The unmanned air systems (UAS) market has not reached even a fraction of its potential.
The coming years will see many more countries acquiring UAS and this will increase the competition, especially between American and Israeli manufacturers.
The US is now the biggest market for UAS. The administration is not allowing Israeli companies to sell their products in the US.
The rest of the world market is split between US and Israeli manufacturers, and here we are going to see accelerated competition.
Israeli sources say that the world is currently only learning the potential of UAS and this explains recent contracts in Asia and South America.
“In some countries we teach them how to use UAS and what are the benefits,” an Israeli manufacturer told me.
Some countries have in recent years begun to make some designs of UAS but when you look at their capabilities, they look more like basic drones.
The “secret” of an operational UAS is in the avionics and payload, and their ability to function in harmony.
This is not easy to achieve and here Israeli companies have the advantage of 40 years of operational use of UAS by the Israeli defence forces (IDF).
Israel is the only country in which an engineer in a UAS company works at his lab on Monday and the next day changes his civilian clothes for a uniform and operates a UAS as part of his reserve service in the IDF.
Some countries have learned the advantages of Israeli UAS. The UK is equipping its forces with an Israeli-designed UAS. France has followed. Other countries in Europe have also purchased Israeli-made UAS. Africa is waking up to the potential of UAS and South America has major potential.
Forecasts for UAS sales in the coming 10 years change very frequently but they have one thing in common – they are all in big, very big numbers.
Such a market will without any doubt create very fierce competition and the Israeli manufacturers are getting prepared, mainly by signing all types of cooperation agreements with local aerospace companies.
Taking into account that not all Israeli-made UAS are cleared for export, this showdown between the US and Israel is going to be very interesting.