The global market for unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) will register robust growth from $1.2 billion in 2014 to $4.84 billion by 2019, with demand from the oil and gas sectors of Angola and Nigeria driving demand from the African continent, according to a new report.
The Markets and Markets report examines the market growth potential for UUVs, which consist of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV).
The global ROV market is estimated to be worth $1.2 billion in 2014 and expected register a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 20.11% in 2019. The global AUV market is estimated to be worthy $457 million in 2014 and expected to register a CAGR of 31.95% in 2019. The need for seabed mapping and oceanographic environmental study will drive the use of the UUV for scientific research purposes, the report said.
“The emergence of AIP (Air Independent Propulsion) systems and the miniaturization trends in AUV have proven to be driving factors for this market. AUVs are mainly used for ultra-deepwater exploration, anti-submarine warfare and ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) activities,” the report says.
The report says there will be robust growth from the Asia-Pacific, Latin American and African regions which have high investment in the oil and gas sectors and which rely on deep sea exploration activities. However, it notes that growth in the North American and European regions will be sluggish when compared to the other three regions.
The UUV market is also expected to grow remarkably in the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) region due to significant government-to-government investments into the defence, scientific research and oil and gas sectors.
“The AUV market will show stringent growth in defence operations, though there is a slight decline in the global share of advanced markets,” according to the report.
“Countries from the Latin American and African regions will prove to be prominent AUV markets. Emerging countries will also be actively involved in military activities for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) purposes. Stringent market growth is expected in countries such as Nigeria, Angola, Brazil, Chile, and, New Zealand in the oil and gas sector and countries such as China, Japan, and India in the scientific research sector,” reads part of the report.
The decline in the demand for UUVs in the advanced European and North American markets has been attributed to widespread defence budget cuts and an ongoing economic crisis although significant growth is expected in the military and energy segments in the short term.
“ROVs can be divided into eyeball-class ROVs and work-class ROVs. The eyeball-class ROV comprises of a small or mini ROV used in applications such as observation, scientific exploration, inspection, and rescue. The work-class ROV is large and heavy, making it is capable of deploying and lifting large equipment and samples for study. Bottom-crawling ROVs are used for burying cables and trenching. Structurally reliant ROVs are attached to underwater structures,” the report explains.
“AUVs are classified as gliders that are small, medium, and large based on their size. They are untethered robotic devices that are self-controlled and self-piloted by an onboard computer. Hybrid ROVs are an interesting type of ROV, which can be operated as an ROV or AUV with a tether-optional configuration.
“The increased manoeuvrability helps navigation to locations where tether would limit its ability. AUV are used in anti-submarine warfare to detect manned submarines. These are operated from submarines, whereas ROVs are operated from surface ships,” the report states.