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Global Maritime Security Risks and Global Marine Technology Trends 2030

Recent years have seen multiple new security challenges emerge in the maritime arena. Navies, coast guards and other maritime security agencies face a proliferation of security challenges. These include: illegal fishing of territorial waters; incursion of mineral exploitation across legal boundaries; maritime terrorism; narcotics smuggling; pollution as a result of shipping accidents or malpractice; trafficking of illegal immigrants; and avoidance of tax duties through smuggling.


Maritime security is understood as a state of affairs of the global maritime domain, in which international law and national law are enforced, freedom of navigation is guaranteed and citizens, infrastructure, transport, the environment and marine resources are protected. It includes protection against maritime security risks and threats, including the protection of critical maritime infrastructure, such as specific areas in ports and port facilities, off-shore installations, energy supply by the sea, underwater pipelines, seabed cables, as well as the promotion of scientific research and innovation projects.


Maritime security provides advanced technology to detect hazards and communicate with officials. It also renders services that help to combat potential threats. The different types of maritime security include port and critical infrastructure security, coastal surveillance and vessel security. The technologies and systems used for maritime security include access control, communications, detectors, geographic information systems, screening and scanning, smart containers, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), surveillance and tracking and weather monitoring among others.


“Access to timely and accurate information and intelligence is crucial for the establishment of a common maritime awareness picture which in turn leads to better operations and a more efficient use of scarce resources,” says EU’s Maritime security strategy. Integration of different data sources in the maritime domain on the basis of existing national and international law is a key task, resulting in a better understanding of what is happening at sea. The more information is aggregated and integrated, the more complete is the maritime picture created and more value is delivered to the operational end-users, in a cost efficient way.


GMTT2030, a report produced in 2015 jointly by University of Southampton – Lloyd’s Register – Qinetiq, identified 18 technologies that are likely to shape the future of the marine and maritime sectors up to 2030. Some of these technologies are already established with the prospect of further modifications and improvements. Other technologies are in their infancy and have the potential to revolutionise, possibly disruptively, the way in which vessels are propelled.

Maritime Security Risks and Threats

EU and its Member States have, identified maritime security risks linked to the sea and sea borders management.

  1. Cross-border and organized crime, including maritime piracy and armed robbery at sea, trafficking of human beings and smuggling of migrants, organised criminal networks facilitating illegal migration, trafficking of arms and narcotics, smuggling of goods and contraband;
  2. Terrorism and other intentional unlawful acts at sea and in ports against ships, cargo, crew and passengers, ports and port facilities and critical maritime and energy infrastructure, including cyber-attacks;
  3. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats;
  4. Threats to freedom of navigation, such as the denial of access to the sea and straits and the obstruction of sea lanes;
  5. Environmental risks, including unsustainable and unauthorized exploitation of natural and marine resources, threats to biodiversity, IUU fishing, environmental degradation due to illegal or accidental discharge, chemical, biological and nuclear pollution, in particular seadumped chemical munitions and unexploded ordnance;
  6. Potential security impact of natural or man-made disasters, extreme events and climate change on the maritime transport system and in particular on maritime infrastructure.


Global Marine Technology Trends 2030


Global Marine Technology Trends 2030, is a collaborative project between Lloyd’s Register, QinetiQ and the University of Southampton looking at the future for: commercial shipping – without which world trade would cease; for navies – so vital for security; and the health of the oceans – the vital resource that defines the wellbeing of our world. The report looked at how future naval operations will be conducted, considering the application and integration of emerging technologies over the next two decades across Maritime Security, Warfighting and Humanitarian Operations.


“In the commercial shipping sector, we evaluated robotics, sensors, big data analytics, propulsion and powering, advanced materials, smart ship, shipbuilding, and communication technologies. These technologies are transformational in nature when used individually and when combined.” These transformational technologies are often an integration of multiple technologies. The implementation of autonomous systems, for example, will require the application and successful integration of sensors, communications and robotics.


The growing importance of Maritime Autonomous Systems will characterise naval activity of the future, according to the Global Marine Trends 2030 (GMT 2030) report. Networks of unmanned surface and underwater vessels are set to radically change the nature of maritime operations, and will become integral to naval capability programmes from mine hunting and augmenting submarine operations to supporting humanitarian efforts by delivering vital aid safely. However, many of the naval vessels in service in 2030 have already been commissioned, and were designed without these concepts in mind. The principal challenge will therefore be the integration of these autonomous systems into current force structures and vessels.


In 2030, the ships shall transform to TechnoMax Ships as technology implementation will be at the optimal level in 2030. These ships will be smarter, data driven, greener, with flexible powering options, fully connected wirelessly onboard, digitally connected through global satellites. TechnoMax Ships will require fundamental changes in terms of design, construction, operation and supply chain management.



Robotics will become compulsory for tasks, especially those conducted in severe working environment, such as deep ocean mining and disaster relief.


The key sensor trends reported by many commentators are: miniaturisation coupled with low-power, low-cost requirements to meet the demands of wearable technologies; closer integration of sensors, actuators and processing (moving the intelligence into the sensors); standardisation, in particular at the junction between device and architecture (system on a chip); the low-power transmission of data and energy harvesting; and the management and integration of sensor types such as semiconductors and Micro-Electrical-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS). We anticipate that the widespread use of sensors already being introduced in areas such as automotive and scientific applications will expand into the marine/maritime domain, enabling better situational awareness and vessel management.


People onboard a vessel or on a platform rely on communication technologies to be socially connected to families and colleagues onshore. However, communication technologies are not just about supporting personal communication. They allow for emergency calls, geopositioning, marine-life tracking, and disaster warning. Radiocommunications and satellites are examples of state-of-the-art technologies.


Advanced Manufacturing

The advancement in technology development is as much an opportunity for navies as it is a threat. Cyber and electronic warfare technology development will continue at pace. Advanced materials and advanced manufacturing are key enabling technologies. Trials are already underway to conduct 3-D printing on board ships, enabling the “printing” of autonomous vehicles to suit specific mission needs in situ. However, the proliferation of disruptive technologies driven by demand in major consumer electronics markets will increasingly empower malicious individuals, terrorists and non-state actors to utilise these technologies as weapons, posing an increasingly serious threat to sophisticated naval forces.


The growth in interconnected intelligent systems will require personnel to learn to work seamlessly with robotics systems. Crew members of the future will become “data warriors” rather than equipment operators, creating the need for a new training paradigm and skill set. The potential for the command and control to be geographically displaced from the vessel will also require behavioural and cultural changes within the military communities.


Sarah Kenny, Managing Director of QinetiQ’s maritime business said, “The rate at which technology is advancing is simply unprecedented. Navies now face the challenge of the capabilities of existing vessels whilst transitioning to new systems and concepts of operation to exploit and defend against both evolutionary and disruptive technologies. This will require significant levels of integration, testing and evaluation in order to ensure that they work as expected and are reliable and effective.”

Follow up Report

According to a new report on the future of autonomous maritime systems, over the next decade maritime activity will be dominated by unmanned surface and underwater vessels. Written and researched by the University of Southampton, Lloyd’s Register and QinetiQ, the report is a follow-up to GMTT2030 looking at how technology trends will impact upon the regulatory and social aspects of maritime operations.



Autonomous Technologies

Autonomy and autonomous systems – these have accelerated to an extent where it may be possible to deliver credible solutions within the next couple of years, enabled by the breadth of capabilities and adjacent technologies emerging from
commercial and consumer worlds.

Autonomous technology is poised to reshape the maritime sector with crewless vessels;small craft are already developed and in service with larger vessels under development. Major initiatives by organisations, such as Rolls Royce, Japanese shipbuilders, and Norway-based Kongsberg (in partnership with Yara, a Norwegian chemical company) have all revealed plans to develop all-electric and autonomous container ships by 2020.

There are growing numbers of small-scale autonomous vessels being operated across a wide range of applications, such as:
Ocean science, Naval operations, Surveying and exploration.

The Royal Navy conducted Unmanned Warrior 16. This event successfully demonstrated the latest unmanned system technologies, including air, surface and sub-surface vehicles and sensors, from a wide range of nations and technology providers. Key applications included Mine Countermeasures and GEOINT (Geospatial Intelligence).

Market growth

The global maritime security market was valued at USD 17.13 billion in 2017, and is expected to reach USD 25.75 billion by 2023, by witnessing a CAGR of 7.03% during the forecast period, 2018 to 2023. Maritime terrorism, gun-running, drug trafficking, piracy, and other non-traditional seaborne attacks have increased exponentially and they threaten many nations today.


This situation has given rise to a shift toward asymmetric forces from the use of conventional force-structured defense forces. Global maritime security is a new byword of securing the sea lines of communications in international relations. Maritime security is vital to national as well as human safety, and it is linked to economic development. Throughout history, the majority of trade was done via sea routes, and maritime security played a vital role in economic development.


The market for global maritime security is segmented by type into screening and scanning, communications, surveillance and tracking, detectors, and others. The military, government agencies, and coast guards are among the major end users for the market. The market is segmented by regions like North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and Middle East & Africa with respective country-wise analysis.


Increased Sea-borne Threats and Ambiguous Maritime Security Policies are driving the Market. As geopolitical control changed from the Atlantic to the Pacific, policy-makers in the European Union (EU) ought to pay closer attention to the vast maritime region that lies in between the Indian Ocean. All major powers rely on the so-called Great Connector that stretches from the Cape of Good Hope to the Strait of Malacca. Emerging economies in East Asia are acquiring more purchasing power and have the need to secure increasing energy needs.


The vessel security segment continues to be the largest contributor for maritime security. The surveillance and tracking systems segment has the largest market share in the global maritime security market.


Major Key Players in the market include: SAAB Group, Thales Group, Zeal GMS, ESC Global Security, Honeywell International Inc., Harris Corporation, Selex ES, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Elbit Systems Ltd., Signalis GmbH, BAE Systems Inc., Terma A/S, Westminster Group PLC, Sonardyne International Ltd., and Kongsberg Gruppen, among others.

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