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The global military drones market is expected to grow from $12.85 billion in 2020 to $14.61 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.7%. This is the forecast of a 2021 ResearchAndMarkets report. The market is expected to reach $32.14 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 22%.

The growth is mainly due to the companies resuming their operations and adapting to the new normal while recovering from the COVID-19 impact, which had earlier led to restrictive containment measures involving social distancing, remote working, and the closure of commercial activities that resulted in operational challenges.

The military drones are specifically used for military purposes such as border surveillance, battle damage management, combat operations, communication, delivery, and anti-terrorism weaponry. Military drones include tactical drones, MALE (Medium altitude, long endurance) drones, HALE (High altitude, long endurance) drones, TUAV (Tactical unmanned air vehicle) drones, UCAV (Unmanned combat air vehicle) drones, SUAV (Small unmanned air vehicle) drones, and others.

Increasing government funding on military drones to enhance efficiency in military operations boosts the demand for the production of military drones. For example, the Department of Defense in the US requested approximately $9.39 billion for drones and associated technologies in the fiscal year 2019, representing a significant expansion of 26% in drone spending over the 2018 budget, which was $7.5 billion. 

Drone swarm technology is growing its popularity in the military drones market due to its cost efficiency and high fire-power. Drone swarms are a large group of small drones that coordinate with each other to perform actions such as a survey of enemy territories, search and rescue and attacks on hostile objects. Drone swarm technology involves the production of several small cheap drones than one large expensive drone, therefore offering military drone manufacturers and end-users efficiency in terms of cost and time. With the use of advanced swarm technologies, military and armed forces can effectively carry out lethal drone strikes in multiple places at once.

Major players in the military drones market are Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, AeroVironment and General Atomics, according to the report cited in businesswire.com.