On land and sea

Although the UAS market is notable for unmanned aircraft, armed services around the world are also developing a wide range of land- and sea-based unmanned platforms.

Although this market outlook is focused on unmanned aircraft, it should be noted that armed services around the world are developing a wide range of land- and sea-based unmanned platforms. By the end of 2011, global expenditures for unmanned ground vehicle procurement and development represented nearly three-quarters of the $1 billion estimate of unmanned vehicle business — serving functions such as mine removal, surveillance and reconnaissance, and “force protection” (that is, armed robots).

Often viewed as a “force multiplier,” unmanned maritime systems are seen as one avenue to sustain U.S. military capability despite the sizeable budget reductions brought on by the draw down in military operations and forced expenditure cuts brought on by austerity measures and legislative gridlock within the U.S. federal government. The development of naval surface and underwater platforms in particular represents another sizeable emerging opportunity for composite materials and manufacturing services.

Related Content

Beyond the battlefield: UAS technology 2012-2022

The next 10 years look promising for composite-intensive unmanned aircraft as technical and legal advances open access to civil airspace.