Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (Defense) – Thematic Research

Although unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) had initially existed for marine exploration, research, search and rescue since the late 1950s, they became more common when they begun to be utilized for mine countermeasure (MCM) missions. Along with the proliferation of autonomous and remotely controlled systems, navies keep their personnel away from a risky and dangerous environment, so this approach is whipping up investments in unmanned maritime technology. Today's UUVs offer an improvement in operation time and safety, greater flexibility of use, more efficient power systems, and lower implementation and sustainability costs.

UUVs have the potential to be used as force multipliers in many areas of naval operations, with their modular structures and their ability to carry many different payloads.

With the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in UUVs at full maturity, it is expected that by the end of 2020, UUVs will take part in naval battle groups with manned platforms.

Naval forces and defense industry companies around the world have increased their investment in UUV technologies. In fact, leading shipbuilders and leading defense companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, HII, General Dynamics, Thyssenkrupp and BAE systems are competing for the highest share of the growing UUV market.


This report focuses on Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (USVs), which will be force multiplier in future naval operations.

Unmanned Underwater Vehicles thematic research offers a detailed analysis of UUVs being developed and used by navies and other maritime organizations. The research includes insightful industry analysis of the UUVs and key use cases highlighting how Navies worldwide have started working on developing and implementing the technology.

Key Highlights

Navies and companies, cooperating with universities and research and development centers, have been developing and experimenting with various UUVs for many years and have transitioned some of these efforts into procurement/manufacture programs. There are still many UUV programs under development and at the technology demonstration level.

A key driver for the development of UUVs is to move people away from contested and dangerous environments to avoid casualties.

XLUUV and MUUV have generally switchable and modular mission payload suites, therefore, they can perform multi-mission changing mission modules. Collective advances in technology allow these vehicles to execute more complex missions, with increased autonomy and their own support packages. However, smaller vehicles are better suited to single type missions, such as hydrographic survey and ISR missions.

Reasons to buy

Corporations: Helps CEOs in all industries understand the disruptive threats to their competitive landscape.

Investors: Helps fund managers focus their time on the most exciting investment opportunities in global Aerospace & Defense.

Whilst most investment research is underpinned by backwards looking company valuation models, GlobalData’s thematic methodology identifies which companies are best placed to succeed in a future filled with multiple disruptive threats. Compared to all our rival thematic research houses, our unique differentiator is that our thematic engine has a proven track record of predicting leaders and challengers.

Gain an in-depth understanding of the underlying factors driving demand for Unmanned Underwater Vehicles in the top spending countries across the world and identify the opportunities offered by each of them

Strengthen your understanding of the market in terms of demand drivers, industry trends, and the latest technological developments, among others.

Companies mentioned

Atlas Elektronik UK, Aquabotix, Boeing, BAE Systems, CSIC, ECA, Deep Trekker, DefendTex, Daeyang Electric, FET, General Dynamics, Dive Technologies, Hanwha Systems, HII, International Submarine Engineering, Kawasaki Kongsberg, L3 Harris, Leidos, LIG Nex1, Lockheed Martin, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, MSubs, M Ship, SIA, SeaBotix, Shenyang, Soil Machine, Teledyne Marine, Thales, Tianjin Sublue Ocean Science & Technology

Table of Contents

Executive summary


Technology briefing


Industry analysis

Value chain


Sector scorecards


Further reading

Our thematic research methodology

About GlobalData

Contact Us

List of Tables

Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) Types

Defense and technology trends

Macroeconomic trends

Regulatory trends

Global UUV Development Efforts

Mergers and acquisitions



List of Figures

Who are the leading players in the UUV theme, and where do they sit in the value chain?

UUV applications

The global UUV market

Global UUV development

UUV value chain

USV payload

AUV power sources

Sector scorecards


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