Kraken Robotics has announced its $9.5m contract with an undisclosed “navy of a large Asia-Pacific country.”

The Canadian marine technology enterprise will deliver its Katfish towed synthetic aperture sonar, tentacle winch and autonomous launch and recovery system. The equipment will be integrated onboard a vessel of opportunity selected by the customer.

The company demonstrated this high-speed minehunting solution earlier this year in Q1 and it will now deliver the asset to the unidentified navy in Q2. Kraken’s team worked with a local survey company to complete a 200km seabed survey that provided real-time ultra-high-resolution imagery and ocean-depth imagery of the seafloor along coastal waters.

Continuing to build off successful Katfish deliveries with various Nato navies, such as the Royal Danish Navy. the contract represents Kraken’s first Katfish system sale in the Asia-Pacific region.

A growing Asia-Pacific market

Kraken says it is seeing continued growth in all regions of the world as several trends are driving demand for the synthetic aperture sonar technology. These include:

  • A heightened focus on maritime security and protection of subsea infrastructure.
  • An industry upgrade cycle and a gradual shift to smaller unmanned surface vessels for mine-hunting. There are over 300 manned mine hunting vessels that are more than 20 years old and need to be upgraded over the next five to ten years. Many of these will be replaced with smaller, unmanned vessels.
  • Strong growth in the commercial market from growing requirements for high resolution data for seabed surveys and subsea asset inspection in the offshore oil and gas and offshore wind sectors.

GlobalData intelligence tells us that the global military uncrewed maritime vehicles market, valued at $1.3bn in 2023 is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.52% over the forecast period.

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It is expected to reach $3.2bn by 2033 and cumulatively value $24.9bn over the same period.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is highly responsive to the threat posed by China across the Indo-Pacific region, where the Asian power displays a highly aggressive posture against its neighbours in the South China Sea. These geopolitical developments largely explain the new ground Kraken Robotics is breaking with its undersea spatial awareness technology.