The Department of Defense (DoD) training and simulation budget is expected to increase throughout the fiscal years defense plan (FYDP) to compensate for the previous years’ training shortfalls. Notably, significant spending reductions in live training is not expected for several years as the DoD is still evaluating the optimal balance of live, virtual and constructive (LVC) training or mixed reality training.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, US DoD Training and Simulation Market, finds training and simulation funding through 2020 is forecast to experience a 1.7 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR). This translates to a flat market after adjusting for inflation.
While there will be an increase in the funding for research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E), mainly driven by the Air Force’s next-generation T-X trainer program, there is likely to be a substantial drop in the funding for training and simulation procurement. This will be due to the winding down of training system deliveries for new start programs such as the P-8, KC-46 and littoral combat ship (LCS).
Spending cuts for both foreign and domestic operations as well as uncertain future DoD funding levels are hampering the military’s ability to invest in and plan for current and future training. Furthermore, tighter global defense spending may hinder the Foreign Military Sales program, a significant source of sales for U.S. defense companies.
“While spending is an issue, the global crises in Eastern Europe and the Middle East will still require a large number of assets and combat-ready troops,” saidFrost & Sullivan Aerospace & Defense Senior Industry Analyst Michael Blades. “Technology, robust mixed reality exercise and portable equipment will be required to ensure quality and timely training.”
The continuing demand for mixed reality training is the main driver for investment and innovation in the military training and simulation market. This creates a distinct opportunity for vendors of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) devices.
Interestingly, the eager adoption of VR and AR in the consumer market will translate to increased familiarity and use of these technologies in the defense market. Game-based learning is quickly gaining traction and could prove to be a very popular training method.
VR systems, which currently dominate the training landscape, will experience increased usage in virtual environments. However, as AR systems evolve, they will become the technology of choice, as their see-through feature enables normal vestibular function and haptic feedback. Eventually, many wearable systems will be capable of both AR and VR.
“By 2020, nearly all training exercises will include some sort of mixed reality constructs or devices,” noted Blades. “As the lines between LVC training continue to blur, different segments will need to be developed to define the training and simulation market structure more accurately.”
US DoD Training and Simulation Market is part of the Defense Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan’s related studies include: Rapidly Evolving Defence Markets Poland, Competitive Analysis of Defence Contractors, Asia-Pacific Military Training and Simulation Market, Commercial Sub-orbital and LEO Spaceflight Services Market Assessment, and 2016 Outlook of the Global Security Industry. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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US DoD Training and Simulation Market / K028-16