An unmanned underwater vehicle is a small submarine used for underwater tasks. They can be divided into two categories: remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), which tend to be tethered with cables, and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), which can be remotely controlled.
The overall Market for this breed of vehicle is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20.65% from 2014-2019, thanks to advances in technology, miniaturization, improved endurance, and enhanced payloads.
Market breakdown: ROVs vs AUVs
Unmanned underwater vehicles: ROVs
Market size and forecast: The market was valued at $1.48 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach $2.98 billion by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 15.03%.
Main applications: Oil and gas (specifically subsea development and drilling), defense and security, and scientific research.
In March 2015, Aleron Subsea was awarded a contract by a marine service company worth $4.8 million to provide two work class ROVs. In April 2015, IKM Subsea was awarded a contract by Norske Shell worth $150 million to provide ROV services for a duration of five years, which could be extended an extra five years. Such investments and growth in the oil and gas industry will positively contribute to the market.
Unmanned underwater vehicles market: AUVs
Market size and forecast: The market was valued at $0.59 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach $2.3 billion by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 31.46%.
Main applications: Military, scientific research, commercial.
The Netherlands Navy awarded a contract to Hydroid to deliver three REMUS100 AUVs equipped with latest-generation Kearfott Inertial Navigation and dual-frequency side-scan sonars. Also, Fugro will use AUVs in Australia to undertake seabed mapping and assess AUVs in terms of battery endurance, sensing and tracking abilities, enhanced Differential Global Positioning System acquisition, profiler module integration, leak/seep detection and photogrammetry, acoustic positioning, and magnetometer performance.