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2 Dec 02. The United States’ war against terrorism is leading it to focus very strongly on UAVs that have become almost indispensable to military and government organizations. This rapidly growing market is gearing up to meet a surge in demand.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, World Unmanned Air Vehicles Market, reveals that revenues in this industry totalled $1408.3m in 2002 and are projected to reach $1758.1m by 2007.

“The Bush administration is a strong proponent of UAV roles in future military actions around the world,” says Frost & Sullivan Senior Consulting Analyst Michel Merluzeau. “Unmanned systems have the potential to become true force multipliers in these engagements.”

The campaign against terrorism has propelled reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition UAVs into the limelight. Increasing government budgets toward the development and procurement of UAVs, as a result of convincing past successes, have created more opportunities for this segment.

“The defense industrial base and future administrations must adapt UAVs to maximize the exploitation of legacy and new sensors so that future conflicts can be taken to the enemy in ways never before contemplated,” says Merluzeau.

UCAVs have a promising future with their potential to revolutionize conventional military operations. The segment is currently entering a new phase of its development focusing on the design of operational vehicles planned for the end of the decade. “These emerging design concepts and payload technologies will empower UCAVs to venture into areas that are currently dominated by manned
aircraft,” adds Merluzeau.

The U.S. is also making concerted efforts to discover commercial applications for UAVs, such as research, scientific, environmental, and agricultural. However, in the absence of proper rules and regulations, it will be some time before any of these applications actually comes to fruition.

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