LONDON: The European unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) market is growing slowly, but steadily, depicting a relatively undisturbed trend for the year 2011 and beyond. The United States has progressed in terms of the network enabled capability of their defence resources, spurring the Departments of Defence (DoDs) of various European countries to focus on unmanned network centric solutions.
Currently, soldier force modernisation is on the agenda of several European countries, to retain their technological edge over developing nations. The gap between U.S. and European defence technology is an additional instigating factor. UGV is becoming an integral part of network centric warfare.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Unmanned Ground Vehicles Market Assessment – Europe, finds that the market earned revenues of $302.5 million in 2009 and estimates this to reach $311.2 million by 2016.
“Network enabled capabilities are gradually gaining momentum within the Ministries of Defence (MODs),” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Shyam Srinivasan. “The ability of remotely patrolling a group of vehicles and strategising battlefield formations has evoked an interest to graduate to unmanned artillery in the future.”
The European UGV industry has remained niche. The future lies in opening up opportunities for smaller participants to penetrate the market. Another potential is in the maintenance and repair of such specialised machinery in the period from now to 2016.
However, reduced defence budget allocation is one of the primary restraints to the UGV market. Furthermore, lean expenditure on new technology is to support the production of traditional weapons for the Afghan war.
“The unit cost of the equipment is also a restraint to procurement in numbers,” explains Srinivasan. “For example, a small unmanned ground vehicle (SUGV) with electro-optics/infrared (EO/IR) sensors would cost about $20,000 and the cost of explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) machinery can go up to $300,000.”
The industry should focus on the commercial and civil market to increase revenue. The lower unit cost can be attained by using less expensive materials and technologies. Progress towards expendable equipment will result in manufacturing affordable equipment.
“Civil security and border patrol to tackle improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are some of the potential areas to focus on for greater revenue in the long-term,” concludes Srinivasan.
Unmanned Ground Vehicles Market Assessment – Europe is part of the Defence Growth Partnership Services programme, which also includes research in the following markets: European Land-Based C2 Markets, European Land Based ISTAR Vehicle Electronics Market, and Network Centric Warfare: A European Market Executive Analysis. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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