Global Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Market To Grow At A CAGR Of 20.1% By 2028

19-Nov-2022 | Zion Market Research

The global autonomous underwater vehicles market size was worth around USD 1.81 billion in 2021 and is predicted to grow to around USD 6.45 billion by 2028 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of roughly 20.1% between 2022 and 2028.

An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is an unmanned, self-propelled, and unbound vehicle that can carry out operations underwater at varying depths with minimum human intervention. AUVs are more than often used during the hydrographic survey to create a seafloor map or establish chemical and biological properties of the water or underwater creatures.

The global market is home to different types of AUVs that differ in size and weight with some weighing a few kilograms to some going up to a thousand kilograms. Various factors motivate the use of autonomous underwater vehicles including the requirement of superior quality data or generating high-resolution photos or maps including any activity that requires information on the pervasiveness of the ocean.

Although the technology has been in use since the 1960s only recently it has been used more frequently due to the growing interest of the science and research community in understanding what lies in the depths of the ocean as more than 80% of the existing water is unexplored and as per analysts the unfamiliar water is could hold the potential to future resources. With time, AUV technologies have continued to grow immensely as the new-age autonomous underwater vehicles are equipped with high-tech devices like magnetometers, dissolved oxygen sensors, depth sensors, and turbidity sensors to name a few.

The global autonomous underwater vehicles market is projected to grow owing to the growing demand for AUVs to control border security, especially in nations that are surrounded by large water bodies. Most of these tasks are carried out by the respective Navy segment of the national defense system. For instance, the US Navy relies heavily on the use of underwater vehicles and warfare ships for activities like intelligence, surveillance, anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and mine countermeasures (MCM). In 2020, the world witnessed the US Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington signed a deal with Boeing, a leading manufacturer of rockets, satellites, aircraft, and other high-technology objects.

The deal was worth USD 11.1 million and through this Boeing is expected to help the US Navy upgrade its naval operations. A year before this, in 2019, the US Navy team also signed a deal with Boeing, worth USD 43 million, under which Boeing will develop the Ocra Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle or XLAUV. The US Navy has invested more than USD 560 million, in 2021, for research & development under its science wing.

Global Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Market

The growing resistance against carrying out different activities underwater for commercial or research purposes may inhibit global market growth. Environmentalists and different organizations that deal with the impact of human activities on the ecosystem have raised concerns over the methods employed to conduct underwater research or study as some actions could disturb the natural components, and characteristics and may damage the aquatic life since large debris of failed AUVs or any other underwater vehicle may create water pollutants over the degradation period.

However, growing applications in the oil & gas sector may provide growth opportunities while use for illegal purposes is a major challenge for market players.

The global autonomous underwater vehicles market is segmented based on application, type, payload, propulsion system, and region.

Based on type, the global market is divided into large, medium, and small. The global market witnessed the dominance of the large segment in 2021 due to the growing applications of heavy AUVs in deep-sea exploration. As global economies strive to study the regional land and water thoroughly in a mission to explore any new natural resources, deep-sea research has grown tremendously over the years. For instance, in 2020, Kongsberg and the Indian National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) signed a contract for the supply of a HUGIN AUV system that boasts 6,000 meters of operating depth. The product will help NIOT expand the scope of the institute's research studies.

Based on the propulsion system, the global market segments are mechanical, electrical, and hybrid with the electrical segment leading the global market revenue. The growth was a result of the development of advanced and high-tech power systems such as the use of Fuel Cell Energy Power Systems (FCEPS) that can increase a vehicle's capacity. Advanced AUVs may cost between USD 2 to 6 million.

North America is expected to become the highest contributor in the global autonomous underwater vehicles market with the US leading with the strongest CAGR owing to growing investments in the oil & gas sector which is further propelled by the presence of some of the key players with headquarters in the US and Canada. The growing political turmoil with Russia and its impact on the supply of energy may drive the US government to enhance its effort in the energy utility sector in the coming years. The country’s defense spends more than 1.7×1010 L of fuel every year.

The global autonomous underwater vehicles market is dominated by players like Bluefin Robotics, Graal Tech, Atlas Elektronik Gmbh, Boston Engineering Corporation, Hydromea Sa, Eca Group, Bae Systems, Fugro, and Boeing.

Recent Developments:

  • In October 2022, Kongsberg announced that the company will supply more HUGIN autonomous underwater vehicles to the Polish Navy
  • In May 2021, the US Navy order the addition of two REMUS 300, owned by HII, unmanned underwater vehicle

This review is based on a report by Zion Market Research, titled Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Market By Application (Defense, Research, and Oil & Gas), By Type (Large, Medium, and Small), By Payload (Sensors, Camera, Inertial Navigation System, and Others), By Propulsion System (Mechanical, Electrical, and Hybrid), and By Region - Global and Regional Industry Overview, Market Intelligence, Comprehensive Analysis, Historical Data, and Forecasts 2022 – 2028.”- Report at

The global autonomous underwater vehicles market is segmented as follows:

By Application

  • Defense
  • Research
  • Oil & Gas

By Type

  • Large
  • Medium
  • Small

By Payload

  • Sensors
  • Camera
  • Inertial Navigation System
  • Others

By Propulsion System

  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Hybrid

By Region

  • North America
    • The U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • France
    • The UK
    • Spain
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • South Korea
    • Southeast Asia
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa
    • GCC
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa

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