The global unmanned surface vehicle (USV) market will reach $861.4 million by 2021, according to a forecast by market research firm ASDReports. This reflects a compound annual growth rate of 14.51 percent from $437.6 million in 2016.

The USV market is soaring because of "huge demand from navies across the world for purposes such as surveillance, reconnaissance, anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures. Most of the players have invested in large-sized USVs for combat operations, cargo supplies, and lethal and non-lethal armaments, among others," according to ASDReports.

North America is the largest USV market, driven by "increasing demand for water quality monitoring, ocean data mapping, asymmetric threats and maritime security," the forecast said. "In the European region, the USVs are clinching roles in mine countermeasures (MCM) and many other countries in Europe are also focusing on building new MCM-dedicated vessels. BRIC countries, especially the Asia-Pacific region, will also become a significant growth region for USVs."