The aerospace and defence industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the pressing need for modernisation, and the growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence and unmanned systems. In the last three years alone, there have been over 174,000 patents filed and granted in the aerospace and defence industry, according to GlobalData’s report on High intensity warfare in Aerospace, Defence & Security: Underwater vessel hoists. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 262,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the aerospace and defence industry, there are 180+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Underwater vessel hoists is a key innovation area in high intensity warfare 

Underwater vessels hoists are niche pieces of equipment for the naval domain, functioning as logistics enablers by lifting and lowering heavy naval platforms to and from bodies of water. Though this technology has multiple applications in the tech and energy industries, underwater vessels hoists play a unique role in the defence market by enabling surface vessels and portside installations to deploy and recover underwater naval vessels with greater speed and reliability. 

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies.  According to GlobalData, there are 10 companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defence companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of underwater vessel hoists. 

Key players in underwater vessel hoists – a disruptive innovation in the aerospace and defence industry  

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators. 

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to underwater vessel hoists

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
HADAL 78 Unlock Company Profile
ThyssenKrupp 44 Unlock Company Profile
Kawasaki Heavy Industries 29 Unlock Company Profile
PXGEO Seismic Services 17 Unlock Company Profile
Thales 17 Unlock Company Profile
iXCore 15 Unlock Company Profile
Oceaneering International 15 Unlock Company Profile
Saab 7 Unlock Company Profile
BP 5 Unlock Company Profile
Ihc Holland Ie 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

The company that has filed the most patents involving underwater vessel hoists is HADAL, a specialist in the development and design of naval technologies such as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) and related equipment, including AUV deployment mechanisms. The company has most recently patented a system for the launch, recovery and handling of AUVs and other small naval platforms which can be installed on larger surface vessels. ThyssenKrupp, a key player in the civilian and military naval markets, has invested in and patented various undersea hoist technologies suitable for applications in both those markets. Thales is another key player in this market, as its work on modernisation programmes for the French, British and the US navies has led it to develop undersea and vessel hoisting solutions to support the deployment of AUV platforms. Some other key patent filers in the automotive industry include Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Saab, Oceaneering International, iXCore, and PXGEO Seismic Services. 

HADAL is the leading company worldwide with regard to the diversity of patents, followed by IHC Holland and PXGEO Seismic Services in the second and third places, respectively. By means of geographic reach, HADAL held the top position once again, while ThyssenKrupp and Thales were ranked second and third by the same metric. 

As the threat of high intensity warfare drives naval forces worldwide to modernise their equipment and increasingly develop hybrid fleets comprised of manned vessels and unmanned maritime vehicles, demand for undersea vessel hoist capabilities will increase steadily over the next decade. However, despite the applications for this technology beyond the defence market, there remain relatively few competitors on the scene today, creating prime opportunities for new companies to access the market and spur additional innovation. 

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the aerospace and defence industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Thematic Research: High Intensity Warfare

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.