Press Release

Unfolding the UMS Defense & Security Scene in early 2012


April 17th, 2012

Global Information Inc. would like to present a new market research report, "Unmanned Maritime Systems - Defense & Security UUV & USV Markets, Technologies & Opportunities Outlook 2012 - 2020" by Market Info Group LLC.

Early 2012 saw continuing UUV sales worldwide [1], and maturing USV requirements through new exercises and a few sales [2]. A few new actors came into the USV scene, with new designs [3]. Both governments and companies are looking for cross-migration of technology between the commercial and defense worlds: governments realize they can save money by integrating already-proven UMV technologies from oil & gas, and oil & gas operators find themselves increasingly in need for maritime robotics systems for deep sea energy explorations and operations.

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What is also unfolding is the delicate diplomatic situation between the West and Iran. As tensions build up, so does risk. In preparation for increasing tensions and what might develop in its aftermath, mines and mine countermeasures are at the top of the list. The Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts have shown over and over that UGV and UAV are proven tools for risk mitigation in bomb disposal and intelligence operations - and so will UMVs. Countering "swarming" and submarines is also in the works.

The US Navy Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Greenert, said on March 15, 2012 that more mine warfare capabilities are being set in the Strait of Hormuz, adding that: "I want to improve Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Mine Neutralization" [4]. On March 14, 2012, the European Defense Agency started a drifting mine detection project [5].

The growing tensions may speed up the growth of UMS platforms and payloads for the defense and security markets. We will continue to see exercises and demonstration of USVs from companies to governments, while more countries are developing UMS centers of excellence.

We are on par with the forecast predictions on UMS. A conflict with Iran would change the forecast to the second scenario, described and forecasted in the UMS market report. 2012 budgets and events will continue to emphasize the need and development of UMS across the globe. The business analysis is very much current. Feedback from governments and companies has been terrific so far.


  • [1] For instance, the Belgium Navy bought two AUV and Saudi Aradia bought one, both in February, from Hydroid; Thailands buys Atlas SeaFox MDV in December 2011.
  • [2] Forces Fleet Command USV exercises took place in Virginia in February 2012 UK MoD buys and uses USV from ASV for target exercises; US Navy intends to buy USV targets from Meggitt US Special Operations gets delivered 2 small USV
  • [3] For instance, Forgacs defense presents a wind and solar USV concept.
  • [4] Readying For Iran
  • [5] Drifting Mines Detection project kicks-off under the EDA UMS programme


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