Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) Market Expanding at a Steady Pace

Unmanned surface vehicles (USV), as the name suggests, is a vehicle that operates on the surface of the water without any human presence on it. They are used for various military and commercial applications. The commercial applications include oil & gas exploration, construction, ocean data mapping, etc. They offer several advantages over other methods such as the ability to interact both below and above the water level, large payloads, and endurance. Moreover, with the rising number of threats and attacks, the demand for maritime security has increased over the years, thereby escalating the demand for USVs as well. The global market for unmanned surface vehicle is expected to advance steadily in the years to come.

Drivers, Opportunities, & Restraints

The global market for unmanned surface vehicle is growing at a steady pace, owing to the following factors:

  • Increased demand for maritime security due to rising threats
  • Rise in demand of USVs for water quality monitoring and ocean data mapping

In addition to this, government organizations and private agencies have been actively investing in this market for the development of advanced and efficient USVs. Thus, advancements in designs of USVs and high demand for the combat operations have further boosted the growth of this market. However, presence of low-cost substitutes such as AUVs and ROVs may hamper the growth of this market. Moreover, unclear navigation rules and need for constant human intervention remain major challenges for the market players.

Key Market Findings

The global unmanned surface vehicle (USV) market which was projected valued at USD 437.57 Million in 2016 is expected to reach USD 861.37 Million by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 14.51% during the forecast period from 2016 to 2021. Geographically, the market was dominated by North America in 2015, mainly due to the advancements in technology and growing terrorism in this region. However, the European market is poised to grow at the highest CAGR during the projected period, owing to the rise in demand for USVs by the Navies coupled with the presence of key manufacturers in this region.

Based on application, the defense segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the period under consideration due to a huge demand from the Navies across the globe. On the basis of size, small USV market dominates the market currently, in terms of volume, and it is expected to continue dominating over the next five years as well. Whereas in terms of value, the large size USVs hold the largest market share. Based on payload, the market is dominated by the camera segment, while the sensor payload segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period, owing to increased use of sensors in defense sector.

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Research Scope

The global market for unmanned surface vehicle (USV) has been analyzed and predicted by breaking it down into the following segments and sub-segments:

  • Size: Small, Medium, Large, Extra-Large
  • Application: Commercial, Defense, Scientific Research, Miscellaneous
  • Modes of Operation: Semi-autonomous, Autonomous
  • Propulsion System: Electric System, Mechanical System, Hybrid System, Solar, Others
  • Payload: Sensors, Sonar, INS, Camera, Visual System, X-band Radar, Others
  • Geography: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, RoW

Major players in the global market for unmanned surface vehicle include ASV Unmanned Marine Systems (U.K.), Teledyne Technologies, Inc. (U.S.), IAI (Israel), Textron Inc. (U.S.) and Elbit Systems Ltd. (Israel), among others.