Small drones market was valued at $7.44 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $24.29 billion in 2030, registering a CAGR of 13.16%.

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the global small drones market globally, owing to the implementation of strict lockdown measures across the world. COVID-19 pandemic led to several challenges for the small drones industry such as disruption in the supply chain of raw materials, logistics challenges, and others. On the other hand, the small drones technology manufacturers had to reduce expansion and R&D investments to withstand the decline in revenue and operating performance of various companies. The challenges in the procurement of small drones for various commercial applications were observed throughout the year, which, however, are expected to alleviate in a few years.

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Companies covered in this report study:

  • 3DR
  • AeroVironment Inc.
  • Autel Robotics
  • BAE Systems Plc.
  • DJI Technology
  • Husban
  • Elbit Systems Ltd.
  • Parrot SA
  • SkyDio
  • Teledyne FLIR LLC

Drones are commonly known as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It is a flying robotic system that can be remotely operated or fly autonomously using software-controlled flight plans. According to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), a small unmanned aircraft system (small UAS) or small drone means a small unmanned aircraft and its associated elements (including communication links and the components that control the small unmanned aircraft) that are required for the safe and efficient operation of the small unmanned aircraft in the national airspace system. 

Key Market Segments

  • By Size
    • Nano Drones
    • Micro Drones
  • By Type
    • Fixed Wing
    • Rotary Wing
  • By Application
    • Commercial
    • Defense
    • Recreational
  • By Region
    • North America
      • U.S.
      • Canada
      • Mexico
    • Europe
      • UK
      • Germany
      • France
      • Russia
      • Rest of Europe
    • Asia-Pacific
      • China
      • India
      • Japan
      • South Korea
      • Rest of Asia-Pacific
    • LAMEA
      • Latin America
      • Middle East
      • Africa

Small drones consist of micro-drones and mini drones that weigh below 2 kg. They can be launched by hand or they takeoff vertically, hence requiring short or no runways. Small drones are most often associated with military applications including intelligence gathering, and others. In addition, they are highly useful across a wide range of applications such as precision agriculture, assistance to first responders, and safe inspection of crucial infrastructure such as oil and gas pipelines.

Increased operational efficiency and growth in demand for improved surveillance are expected to drive the small drone’s market growth during the forecast period. However, strict drone regulations and lack of skilled & trained personnel are the factors that are expected to restrain the growth of the small drones market during the forecast period. On the contrary, improvement in drone technologies and rise in defense expenditure globally are the major factors that are expected to supplement the small drones market, thereby providing a better opportunity for the growth of the small drones market during the forecast timeframe.

Small drones are capable of flying by themselves & gathering information with minimal human intervention, and without a person on board. Its small size and ability to fly allows it to access regions that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to reach. To achieve the intended outcomes, they are typically equipped with computer vision, a camera, face & object recognition, and other tracking technologies. It performs a variety of functions by combining networking, robotics, and artificial intelligence. 

Small drones are increasingly being used in defense activities around the world. For instance, in January 2021, European missile group MBDA successfully managed to hit a test target with its new anti-tank missile- Missile Moyenne Portée (MMP), using targeting information gathered by a micro-drone. Rise in use of small drones due to high level of effectiveness, low cost, and a high degree of combat concealment on the battlefield is expected to fuel the growth of the market during the forecast period.

Moreover, apart from defense, they are used in film production, news bulletins, and music videos for creating aerial videos. They are also used to inspect and investigate lands. These drones can easily go places, which are difficult for humans to access and can stay in operation for significantly longer hours. Such features are expected to propel the growth of the global small drones market during the forecast period.

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