market for naval vessels and surface combatants, which was valued at $44.2 billion in 2023, is anticipated to reach $65.8 billion in 2033, driven by an increased focus on the acquisition of indigenous warship designs and construction capabilities by emerging militaries such as India, Brazil, Turkey, and Australia, forecasts GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s latest report, Global Naval Vessels and Surface Combatants Market 2023-2033, reveals that emerging maritime threats, territorial disputes, and fleet modernisation initiatives are anticipated to drive the market growth over the next 10 years. Disputes over offshore territories and maritime boundaries, abetted by the need to exploit offshore resources, are expected to be a major driver regarding the strengthening of naval capabilities.

Countries around the world have initiated naval modernisation programs to replace their aging in-service. For instance, many of the naval vessels of Russia, China, India, the UK, Italy, France, and Canada are expected to be decommissioned in the coming years and require replacements.

Vinayak R Kamath, Aerospace and Defence Associate Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The indigenous shipbuilding initiatives facilitate the advent of a strong industrial ecosystem and reduce the dependence on imports. This also enables the local enterprises to integrate new functionality and weapons systems throughout the entire life span of the vessel. For instance, Turkey is building a whole range of vessels under its national warship procurement program (MILGEM). Other countries such as India, China, and Australia have undertaken multiple indigenous shipbuilding projects in recent years.”

The frigate segment is anticipated to be the largest segment in the naval vessels and surface combatants’ market over the forecast period. Increasing demand for frigates with multispectral capabilities, including advanced air defence and anti-submarine warfare, is expected to drive the segment’s growth globally.

At the global level, countries are expected to cumulatively spend $168.2 billion from 2023 to 2033 for the procurement of frigates. The US acquisition of a constellation-class frigate, the Australian acquisition of Hunter-class (SEA 5000) frigates, and Canada’s plans to acquire Canadian Surface Combatants (Type-26 Frigates) are a few of the main programs aiding in the growth of this sector by the mid-30s.

Kamath concludes: “Geopolitical tensions, supply chain disruptions and potential delays in delivery, and access to new technologies that cater to local requirements or to easily retrofit onto in-service vessels have reinforced countries to pursue their own indigenous programs. Moving forward, GlobalData expects such programs or those where indigenous development playing a major role in more markets.”

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