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The global underwater connectors market size was USD 1.61 billion in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 1.66 billion in 2021 to USD 2.45 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 6.01% during the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with underwater connectors witnessing a negative impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a lower growth of -5.07% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The sudden rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Underwater connectors are critical and complex deep-sea engineering equipment components. For reference, underwater connectors are also called sub-sea connectors and marine connectors designed to work in extreme environments, including vibration, pressure, shock, and corrosive seawater. Efficient technical equipment is critical for the effective deep-sea exploration and usage of this vast blue ecological system. Many manned and unmanned underwater vehicles have been developed, requiring underwater connectors, such as remotely operated vehicles, autonomous underwater vehicles, human-occupied vehicles, and hybrid ROV and AUV.
Many undersea observatories have been built, such as the Hawaii Undersea Geo-Observatory (HUGO) and the Astronomy with a Neutrino Telescope and Abyss Environmental Research (ANTARES) project. Various kinds of marine engineering equipment have also been deployed to exploit oil and gas, as well as offshore renewable energy (ORE) farms.
Marine Sector Faced Unmatched Challenges Due to Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic
The global market has witnessed a significant decline due to the COVID-19 impact. Disruptions in the supply chain, reduced defense budget, and a slowdown in the economy hampered the market growth during the pandemic.
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Advanced Subsea System for Commercial and Military Applications to Drive Market Growth
Rise in demand for underwater connectors has showcased the deployment of subsea platforms and the high adoption rate of the sub-sea equipment for applications, such as submarine communication cables, oceanography, deep-sea mining. The rubber molded connectors are widely used in the market. In 2019, Hydro Group launched a wide range of underwater rubber molded connectors capable of catering to a range of sizes, combinations, and voltages and have specifications, such as ruggedness performance, quick installation, cost-effectivity.
With the high demand for subsea equipment and platforms in military and telecommunications, the market players emphasize on increasing the production of inductive coupling underwater connectors for data transfer applications.
Increased Submarine Communication Cables and Defense Expenditure owing to Naval Modernization to Drive Market Growth
Over the last decade, the navies worldwide have emphasized the utility of manned and unmanned underwater vehicles, which has influenced the development of advanced communication and detection equipment. This impact has driven the need to modernize the existing subsurface fleet and acquire manned and unmanned underwater platforms for border protection and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) activities.
This development has influenced the rise in defense expenditure by the governments worldwide to invest in naval capability enhancement. The U.S. Navy has been developing the Orca Class of XLUUV for its unmanned underwater capabilities. Also, it has been involved in developing the next-generation Columbia Class submarines, which will help in the increment in market growth during the forecast period.
Accelerating Deep-Sea Explorations, Mining, and Oil & Gas Activities to Boost Market Growth
AUV's major operations include bathymetry, acoustic imagery, optical imagery, sub-bottom profiling, water column characterization, ocean current profile with tides, temperature profile, salinity profiles, water clarity, and bio-luminescence. Several ocean surveys require a large amount of sampling, data profiles, and a longer period for precise evaluation, which are expensive in various countries. The AUV systems are fully equipped with numerous sensors, systems, and tools which gather extensive information in less time. These factors are projected to fuel demand for AUV systems in forthcoming years.
For instance, in October 2021, India’s National Institute of Ocean Technology launched a deep-sea exploration mission named Samudrayaan Mission to develop, test, and manufacture underwater deep-sea exploration vessels.
High Installation and Maintenance Cost and Limitation of the Certain Underwater Connectors to Restrict the Market Growth
Despite the high underwater connector demand, rigid shell underwater connectors have certain limitations, such as pressure variation between their inner and outer shell, highly prone to corrosion. These factors influence the overall performance of the connectors in subsea applications. Hence, it leads to high installation and maintenance costs. The underwater platforms which are utilizing rigid shell connectors may face major setbacks and operational performance issues.
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Rubber Molded Segment Dominated the Market Owing to High Demand for Rubber Molded Connectors Applications
By type, the market is segmented into rigid shell, inductive coupling, rubber molded, and electrical mateable.
The rubber molded segment held the highest underwater connectors market share in 2020 and is estimated to show remarkable growth during the forecast period. The dominance is due to the increased number of underwater platforms and equipment applications from 2017-to 2021. Increasing demand for military sub-sea platforms from defense forces for real-time information propels the market growth. Also, rise in commercial underwater applications in oil & gas, telecommunication, and mining sectors is anticipated to drive the market growth.
The electrical mateable segment is anticipated to show significant growth at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the growing need for improved underwater connectivity and technological advancement.
Oil & Gas Segment to Show Significant Growth Due to Growing Adoption of Advanced Propulsion System
Based on application, the market is segmented into oil & gas, defense, Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs), telecommunication, and oceanography.
The oil & gas segment held significant shares in the market during the forecast period. The growth is due to the rise in the energy demand across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific. These regions have influenced the rise in offshore oil & gas exploration activities, which require underwater vehicles for effective working and exploration. These applications are anticipated to drive the segmental growth in the market during 2021-2028.
The telecommunication segment will showcase remarkable growth at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growth is due to the adoption of advanced internet and network connectivity due to the rise in digitalization and growing demand for internet across civilian, military, and commercial applications. These developments are anticipated to drive the segmental market growth in the market.
Hybrid Segment Dominated Market Growth Owing to Growing Deployment of AUVs
By connection, the market is divided into electrical, optical fiber, hybrid.
The hybrid segment is anticipated to grow at a remarkable growth rate during the forecast period. The growth is due to the rising deployment of UUVs and the rise in deep-sea exploration, and telecommunication applications
The electrical segment is projected to show noticeable growth during the forecast period. It is due to the rising demand for electrical mateable connectors for various applications in subsea operations.
North America Underwater Connectors Market Size, 2020 (USD Million)
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The market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World.
North America dominated the market in 2020 and is valued at USD 546.6 million. The growth is attributed to the year-on-year growth in defense expenditure in the naval sector and the rising number of subsurface fleet and submarine fleet modernization contracts between the U.S. Department of Defense and key players in the market. For instance, in November 2020, the U.S. Navy was engaged in the existing submarine fleet modernization, acquiring new submarines from Huntington Ingalls and Orca Class XLUUVs, which are anticipated to drive market growth in the region during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific is projected to show remarkable growth and could be the fastest-growing region during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the increasing expenditure from China, South Korea, and India on defense, deep-sea exploration, mining, and the oil & gas sector. Also, the rise in technical development and integration of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) and Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) for varying applications are anticipated to drive the market growth during 2021-2028.
Europe is expected to grow at a significant growth during the forecast period due to the increasing defense spending in the U.K, Germany, France, Russia, and others. Furthermore, the presence of key OEMs, such as Eaton, Fischer Connectors S.A., TE Connectivity, and others drive the market growth across Europe.
The rest of the world will showcase moderate growth during the forecast period owing to the increasing expenditure on the space sector from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Israel, and others. The high adoption rate of the AUVs in the Middle East, Latin America for oil & gas exploration and investigation activities are anticipated to propel the market during the forecast period.
Key OEMs Focusing on Business Expansion Through New Product Launches, and Contracts, Agreements
Underwater connectors’ original equipment manufacturers are focusing on business expansion through new product launches, agreements, and contracts. In February 2021, Blue Logic, a Norwegian subsea technology company, developed a new firm, Subsea USB, to provide its underwater inductive connectors to the world's marine industry. Furthermore, in February 2021, Suburban Marine launched the Baromax underwater connector, the smallest high power density underwater connector with continuous submersion up to 10,000 psi.
An Infographic Representation of Underwater Connectors Market
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The report provides a detailed analysis of this market and focuses on key aspects such as top marine companies, types, connections, and leading applications. Moreover, the report includes market trends, market dynamics, SWOT analysis, business strategy, growth opportunities, and the status of regional development. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses several direct and indirect factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
By Type, Application, Connection, and Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 1.61 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 2.45 billion by 2028.
The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.01% during the forecast period (2021-2028).
The rubber molded segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
TE Connectivity is the leading player in the global market.
North America held the highest market share in 2020.
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