Global Special Mission Aircraft Markets 2022-2027: Increasing Demand for Air Launched Small Satellites & Increasing Need for Air-To-Air Refueling to Support Overseas Deployment


The “Special Mission Aircraft Market by Platform (Military Aviation, Commercial Aviation, UAV), Application (ISR, Command and Control, Combat Support, Air-Launch/Rocket Launch), Payload Type, End-User, Point of Sale and Region – Global Forecast to 2027” report has been added to’s offering.

The special mission aircraft market is projected to grow from USD 15.9 billion in 2022 to USD 19.9 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 4.6%

Aircraft OEMs and component manufacturers are focusing on innovating equipment and components for special missions due to the increasing demand for technologically advanced aircraft from military as well as commercial applications globally.

Maintaining and funding innovations and managing fluctuations in aircraft build-rates are expected to result in the dynamic growth of the special mission aircraft market in the long term, particularly for the more fragmented parts of the supply chain and highly capital-intensive aero structure segments.

Application segment is estimated to be the largest and fastest growing market

The need for stealthy monitoring during military operations to drive segment demand.

The capability of special mission aircraft to operate quietly and surreptitiously enables them to be used for surveillance, detection, classification, and identification of a maritime target without the target’s inhabitants becoming aware of the aircraft’s presence. They are used for drug interdiction, locating illegal immigrants, documenting fisheries violations, and detecting the pollution of oceans and rivers.

According to Reuters, during in February 2022, amidst the Russia Ukraine war a remotely piloted U.S. military vehicle called the RQ-4 Global Hawk has flown over the country in circles for hours at a time. The drones’ high-altitude, long-distance flights have coincided with a military build-up by Russia along the Ukrainian border and a flurry of diplomacy among leaders of the United StatesEurope, and Russia to avert war.

Increasing transport operations in military expected to drive platform segment demand

Special mission aircraft are used for transportation of military supplies and personnel or are deployed for humanitarian relief operations.

These aircraft are used for either strategic or tactical purposes. Other than US, European countries such as FranceGermany and Russia are also among the highest investors in military transport aircraft.

In September 2021, The Ministry of Defence (MoD), India on Friday signed an estimated 22,000-crore Indian rupees (USD 2838 million) deal with Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain, for 56 C-295MW transport aircraft to replace the Indian Air Force’s ageing 56 Avro aircraft that were procured in the 1960s. This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India under technology transfer by the private sector.

North America likely to emerge as the largest special mission aircraft market

Special mission aircraft are used for various special missions carried out by the military forces such as reconnaissance and surveillance operations.

These aircraft are used for either strategic or tactical purposes. The US military is the highest investor military reconnaissance & surveillance aircraft when compared to European countries such as FranceGermany, and Russia.

In November 2019, NATO and Boeing agreed on a USD 1 billion contract to modernize the alliance’s fleet of AWACS surveillance aircraft, ensuring they continue to support missions till 2035.

Key Market Players

The special mission aircraft market is dominated by a few globally established players such as The Boeing Company (US), Lockheed Martin (US), Dassault Aviation SA (France), Textron Aviation (US), and Northrop Grumman Corporation (US)among others.

Premium Insights

  • Increasing Usage of UAVs in Military Operations is Expected to Drive the Special Mission Aircraft Market from 2O20 to 2025
  • Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance Segment Projected to Lead the Market from 2020 to 2025
  • China is Estimated to Have the Highest CAGR from 2020 to 2025

Market Dynamics


  • Increasing Need for Air-To-Air Refueling to Support Overseas Deployment
  • Increasing Defense Expenditure of Countries
  • Incremental Usage of UAVs in Military Operations
  • Rise in Demand for Emergency Medical Service (Ems) Helicopters


  • Lengthy Period of Product Certification from Aviation Authorities
  • Stringent Regulatory Norms for Manufacturing of Special Mission Aircraft Components


  • Increasing Demand for Air Launched Small Satellites
  • Advancement in Sensor Technology Driving Demand for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles


  • Requirement for Continuous and Uninterrupted Power Supply in UAVs
  • Economic Challenges Faced by OEMs Due to COVID-19

Average Selling Price Trend

  • Value Chain Analysis
  • Technology Analysis
  • Multi-Mission UAVs
  • Trade Data Statistics

Case Study Analysis

  • IoT Sensors
  • Sophy

Industry Trends

  • Hybrid-Electric Propulsion
  • Autonomous Flight Technology
  • Artificial Intelligence (Ai)
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Multirole Combat Aircraft with Integrated Avionics and Weapons
  • Ultra-Light Multi-Mode Radar
  • Advanced Cockpits
  • Aesa Radar

Company Profiles

  • Aerovironment, Inc
  • Airbus Se
  • BAE Systems
  • Bombardier Inc
  • Butler National Corporation
  • Dassault Aviation SA
  • Elbit Systems Ltd
  • General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc
  • Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation
  • Gvh Aerospace
  • Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd
  • Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc
  • L Harris Technologies, Inc
  • Leonardo Spa
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • Lufthansa Technik Ag
  • Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • Pilatus Aircraft Ltd
  • Raytheon Technologies Corporation
  • Ruag International Holding Ag
  • Saab AB
  • Textron Aviation Inc
  • Thales SA
  • The Boeing Company
  • Vox Space

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