Unmanned Sea Systems Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The Unmanned Sea Systems Market is segmented by Type (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV), and Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV)), Capability (Remotely Operated Vehicle, and Autonomous Vehicle), and Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World). The report offers market size and forecasts for all the above segments in value (USD million).

Market Snapshot

unmanned sea systems market overview
Study Period: 2018 - 2026
Base Year: 2020
Fastest Growing Market: Asia-Pacific
Largest Market: North America
CAGR: >22 %

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Market Overview

The Unmanned Sea Systems Market was valued at about USD 1334.7 million in 2020 and is projected to grow to approximately USD 4450.6 million in 2026 with a CAGR of more than 22.2% during the forecast period (2021-2026).

  • Due to the impact of COVID-19, the majority of the countries in the world have focused their budgets on healthcare technologies, thereby decreasing military budget allocations. Also, the outbreak and the subsequent shutdowns have affected the players in several countries impacting the global supply chain for most of 2020.
  • 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 propel the growth of the market during the forecast period.
  • Also, there is a substantial growth in commercial applications like hydrology research, scientific exploration, hydrographic survey, emergency fire control, and other applications. This is driving the growth of the market in the coming years.
  • The investments in the use of emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence and machine learning, in unmanned sea systems to convert the existing systems into 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.

Scope of the Report

Unmanned sea systems are naval assets that can operate without a human occupant onboard the vessel. The market of unmanned sea systems is segmented by type into unmanned surface vessels (USVs) and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). The market is also segmented based on the capability of remotely operated vehicles and autonomous vehicles. The report also covers the market sizes and forecasts for the market in major countries across different regions. The market sizing and forecasts have been provided in value (USD million). The report includes demand from both commercial and defense markets.

Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV)
Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV)
Remotely Operated Vehicle
Autonomous Vehicle
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
Rest of Asia-Pacific
Rest of the World

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Key Market Trends

Autonomous Vehicles will Experience Significant Growth During the Forecast Period

The autonomous vehicle segment of the market is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. With the increasing technological advancements, companies are introducing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies to increase the level of autonomy the unmanned surface vessels and underwater vehicles. 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, XOCEAN, an uncrewed surface vessels operator, incorporated GUARDIAN Vision artificial intelligence software of Marine AI in March 2021 to enhance the situational awareness of their surface vessels fleet. The software utilizes data from the onboard camera to detect and classify hazards and provide positional information on these hazards to the onboard control system and the remote pilot. In the military sector, China, United States, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, among others are rapidly expanding their fleet of autonomous surface and underwater vehicles. The rapid growth in the investments toward the development and procurement of autonomous maritime systems is expected to accelerate the market's growth during the forecast period.

Unmanned Sea Systems Market_keytrend1

Asia-Pacific Region is Expected to Generate the Highest Demand During the Forecast Period

Asia-Pacific region is anticipated to witness the highest growth during the forecast period, majorly due to robust investments of countries like China, India and Japan, among others into unmanned systems. The navies in the region are investing in developing and procuring advanced unmanned sea systems for anti-submarine warfare and defense surveillance applications. For instance, as per the latest National Defense Program Guidelines, the Japanese MoD called for the development of a 10m long UUV for conducting surveillance missions at the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, which are unlawfully claimed by China. Similarly, the Australian DoD initiated an R&D project in 2020 worth USD 15 million to assess the design, development, and testing of AUV swarms and autonomous surface vessels for an initial survey of a hostile stretch for mines prior to the deployment of manned vessels. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2025. Various commercial operators in the region also plan to deploy remotely operated vehicles and autonomous vehicles for surveying, sea-bed mapping applications, etc. In this regard, about 40 Japanese shipping companies aim to have remote-control vessels ply Japanese waters by 2025 using satellites and high-speed fifth-generation wireless networks for communication between shore and ship, as well as AI to help set efficient routes. The technological advancements in the field of unmanned systems will lower the associated costs and drive the adoption of such systems in the region during the forecast period.

unmanned sea systems market geography

Competitive Landscape

The unmanned sea systems market is highly fragmented, with many start-ups and local players involved in the market studied that cater to the unmanned surface and underwater systems requirements of civilian and military customers. General Dynamics Corporation, Teledyne Technologies Incorporated, Thyssenkrupp AG, BAE Systems plc, and Kongsberg Gruppen ASA are some of the prominent players in the market. Various companies have been collaborating on the development of autonomous features, as well as sophisticated acoustic and imaging sensors (like cameras, radar, sonar, GPS, etc.) to decrease the pilot involvement operation of the systems in complex, variable, and communications-limited environments. Also, major international shipbuilding companies and technology companies have been investing in the acquisition of stakes in UUV/USVs manufacturers to enter the market studied. Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), in 2020, had invested in two unmanned maritime systems companies, namely, Hydroid Inc. and Sea Machines Robotics Inc. The investments are a part of the company’s plans to expand its capabilities in the autonomous and unmanned maritime systems market. Such developments are anticipated to support the growth of the USV/UUV manufacturers in the coming years.

Recent Developments

  • In September 2021, Elbit Systems Ltd was awarded contracts worth about USD 56 million from an undisclosed Navy of a country in Asia-Pacific country to supply Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capabilities. Under the contracts, the company will deliver the Seagull USVs configured to perform ASW missions and the Towed Reelable Active Passive Sonar (TRAPS) systems. The contracts were planned to be completed over a period of 12 months.
  • In May 2021, Maritime Robotics announced that the company delivered Otter with NORBIT iWBMS multibeam echosounder to Japan’s Alpha Hydraulic Engineering Consultants Co. Ltd (AHEC). The USV is expected to enhance the project management capability of the company from site investigation, analysis, design, and execution to the Global Information System (GIS) of coastal and engineering structures.
  • In April 2021, ECA GROUP announced that the company supplied the H800 Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) to Terminales Maritimas Patagonicas (Termap). Termap will support Underwater Inspections in Lieu of Dry-docking (UWILD).

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Market Drivers

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints

    4. 4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      3. 4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

  5. 5. MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size by Value - USD million)

    1. 5.1 Type

      1. 5.1.1 Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV)

      2. 5.1.2 Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV)

    2. 5.2 Capability

      1. 5.2.1 Remotely Operated Vehicle

      2. 5.2.2 Autonomous Vehicle

    3. 5.3 Geography

      1. 5.3.1 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

      2. 5.3.2 Europe

        1. United Kingdom

        2. France

        3. Germany

        4. Rest of Europe

      3. 5.3.3 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. Japan

        3. India

        4. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.3.4 Rest of the World


    1. 6.1 Vendor Market Share

    2. 6.2 Company Profiles

      1. 6.2.1 thyssenkrupp AG​

      2. 6.2.2 BAE Systems PLC

      3. 6.2.3 General Dynamics Corporation

      4. 6.2.4 Lockheed Martin Corporation

      5. 6.2.5 Teledyne Technologies Incorporated

      6. 6.2.6 Kongsberg Gruppen ASA​

      7. 6.2.7 Saab AB

      8. 6.2.8 L3Harris Technologies Inc.

      9. 6.2.9 Maritime Robotics AS

      10. 6.2.10 The Boeing Company

      11. 6.2.11 Groupe Gorgé​

      12. 6.2.12 Elbit Systems Ltd


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Frequently Asked Questions

The Unmanned Sea Systems Market market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The Unmanned Sea Systems Market is growing at a CAGR of >22% over the next 5 years.

The Unmanned Sea Systems Market is valued at 1334 Million USD in 2018.

The Unmanned Sea Systems Market is valued at 4450 Million USD in 2026.

Asia-Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

North America holds highest share in 2020.

General Dynamics Corporation, Teledyne Technologies Incorporated, Thyssenkrupp AG, BAE Systems plc, Kongsberg Gruppen ASA are the major companies operating in Unmanned Sea Systems Market.

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