CAMBRIDGE, MA – Most of the market value for unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) today lies in military applications, both for electric and non-electric versions, says IDTechEx. Nonetheless, small UAVs are increasing in sales fastest, and that is primarily down to non-military applications.
From 2026, civil uses will greatly exceed military in market value, the research firm says.
"The biggest market sub-sector will be small UAVs that are not toys or personal, with $2 billion in sales in 2025, generating over $20 billion in benefits in agriculture, border protection, parcel delivery, logistics such as warehousing, coastguard, customs, search and rescue, medical emergency, malaria research, mine detection, protection of rare species, movie production and so on," said Dr. Harrop, chairman of IDTechEx.
For example, Amazon is committed to delivering packages to customers via drones when they get the regulatory support needed. China's biggest Internet retailer Alibaba trialed drone deliveries in the country at the beginning of February. Google has also been testing drone deliveries in Australia, and DHL carried out deliveries by unmanned aircraft in Germany, according to IDTechEx.