US Department of Defense Spend on Drones 2023

Teal drone Blue sUAS Florida approved drones, DoD spend on drones

Source: Teal

Uncrewed systems advocacy group AUVSI has published a report summarizing how much the U.S. Department of Defense will spend on drones in 2023, according to the 2023 Presidential Budget.  (The full report can be downloaded by AUVSI members: a summary is available for non-members.)

In a summary, AUVSI reports that the Department of Defense plans to invest more than $2.6 billion in unmanned systems, with at least 29 programs “fully dedicated to the procurement of UAS.”

The DoD will spend more on aerial drones than in any other category: but still expects to invest heavily in research and development for uncrewed ground and marine systems, as well as a significant investment in Counter-UAS.

The report says that the top 5 spending programs are:

  • U.S. Navy, MQ 25
  • U.S. Navy, MQ 4 Triton
  • Aerial Targets
  • Unmanned Carrier Mission Control Station
  • Target Drones

The Army has requested $326 million for Counter UAS procurement.  C-UAS is another product category with significant potential for enterprise and civil applications.

The U.S. Department of Defense spend on drones is significant to the commercial industry: research tends to indicate that the military market is still a major market driver when compared to the growth and scale of purely commercial applications.  While MQ 25s or MQ 4 Tritons will never be commercial products, military R&D spending on smaller uncrewed systems has frequently resulted in the development of dual-use systems found throughout the enterprise drone market.

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