The unmanned sea systems market is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 10% during the forecast period.
- The use of unmanned systems for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions, along with the water bodies of countries, gained importance over the past few years. With the naval forces prioritizing the development and procurement of unmanned systems, the demand for unmanned sea systems is anticipated to significantly increase during the forecast period.
- Also, there is a substantial growth in the commercial applications of the unmanned surface and underwater vehicles, which is also likely to fuel the growth of the market.
- The investments in the use of emerging technologies, like AI, in the unmanned sea systems (to make them autonomous) are increasing. Such investments by the governments are bringing various companies together to develop advanced autonomous vehicles, thereby increasing the consolidation in the market.
Key Market Trends
The Autonomous Vehicle Segment Expected to Experience the Highest Growth
The autonomous vehicle segment of the market is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Currently, there is a substantial investment in the development of new autonomous vehicles, to convert the existing remotely controlled vehicles into autonomous vehicles, minimize human interference, and increase the efficiency of the vehicles. For instance, in July 2019, the US Navy (USN) initiated the development of a decision support aid for the Sea Hunter unmanned surface vessel program, using the artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms. Under the operator decision aid (ODA) pilot project, the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) plans to develop a warning and maneuver recommendations prototype. Such initiatives by the governments are fueling the growth of the market segment during the forecast period.
North America is Expected to Generate the Highest Demand
North America is expected to generate the highest demand for unmanned sea systems during the forecast period. The majority of the demand for unmanned sea systems in North America is generated from the United States. The country, being the highest military spender, is currently investing heavily in unmanned sea systems, after it successfully integrated UAVs and UGVs into its armed forces. As a part of these investments, the Navy is currently in expecting to build new medium unmanned surface vehicles (MUSV) and large unmanned surface vehicles (LUSV), which are the new sea platforms with anti-surface and strike warfare capabilities, for a range of missions, like anti-submarine sonar applications, command and control, and sweeping ISR. Also, the Navy is working with defense companies, like Lockheed Martin and Boeing, to manufacture and deploy extra large unmanned undersea vehicles (XLUUVs).
The prominent players in the market are The Boeing Company, L3Harris Technologies Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation, General Dynamics Corporation, and Saab AB. Currently, the major manufacturing companies based in the United States are majorly dependent on the orders and contracts provided by the US Department of Defense. With product and technology innovation, companies can increase their geographic presence, thereby increasing their market share. Also, the growing partnerships between the companies to exchange technology and technical expertise, as well as the acquisition of smaller companies and startups by the major defense companies, are expected to increase the market consolidation in the coming years.
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