Unmanned Sea Systems Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecast (2022 - 2027)

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 forecast for all the above segments in value (USD million).

Market Snapshot

Unmanned Sea Systems Market Summary
Study Period: 2018-2027
Base Year: 2021
Fastest Growing Market: Asia-Pacific
Largest Market: North America
CAGR: >15 %
Unmanned Sea Systems Market Major Players

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Market Overview

The unmanned sea systems market is projected to register a CAGR of more than 15% during the forecast period (2022-2027).

The COVID-19 pandemic moderately impacted the market in focus. Though supply chain issues and delays in R&D efforts are visible in the unmanned sea systems industry across the world, no visible impact was noted on the orders placed by various militaries globally.

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 market's growth 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, which is likely to drive the market's growth in the coming years.

The investments in using 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 unmanned sea systems market is segmented by type into unmanned surface vessels (USVs) and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). The market is also segmented by the capability of remotely operated vehicles and autonomous vehicles. The report includes demand from commercial and defense markets. The report also covers the market sizes and forecast for the market in major countries across different regions. The market sizing and forecast have been provided in value (USD million).

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 May 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 in 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 vehicles. For instance, XOCEAN, an uncrewed surface vessel operator, incorporated GUARDIAN Vision AI software of Marine AI in March 2021 to enhance the situational awareness of its surface vessel 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, the United States, France, Germany, and the Netherlands 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 - Revenue (%), by Capability, Global, 2021

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

Asia-Pacific is anticipated to witness the highest growth during the forecast period, majorly due to robust investments from countries like China, India, and Japan 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 10-m 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 before 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 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 and AI to help set efficient routes. The technological advancements in unmanned systems may lower the associated costs and drive the adoption of such systems in the region during the forecast period.

Unmanned Sea Systems Market - Growth Rate by Region (2022 - 2027)

Competitive Landscape

The unmanned sea systems market is highly fragmented, with many start-ups and local players catering to the unmanned surface and underwater system 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, and GPS) to decrease the pilot involvement operation of the systems in complex, variable, and communications-limited environments. Also, major international shipbuilding and technology companies have been investing in acquiring stakes in UUV/USV manufacturers to enter the market studied. In 2020, Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) 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 announced that it was awarded contracts worth approximately USD 56 million to supply Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capabilities to the Navy of a country in Asia-Pacific. Under the contracts, Elbit Systems will provide the Seagull USVs (Unmanned Surface Vessels) configured to perform ASW missions and the Towed Reelable Active Passive Sonar (TRAPS) systems. The contracts were planned to be completed over 12 months.
  • In July 2021, Teledyne Technologies Incorporated announced that its subsidiary, Teledyne Brown Engineering Inc., was awarded an indefinite-quantity/indefinite-delivery contract with a maximum base value of USD 27.4 million from the US Navy for the Littoral Battlespace Sensing-Glider (LBS-G) program. Under the contract, Teledyne will supply its Slocum gliders, which are long-endurance, buoyancy-driven autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) that provide a highly persistent means to sample and characterize the ocean water column properties.
  • 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 company's project management capability 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

    3. 1.3 Currency Conversion Rates for USD



    1. 3.1 Market Size and Forecast, Global, 2018 - 2027

    2. 3.2 Market Share by Type, 2021

    3. 3.3 Market Share by Capability, 2021

    4. 3.4 Market Share by Geography, 2021

    5. 3.5 Structure of the Market and Key Participants


    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 and Forecast by Value - USD million, 2018 - 2027)

    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 Gorge SA

      12. 6.2.12 Elbit Systems Ltd


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Frequently Asked Questions

The Unmanned Sea Systems Market market is studied from 2018 - 2027.

The Unmanned Sea Systems Market is growing at a CAGR of >15% over the next 5 years.

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

North America holds highest share in 2021.

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

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