manufacturers General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for their Predator series and Northrop Grumman Global Hawk UAVs.

But areas like Western Europe, forecast to reach $1.3 billion in sales by 2024, are working to reduce their reliance upon US and Israeli imports.

Asian nations including China, India, Japan South Korea, as well as Russia are anticipating sales to reach $US3.4 billion in the next ten years.

Derrick Maple, principal analyst on unmanned systems for IHS Jane, said unmanned military systems are the way of the future.

“These systems are well established, combat proven and are an essential and expanding element of future operations across the globe,” he said.

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