Since AUVSI’s forecast in 2013, we have further refined our data sets to give a more accurate depiction of global defense robotics investments, culminating in our 2014 forecasts. Our data sets, with commentary on accuracy:
- 2014 United States President’s Defense Budget (available here) – The budget passed and signed into law differs slightly in gross numbers from the submitted budget, but no data exists to give details necessary to alter our analysis;
- AUVSI Unmanned Systems and Robotics Directory (A collection of over 4,000 unmanned platforms, available here) – This data set has grown by hundreds of platforms in the last year and in this year’s analysis we only include platforms that are being marketed for defense purposes; and
- Defense spending data compiled from Wikipedia (here, accessed 1/17/14) – For USA we used more accurate data from PB14, data on other countries is outdated but we were unable to find a more recent source and spending tends to vary little year to year.
Global defense spending on robotics is expected to exceed $13.3 billion in 2014, on par with $13.4B in 2013. The stagnation of US defense investments and minimal new defense robotic platforms in other countries accounts for the stagnant total investment. The United States Department of Defense is expected to spend almost $5.8B, down from $6.5B. This year, North America is expected to account for less than half of global robotics funding, a sign of growth outside of the United States.
Spending by Domain
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) remain the dominant expenditure in defense robotics. However, ground and maritime are showing an increasing percentage of total funding despite the limited investment by US DoD in these domains.
Forecasting Past 2014
Though we continue collecting data and new information, concrete budget figures past 2014 are limited. PB15 will be a very valuable data point for the future of US Defense funding as Congressional action is expected to be minimal. Stay tuned for that analysis in March after the budget is released. PB14 shows stagnant funding for US defense through 2018. Reliable data on future spending in other countries is unavailable. As such, we are still not comfortable estimating defense robotics spending past 2014.
Contact us if you have any questions or suggestions for further research.