Target Drone Market

Target Drone Market Study by Aerial, Water, and Ground for Military, Commercial Security, Police & Homeland, and Aviation & Aerospace from 2024 to 2034

Analysis of Target Drone Market Covering 30+ Countries Including Analysis of US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Nordics, GCC countries, Japan, Korea and many more

Target Drone Market Outlook (2024 to 2034)

The global target drone market size is estimated to reach a valuation of US$ 29.97 billion in 2024 and advance rapidly to climb to US$ 223.66 billion by 2034, expanding at a CAGR of 22.3% from 2024 to 2034.

Worldwide target drone market size is expanding rapidly due to its increasing use in military system testing and development, combat training against manned and unmanned threats, and decoy demolition tests that mimic the behavior of actual threats. As a result, targeted drones are now being utilized as a low-cost substitute for the expensive equipment and vehicles that are used by the armies of many nations.

A.M. Flying radio-controlled 'air targets', which were utilized for the first time, paved the way for the development of drones used in the defense sector for a range of tasks such as target acquisition, target identification, aiming and deception, and combat training. Remotely operated target planes were employed to practice battleship gun targets in the 1920s and 1930s.

Key Market Growth Drivers

  • The market for target drones is growing swiftly due to increasing defense spending by various countries to modernize their armed forces.
  • Target drones are becoming essential for improving battle readiness because they provide military troops with realistic scenario training.
  • Increasing need for efficient military testing and training programs due to rising geopolitical tensions and regional wars is boosting the sales of target drones.
  • Drone technology is advancing to the point where target drones are being used in more military training exercises and weapon testing due to improvements in flight capabilities, autonomy, and payload capacity.
  • Air defense troops train against a variety of threat scenarios such as aircraft, cruise missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which improves their battle preparedness and skills.
  • One of the key target drone market trends is the increasing focus of manufacturers on the implementation of AI. Artificial intelligence (AI)-capable target drones mimic intricate flying behaviors and tactics, giving military personnel more realistic training scenarios.
  • Need for target drones is also being driven by the increasing use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in both military and commercial contexts.
  • For testing and assessing UAV detection and countermeasure systems, target drones provide realistic targets.
Report Attribute Detail
Target Drone Market Size (2024E) US$ 29.97 Billion
Forecasted Market Value (2034F) US$ 223.66 Billion
Global Market Growth Rate (2024 to 2034) 22.3% CAGR
East Asia Market Share (2024E) 42.1%
North America Market Value (2024E) US$ 7.7 Billion
Rotary Wing Drones Segment Value (2034F) US$ 103 Billion
Semi-Autonomous Drones Segment Value (2034F) US$ 93.13 Billion
Key Companies Profiled Airbus; QinetiQ Group plc; The Boeing Company; Thales Group; BAE Systems plc; Leonardo S.p.A; Raytheon Technologies Corporation; Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc.; Target Arm Inc.; Northrop Grumman.

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Why the World’s Focus Moving toward Target Drones?

“Introduction of Technologically Superior Target Drones”

One of the key factors driving the deployment of target UAVs among air, ground, and naval forces around the world is the rising demand for targeting autonomously moving targets for military training exercises. Another significant factor encouraging the use of target drone technologies is increasing military spending in various countries. Additionally, armies are increasingly looking for high-speed unmanned aerial targets for use in naval and aerial combat training.

Military exercises involving countermeasures or supersonic missile destruction are now using supersonic target drones. This is mostly caused by the expanding fleet of supersonic missiles used by different armed forces worldwide. All these factors are substantially contributing to global targeted drone market growth.

To meet the expanding needs, companies in the market are primarily concentrating on the development and introduction of supersonic target drones.

  • In April 2024, Northrop Grumman Corp.'s aerial target specialists started developing supersonic target drones for the United States Navy to assist surface warship sailors in honing their abilities to identify and neutralize approaching supersonic anti-ship missiles.

What is the Main Worry for Target Drone Manufacturers?

“Lack of Trained Professionals to Operate Target Drones”

Target drones don't have a pilot on board, and hence, mistakes made while controlling them have serious consequences. Target drones require specialized knowledge to operate and control because, in comparison to conventional target aircraft, they rely more on autopilot, computer technology, and radio communication.

Target drones are highly maneuverable during a real-life wartime environment, requiring skilled remote-operated personnel. Several drone clashes or accidents have occurred due to poor control of the operator. Efforts are now in progress to reduce such accidents by upgrading the autonomy of target drones and restricting the level of human-operator involvement. Various training programs are also in place, thereby reducing the chances of drone accidents.

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Country-wise Insights

East Asia is estimated to lead with 42.1% of the worldwide target drone market share in 2024. The North American market is projected to expand at 22.5% CAGR from 2024 to 2034. Demand for target drones is increasing in these regions at a notable rate due to advanced military capabilities and the presence of well-known market players.

Why do Target Drone Manufacturers Consider the United States a Prime Target?

“Demand for Target Drones Increasing from Law Enforcement Agencies”

Attribute United States
Market Value (2024E) US$ 7.02 Billion
Growth Rate (2024 to 2034) 22.2% CAGR
Projected Value (2034F) US$ 52.31 Billion

Over time, the needs of the police force have made them evolve to adapt to various situations that arise on the ground. Drones are undoubtedly one of the major and best new tools available to the police force. Even a few years ago, when drones were introduced, police leaders were unaware of the added value of these unmanned aircraft in police operations.

Demand for target drones is increasing rapidly in the United States as they are a valuable tool for law enforcement agencies tasked with securing and monitoring large events such as public gatherings, sporting events, demonstrations, parades, and riots. They act as the eyes, right up in the sky for police officers on the ground, and give them a much wider aerial field of view.

Why is Utilization of Target Drones Rising in Japan?

“Increasing Joint Military Practices with Partner Countries”

Attribute Japan
Market Value (2024E) US$ 3.23 Billion
Growth Rate (2024 to 2034) 22.4% CAGR
Projected Value (2034F) US$ 24.46 Billion

Utilization of target drones is surging in Japan due to several joint military exercises being conducted between its partners, especially the United States. The objectives of these exercises are to improve interoperability, evaluate integrated defense capabilities, and replicate diverse threat scenarios.

Target drones are essential to these exercises because they give fighter pilots, naval vessels, and air defense systems moveable, realistic targets. Both Japan’s and allied forces train in detection, tracking, and engagement procedures in a controlled yet dynamic environment by using these drones to imitate hostile aircraft or missiles.

Category-wise Insights

Based on end user, the market is segmented into military, commercial security, police & homeland, and aviation & aerospace. Need for target drones is increasing within military forces due to their advantages in training and other activities.

Why is Preference for Fixed Wings Drones Higher Compared to Other Types?

“Excellent Speed and Agility of Fixed-Wing Drones”

Attribute Fixed Wing Drones
Segment Value (2024E) US$ 12.64 Billion
Growth Rate (2024 to 2034) 24.5% CAGR
Projected Value (2034F) US$ 113.05 Billion

Sales of fixed-wing drones are projected to surpass rotary-wing drones in the next ten years. In 2024, the fixed-wing segment is set to hold 42.2% revenue share and by 2034 it is forecasted to account for 50.5%.

Fixed-wing drones are becoming more popular compared to other types as these unmanned aerial vehicles have longer flight periods and a longer range, which makes them perfect for applications requiring long-range or large-area coverage. Due to their exceptional speed, agility, and ability to mimic a wide variety of aircraft and missile types, fixed-wing target drones are helpful for air defense training and missile testing.

Additionally, these drones are becoming more advanced as technology is improving, which is raising their demand as militaries attempt to maintain combat readiness in today’s dynamic world.

Why are Autonomous Drones So Popular?

“Growing Requirement for Realistic Training Session in Military”

Attribute Autonomous Drones
Segment Value (2024E) US$ 9.46 Billion
Growth Rate (2024 to 2034) 25.1% CAGR
Projected Value (2034F) US$ 88.93 Billion

One important factor that is boosting autonomous drone demand is the rising need for realistic training scenarios in the defense and military. With autonomous target drones, military forces practice engagement and interception without endangering humans or expensive equipment. These drones replicate hostile aircraft or missiles safely and affordably. Drone technology advancing, making these systems more capable of imitating a larger range of dangers and more complex and dependable. The ability to program complex flying patterns and behaviors enhances training realism.

Know thy Competitors

Competitive landscape highlights only certain players
Complete list available upon request

Competitive Landscape

Key players in the target drone market include major defense contractors and specialized manufacturers. These companies often have the resources to develop advanced technologies and secure major contracts.

Target drones are particularly used in countering cross-border terrorism, combat training for military personnel, smuggling operations, and maritime security due to technological advancements in target type, platform, payload, speed, and mode of operation.

  • In February 2024, Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, located in San Diego, was given a US$ 57.7 million contract modification by the United States Navy to produce target drones that can imitate anti-ship missiles.
  • In March 2023, The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force awarded Qinteiq a contract to supply Banshee Jet 80+ unmanned aerial vehicle targets.
  • In March 2022, a state-owned company in Turkey said it had created a supersonic target drone that is currently being tested in flight. According to Turkish Aerospace Industries, the supersonic drone is a component of the SIMSEK High-Speed Target Drone Project. Under the program, TAI has also created payloads and algorithms.

Fact.MR provides detailed information about the price points of key manufacturers of target drones positioned across the world, sales growth, production capacity, and speculative technological expansion, in this updated market report.

Segmentation of Target Drone Market Research

  • By Target :

    • Aerial
    • Water
    • Ground
  • By Operation :

    • Remotely Piloted
    • Autonomous
  • By Drone Type :

    • Fixed Wing
    • Rotary
    • Hybrid
  • By End User :

    • Military
    • Commercial Security
    • Police & Homeland
    • Aviation & Aerospace
  • By Region :

    • North America
    • Western Europe
    • Eastern Europe
    • Latin America
    • East Asia
    • South Asia & Pacific
    • Middle East & Africa

- FAQs -

What is the market size for target drones?

The global market for target drones is estimated at US$ 29.97 billion in 2024.

What is the projected revenue from target drone sales by 2034?

The target drone market is projected to reach US$ 223.66 billion by 2034.

What is the demand growth projection for target drones?

Worldwide demand for target drones is forecasted to rise at a CAGR of 22.3% from 2024 to 2034.

At what rate is the market forecasted to expand in South Korea?

The market in South Korea is projected to expand at a CAGR of 18.8% through 2034.

Who are the leading manufacturers of target drones?

Key manufacturers of target drones are Airbus, QinetiQ Group plc, The Boeing Company, Thales Group, and BAE Systems plc.

Which type of target drone is most widely popular?

Rotary-wing drones are expected to generate revenue worth US$ 16.29 billion in 2024.

Which region is projected to account for a significant market share?

North America is projected to hold 26.4% of the global market share by 2034.

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