Forum Energy Technologies (FET) has secured a contract from Unique Group to supply two light work-class remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to support its contract with an unnamed navy in the Indo-Pacific region.

Both systems, named as the Comanche model, will be installed onboard the navy’s new dive support vessels. The unnamed navy selected the vehicle for its high thrust-to-drag ratio, enabling it to operate in strong currents, as well as its high payload which can achieve a minimum of 300kg, according to FET.

The Sub-Atlantic Comanche ROVs will be manufactured at FET’s UK facility at Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire, and will be delivered in the second half of 2023.

This type of ROV has a 2,000m depth rating and with TMS Garage systems will typically perform tasks such as inspection, survey repair and subsea maintenance tasks. Ancillary tools and sensors can also be added to the vehicle for survey and light intervention work.

The ROVs being supplied to Unique Group also have positioning and navigation systems, cameras, and lighting and sonars for low visibility operations. 

Kevin Taylor, FET’s vice president – Subsea Vehicles, said: “We are very proud that Unique Group recognises our capabilities and reliability to support an Asian navy with two of our Sub-Atlantic Comanche light work-class ROVs. 

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 We look forward to completing these newbuilds and seeing our systems delivering the required operational resilience and performance standards expected in such a safety-critical sector.”

Underwater warfare market growth

According to a 2022 report from GlobalData, the global underwater warfare systems market, valued at $4.9bn in 2022, was projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.41% through to 2032.

The market was forecast to reach $6.8bn by 2032 and cumulatively value $64.9bn over the forecast period. The market consists of six categories: torpedoes, naval mines, sonar, torpedo countermeasure systems and decoys, sonobuoys, and uncrewed underwater systems.

Among geographic segments, Asia-Pacific was projected to dominate the sector with a share of 35.3%, followed by Europe and North America, with shares of 30.0% and 24.6%, respectively.