Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are increasingly becoming an important element of modern militaries, with the use of drones continuing to expand and evolve from mere reconnaissance roles to those in electronic warfare (EW), communication relay, cargo deliveries, target designation and even conducting autonomous strikes. Military UAV companies are, therefore, playing a growing role in the capability of modern defence forces.

Rapid advances in automation and robotics have accelerated investment in the development of next-generation military UAVs that are more autonomous and smaller in size. The global military UAV market is poised to grow by more than 8% a year during 2022-2032, according to GlobalData.

Finding the best military UAV manufacturers

Airforce Technology has listed some of the top military UAV manufacturers based on its intel, insights and decades-long experience in the sector.

The list includes military UAV companies that specialise in the design, manufacturing and supply of different types of UAVs for a broad range of military applications.

The information contained within the download document is useful for warfare strategists, armed forces commanders, senior procurement executives, system engineers, defence systems specialists, technicians, and any other individual involved in the acquisition, operation and maintenance of military UAVs.

The download contains detailed information on some of the major military UAV manufacturers and their product lines, alongside contact details to aid your purchasing decision.

Related Buyer’s Guides which cover an extensive range of airforce equipment manufacturers, solutions providers and technology, can also be found here.

Types and uses of military UAVs

Military drones are being increasingly deployed by the defence and security forces to perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Apart from combat missions in traditional warfare, and counterterrorism and counter-insurgency operations, military UAVs can also be used to conduct targeted killings outside formal war zones, and perform explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), perimeter patrolling and military cargo delivery.

The types of UAVs used for military purposes include, but are not limited to:

· Airborne ISR drones

· Unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs)

· Medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAVs

· High altitude long endurance (HALE) UAVs

· Single and multi-rotor drones

· Fixed-wing hybrid vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drones

· Tactical UAVs (TUAVs)

· Nano, micro and mini-UAVs, and

· Loitering munitions

Advancements in military UAV technology

Military UAV manufacturers are focused on developing stealthier, faster and low-cost UAVs that can be equipped with more autonomous and more lethal electronic warfare technologies as military forces increasingly seek to integrate manned and unmanned systems and maximise their operational efficiency.

Alongside the effort to develop laser-powered UAVs that can provide limitless endurance and continuous surveillance, military UAV companies also look forward to introducing artificial intelligence (AI) elements into drone control systems to increase interoperability with manned aircraft in common airspace and enable the deployment of large numbers of mini-UAVs in swarm groups.

Download our list here.