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2020
Underwater Drone Market

Underwater Drone Market by Type (Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV), and Hybrid Vehicles), Application (Defense & Security, Scientific Research, Commercial Exploration, and Others), Propulsion System (Electric System, Mechanical System and Hybrid System), and Product Type (Micro, Small and Medium, Light Work-Class, and Heavy Work-Class): Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2020–2027
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A08682
Pages: 302
Dec 2020 | 6482 Views
Author(s) : Mayank Halmare and Himanshu Joshi , Sonia Mutreja
Tables: 136
Charts: 74
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COVID-19

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Underwater Drone Market Statistics - 2027

The global underwater drone market was valued at $3.59 billion in 2019, and is projected to reach $7.39 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 11.7%.    

The COVID-19 outbreak has forced the governments across the globe to focus on medical services. Owing to this, the countries are reducing their military budgets to help pay for the pandemic response and recovery measures. For instance, South Korea and Thailand have reduced their military budgets to allocate more money to the pandemic response.

Underwater drones, also known as unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) are the type of vehicles that are capable to function under the water (ocean and sea) without a human occupant. These vehicles are generally divided into two categories—remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) that are controlled throughout their operations by a distant human operator, and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) that are capable to function autonomously without any real-time human inputs. Technological advancements in unmanned underwater vehicles, for instance, high-resolution cameras, superior manipulator arms, and highly sensitive sonar have led to a reduction in the timelines required to inspect equipment and other submerged items, consequently opening an ocean of opportunities in the underwater drone market.

Underwater-Drones-Market-2020-2027

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Factors such as rise in deep-water offshore oil & gas exploration, increase in demand for underwater drones for defense and security applications, growth in demand for oceanographic research, and surge in government support to modernize military forces are anticipated to boost the growth of the global underwater drone market during the forecast timeframe. However, the communication problems associated with AUVs are expected to hinder the growth of the global underwater drone market during the forecast period. 

The market is segmented into type, propulsion system, application, product type, and region. The type segment is further divided into remotely operated vehicle (ROV), autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), and hybrid vehicles. By propulsion system, the market is segmented into electric system, mechanical system, and hybrid system. Depending on application, the market is segmented into defense & security, scientific research, commercial exploration, and others. In terms of product type, the underwater drone market is segmented into micro, small and medium, light work-class, and heavy work-class. Region wise, the market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.

Key players operating in the global underwater drone market include The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Bluefin Robotics, Saab Seaeye Ltd, Teledyne Marine Group, Kongsberg Maritime, Oceaneering International, Inc., TechnipFMC plc, ECA Group, and Deep Ocean Engineering, Inc.

Rise in deep-water offshore oil & gas exploration

In the recently released International Energy Outlook 2019 (IEO2019), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicted that the global energy consumption is anticipated to grow by approximately 50% between 2018 and 2050. The demand for energy is growing across the world, and oil & gas (which form a major component of energy share) companies are improving the production, efficiency, and safety of their assets. Most of the world’s oil & gas reserves lie beneath the ocean. With the advancements in exploration, drilling, and production of oil & gas, now companies are able to drill thousands of feet deep, and more than a hundred miles offshore. The deep-water oil & gas production is shifting from the traditional floating type platforms to seafloor wellheads connected to seafloor pipes. Such systems depend on enhanced remote monitoring equipment and autonomous installations, which comprise of unmanned underwater drones.

Underwater Drone Market
By Type

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Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) is projected as the most lucrative segments

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As operators continue to explore oil & gas reserves in deeper waters, the adoption of ROVs and AUVs is expected to take a leap over the years. Underwater drones increase operational safety, provide support in drilling and subsea construction, reduce the environmental impact of inspection operations, and decrease the deployment of personnel. Underwater drones provide an alternative to sending divers under the sea to perform routine inspection work. The inspection work carried out by drones is safe, efficient, and reduces the environmental impact from frequent monitoring and inspection. 

In line with the objectives of conducting oil & gas exploration and inspection, Kraken Robotics Inc. announced in September 2019, that its subsidiary, Kraken Robotic Systems Inc., has launched the initial phase of its OceanVision project. Kraken will make use of its underwater systems to carry out seabed mapping and imaging on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and other parts of Atlantic Canada. With the rising demand for underwater drones in the oil & gas industry, the ROV and AUV manufacturers are offering products with higher underwater uptimes.

Underwater Drone Market
By Application

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Commercial Exploration is projected as the most lucrative segments

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Rise in demand for oceanographic research

Unsustainable extractions of marine resources have adversely impacted the oceans, which has resulted in the pollution of oceans, and the plummeting of fish-stocks across the globe. Climate change, non-sustainable resource extraction, habitat degradation, and land-based pollution have degraded the marine ecosystem. To address the deteriorating health of oceans, scientists and experts have over the years organized a bottom-up movement, which ultimately led the United Nations General Assembly in 2017 to declare a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021–2030). Under this, governments and scientists are raising awareness regarding the rapid decline in health and resources of the oceans. Science and technology backed alleviation policies are required to strengthen the management of oceans.

Underwater drones are unmanned, highly controllable underwater vehicles that can be employed to observe and inspect oceans while being operated by someone remotely (ROVs) or are fully autonomous (AUVs). Underwater drones are equipped with lights, still cameras, and video cameras through with they capture underwater images and videos. Auxiliary equipment, for instance, water clarity and temperature measuring instruments, water samplers, cutting arms, and others can also be added to the drones for collecting samples. The data collected by drones can be very useful in analyzing the oceans, and in taking measures to improve the ocean heath. For instance, researchers working under the Nansen Legacy project used underwater drones to identify and quantify the process that is important for the heat budget of the ocean north of Svalbard. Moreover, Seabed 2030 project, launched in 2017, is a collaborative project between the Nippon Foundation of Japan and the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) aimed at producing a map of the world ocean floor by 2030. It makes use of underwater drones operated by various groups and collects the bathymetric data.

Underwater Drone Market
By Propulsion System

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Hybrid System is projected as the most lucrative segments

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The growing usage of underwater drones in oceanographic research is anticipated to further the growth of the global underwater drone market during the forecast period. 

Communication problems associated with AUVs

One of the major challenges with the deployment of AUVs is regarding the communication and navigation. In the case of underwater communication, information is usually transmitted using the radio waves (for instance submarine communications). Radio signals, for instance, those produced by GPS navigation systems, travel with the speed of light in air or vacuum. But, as the absorption of light in water is several times bigger than that in air, the radio signals can’t go reach greater depths underwater and therefore are not feasible for underwater communications.

Underwater Drone Market
By Product Type

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Small and Medium is projected as the most lucrative segments

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To overcome these challenges with communications via radio waves, the underwater drone navigation has to depend on different communication technologies, for instance, high-power inertial navigation sensors (INS) that are really expensive and cost thousands of dollars. Hence, the problems related with the communication in deep water are estimated to hinder the growth of underwater drones during the forecast period.

Advent of energy-efficient underwater drones

The on-going research & development to enhance the operability of underwater drones has resulted in the emergence of energy-efficient drones in the market. These underwater vehicles make little use of on-board batteries and primarily use renewable sources or smart movement approaches. Several products have been launched in the market that makes use of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and others. This expands the underwater uptime of drones and reduces the frequent recharging of Li-ion batteries. For instance, Submaran is a solar and wind-power utilizing unmanned underwater and surface vessel developed by Ocean Aero that can operate for several months at sea-level and can travel underwater to depths of around 200 meters. The wind and solar power mix give the drone additional movability for prolonged ocean observation and surveying. In addition to this, Slocum Glider, which is an underwater drone by Teledyne Webb Research, makes use of an innovative approach for its movement through the water. When the drone is on the water surface, it deflates an air bladder that makes it heavier than surrounding water and the drone falls through the water. As it falls down, its wings help in steering and moving forward. On reaching the required depth, the bladder inflates, makes the drone lighter than water, and rises to the surface. This process is repeated to move the pre-programmed route until reaching the target. 

Such technological developments are anticipated to bolster the growth of the underwater drone market over the forecast period. 

Underwater Drone Market
By Region

2027
North America 
Europe
Asia-pacific
Lamea

Asia Pacific would exhibit the highest CAGR of 12.8% during 2020-2027.

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COVID-19 Impact Analysis

  • The COVID impact on the underwater drone market is unpredictable and it is expected to remain in force till the second quarter of the 2021. 
  • The COVID-19 outbreak has forced the governments across the globe to focus on medical services. Owing to this, the countries are reducing their military budgets to help pay for the pandemic response and recovery measures. For instance, South Korea and Thailand have reduced their military budgets to allocate more money to the pandemic response.
  • Moreover, the nationwide lockdown forced the manufacturing facilities of the underwater drones to shut down or cut the full fledge opening of the facilities.
  • The pandemic has placed more pressure on the drone manufacturing for its business model transformation, as the industry is facing demand shock with an uncertain recovery timeline. 
  • The cash burn rate in the industry is currently less than 2 months. Many original equipment manufacturers (OEM) are expected to face liquidity issues as operating cash flow diminishes during the crisis. Moreover, the local shutdowns and supply chain disruptions has leads to delays in deliveries of existing orders of underwater drones.

Key Benefits For Stakeholders

  • This study presents the analytical depiction of the global underwater drone market analysis along with the current trends and future estimations to depict imminent investment pockets.
  • The overall underwater drone market opportunity is determined by understanding profitable trends to gain a stronger foothold.
  • The report presents information related to the key drivers, restraints, and opportunities of the global underwater drone market with a detailed impact analysis.
  • The current underwater drone market is quantitatively analyzed from 2019 to 2027 to benchmark the financial competency.
  • Porter’s five forces analysis illustrates the potency of the buyers and suppliers in the industry.

Key Market Segments

  • By Type
    • REMOTELY OPERATED VEHICLE (ROV)
    • AUTONOMOUS UNDERWATER VEHICLES (AUV)
    • HYBRID VEHICLES
  • By Application
    • DEFENSE & SECURITY
    • SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
    • COMMERCIAL EXPLORATION
    • OTHERS
  • BY PROPULSION SYSTEM
    • Electric System
    • Mechanical System
    • Hybrid System
  • By Product Type
    • MICRO
    • SMALL AND MEDIUM
    • LIGHT WORK-CLASS
    • HEAVY WORK-CLASS
  • By Region
    • North America
      • U.S.
      • Canada
      • Mexico
    • Europe
      • Germany
      • France
      • Russia
      • UK
      • Rest of Europe
    • Asia-Pacific
      • China
      • India
      • Japan
      • South Korea
      • Rest of Asia-Pacific
    • LAMEA
      • Latin America
      • Middle East
      • Africa


Key Market Players

  • THE BOEING COMPANY
  • LOCKHEED MARTIN CORPORATION
  • BLUEFIN ROBOTICS (Subsidiary of GENERAL DYNAMICS CORPORATION
  • SAAB SEAEYE LTD (Subsidiary of SAAB AB)
  • TELEDYNE MARINE GROUP (Part of TELEDYNE TECHNOLOGIES INCORPORATED)
  • KONGSBERG MARITIME (Subsidiary of KONSBERG GRUPPEN)
  • OCEANEERING INTERNATIONAL, INC.
  • TECHNIPFMC PLC
  • ECA GROUP
  • DEEP OCEAN ENGINEERING, INC.
 

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Underwater drones are the unmanned underwater vehicles designed to enhance the analysis of what lies below the oceans, seas and rivers. The global underwater drone market is expected to witness significant growth due to the rise in demand for upgraded deep-water exploration and inspection equipment across different industry verticals. 

Underwater drones are being increasingly used in offshore oil & gas exploration activities across the world. Offshore oil & gas production accounts for a major share in the overall oil & gas production, and underwater drones with the capability of diving thousands of meters underwater, equipped with cameras, sensors, manipulator arms, and other payloads offer great benefits over traditionally deployed human divers and ships. Underwater drones encounter communication problems. The GPS signals that use radio waves are largely absorbed by the water; hence are not suitable for underwater communications. To overcome this problem, underwater drone navigation has to depend on expensive inertial navigation sensors (INS), which makes the operations of underwater drones costly. Such issues can be resolved with the development of technologies over the years.

The rise in demand for underwater drones for defense and security applications and the growing demand for oceanographic research are expected to drive the underwater drone market during the forecast period. Moreover, the advent of energy-efficient underwater drones and the rising government support to modernize military forces are expected to offer lucrative opportunities for the market over the forecast timeframe. Besides this, the rising participation of start-ups (for instance Aquabotix, EyeROV, among others) to develop underwater drones across the globe are expected to boost the demand for the underwater drone market during the forecast timeframe.

Moreover, underwater drones hold a promising potential in changing the traditional naval surveillance missions and to clear mines and map the ocean floor. Over the next decade, it is anticipated that the navies will extensively use the underwater drones to fetch sonar arrays and bring mines to the bottom of the ocean, launch torpedoes or itself become torpedoes to destroy opponent warships. Moreover, the rise in modernization of armies is expected to boost the growth of the underwater drone market.

Among the analyzed regions, North America is the highest revenue contributor, followed by Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA. Rise in demand for underwater drones for defense, offshore oil & gas exploration, and other applications, and advancements in product development have contributed to the growth of the underwater drones market in North America region.
 

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS?

A. The global underwater drones market was valued at $ 3.59 billion in 2019, and is projected to reach $7.39 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 11.7% from 2020 to 2027.

A. The manufacturing of underwater drones is expected to attain a rapid pace owing to rising demand for ROVs and AUVs across several applications (for instance, defence and security, scientific research, commercial exploration, among others)

A. The report sample for global Underwater Drones market report can be obtained on demand from the website.

A. Increased usage of underwater drones for underwater mapping particularly for marine geoscience studies, The development of AI technology applications for intelligent unmanned autonomous systems

A. Agreements, Product Launch, and Partnerships are the top most competitive developments which are adopted by the leading market players in the global market

A. The company profiles of the top ten players of the market can be obtained from the company profile section mentioned in the report. This section includes analysis of top ten player’s operating in the industry along with their last three year revenue, segmental revenue, product offerings, key strategies adopted, and geographical revenue generated

A. Based on the Underwater Drones market analysis, North America region accounted for the highest revenue contributor in 2019 and Asia-Pacific region is expected to see a lucrative business opportunities during the forecast period

A. By Type, Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) is expected to gain traction over the forecast period as well as dominate the market share in the global Underwater Drones market

A. The U.S, China, and Russia, has are key matured markets growing in the global Underwater Drones market

A. The companies involved in Oil & gas Exploration activities, Naval Foces, and the organizations operating in the oceanographic research are the major players in the global Underwater Drones market.

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