The surging defense expenditure of countries and burgeoning demand for seafloor mapping data will drive the unmanned underwater vehicles market growth during the forecast period (2021–2030). According to P&S Intelligence, the market generated a revenue of ~$4 billion in 2020. Moreover, the rising advancements in underwater inspection techniques and soaring demand for maritime security will facilitate the market growth in the foreseeable future. Currently, the market players are undertaking several creative approaches to augment the effectiveness of UUVs.
The mounting defense expenditure is one of the primary growth drivers for the market. UUVs play an important role in naval warfare as they provide significant clandestine and standoff capabilities and can intelligently adapt to the changes in tactical situations. The onboard systems of UUVs can adapt to the mission plan and identify changes without requiring human assistance. Owing to the benefits offered by UUVs, the navy and other departments of defense of various countries are partnering with private companies to conduct research and development (R&D) for developing next-generation UUVs.
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In recent years, the surging introduction of technologically advanced UUVs has become a prominent trend in the UUVs market. Over the years, battery technology, sensor fusion, propulsion systems, and underwater communication solutions have undergone technological advancements, which has resulted in the development of advanced UUVs. For instance, Hugin, an underwater vehicle developed by Kongsberg Gruppen ASA, can operate for up 100 hours, owing to its advanced battery technology. The operators of such underwater vehicles remain on the ground.
At present, the UUVs market is consolidated in nature, with the presence of few players such as Teledyne Technologies Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation, Subsea 7 S.A., Saab AB, Oceanserver Technology Inc., Kongsberg Gruppen, Oceaneering International Inc., The Boeing Company, and Fugro. These market players are entering into partnerships to gain a competitive edge. For instance, in December 2019, Saab AB won a contract from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for the development of a new self-propelled naval mine, which is based on autonomous underwater vehicle technology.
The type segment of the UUVs market is divided into autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Under this segment, the AUV category is expected to demonstrate the faster growth during the forecast period. This can be attributed to the extensive use of AUV platforms in the oil and gas sector to make detailed maps of the seafloor before constructing the subsea infrastructure, which reduces the cost of installing pipelines. Furthermore, the usage of this platform also minimizes environmental degradation.
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Geographically, North America accounted for the largest share in the UUVs market in 2020, due to the early adoption of advanced technologies and huge defense budget, especially in the U.S. Besides, the increasing adoption of UUVs by naval forces for maritime surveillance and defense purposes in the U.S. will result in the development of next-generation UUVs in the region in the coming years. These underwater vehicles are also used for harbor and port security, mine hunting, and detection and disposal of explosives.
Thus, the growing defense budgets and escalating focus on maritime security will support the market growth during the forecast period.
UUVs Market Size Breakdown by Segments
- Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)
- Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV)
By Propulsion Type
- Scientific Research
- North America
- Asia-Pacific (APAC)
- South Korea
- Latin America (LATAM)
- Middle East and Africa (MEA)
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
Market Segment Analysis of Countries
- Further breakdown of 16 listed countries will be provided as per below segmentation:
- By type
- By propulsion type
- By application
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