The Global Military Simulation and Virtual Training Market 2014-2024
This report is the result of extensive market and company research, covering the global military simulation and virtual training industry. It provides detailed analysis of both, historic and forecast global industry values, factors influencing demand, the challenges faced by industry participants, analysis of the leading companies in the industry, and key news.
Introduction and Landscape
Why was the report written?
“The Global Military Simulation and Virtual Training Systems Market 2014–2024” offers the reader detailed analysis of the global military simulation and virtual training systems market over the next ten years, alongside potential market opportunities to enter the industry, using detailed market size forecasts.
What are the key drivers behind recent market changes?
The defense ministries around the world are taking significant cost cutting initiatives across their militaries in order to cope with their reduced financial resources. Governments are downsizing their militaries and cutting down on training budgets. As a result, militaries are currently focusing on attaining cheaper and more effective solutions for their training requirements. Many countries have claimed to have reorganized their militaries, so that they are smaller but more powerful, they intend to achieve the same through innovative simulation and virtual training systems. Governments consider live training programs to be expensive and logistically difficult, whereas simulators area more cost effective and agile alternative. Therefore, militaries are gradually moving towards a balanced mix of live training and simulator training for their forces. For example, Air Force pilots undergo extensive flight training in academies and the live flight training exercises are very expensive. The US Air Force claims to spend approximately US$2.9 million to train a fighter jet pilot and US$600,000 to train an airlift pilot. The militaries are incorporating flight simulators in order to cut down on the live flight training hours which results in significant cost savings. Most of the leading military training and simulation suppliers have recorded significant revenue growth and do not expect any slowdown as their customers continue to look towards simulators as a way to reduce costs, while improving the readiness of their pilots. While much of the growth in the military simulation market has been generated by orders for new simulators, orders for existing equipment upgrades are also contributing to the total market.
What makes this report unique and essential to read?
“The Global Military Simulation and Virtual Training Systems Market 2014–2024” provides detailed analysis of the current industry size and growth expectations from 2014 to 2024, including highlights of key growth stimulators. It also benchmarks the industry against key global markets, and provides detailed understanding of emerging opportunities in specific areas.
Key Features and Benefits
The report provides detailed analysis of the market for military simulation and virtual training systems during 2014–2024, including factors that influence why countries are investing or cutting expenditure on military simulation and virtual training systems. It provides detailed expectations of growth rates and projected total expenditure.
Recent years have witnessed an increase in the joint ventures and partnership programs in the simulation and virtual training sector. The countries around the globe are working on several simulation platforms. With the help of joint ventures, these companies have been successful in sharing technological know-how in an endeavor to save cost. The collaborative projects also serve the purpose of significantly reducing the research and development time which is crucial in building military simulation platforms. A significant number of countries are investing in the development of their domestic military simulation industry by establishing strategic alliances and technology transfer agreements with global manufacturers. In addition to improving the indigenous capabilities of a domestic firm, these joint ventures also provides an opportunity to its members to cater to new markets.
Key Market Issues
Historically, military simulators have been applied in narrowly focused contexts to achieve specific sets of goals. If no single system could fulfill the objectives of a given training exercise, a new system was constructed or the objectives of the exercise modified to accommodate the capabilities at hand. The need for interoperability between different military simulation systems is growing as the complexity of modern war fighting rises above the handling capacity of large models. Therefore, the development of consistent model federations has become as important as the development of new (interoperable) models. However, complex military simulation systems belong to the class of model-based information systems, and the principal aspects of such information systems are an abstraction from reality. Various experiments with the high-resolution combat simulation systems and some modules implementing basic command and control functionality have shown that there is a challenge for combining model-based information systems.
Simple task trainers, such as firing simulators for the use of firearms, and computer-assisted teaching, such as driving simulators are mainly used by the armed forces in the basic training of individual soldiers. However, most military situations require the use of highly specialized equipment and consequently high caliber simulators, such as a flight or armored tank simulators, have been developed. The development and use of high-fidelity simulators has risen sharply over the last five years, particularly for activities that require the mastering of a specific skill, such as flying or tank combat. The military simulation markets require high fidelity or duplicate fidelity human-machine interface controls. High fidelity means, the product is nearly identical to the original equipment in look and feel, while duplicate fidelity requires the product to have the actual look and feel of the original equipment. These controls are used to simulate applications in fixed and rotor aircraft, military vehicles, radar tracking, imaging equipment, missile firing and many others. As high-fidelity simulators are identical to the original equipment, development is cost heavy. In the context of defense budget cuts announced by many countries worldwide, developing cost effective, high-fidelity simulators is a key challenge of the simulation and virtual training market.
The US is the biggest market for military simulation and virtual training in the world, but the current economic crisis is expected to have an adverse impact. After downgrading the US government’s credit rating, S&P officials insist that they were accurate in their conclusion that the US will have difficulty getting its deficits under control. Slowing rates of manufacturing growth and weak levels of consumer spending do not bode well for the country’s economic future. Additionally, since the government does not want to increase taxes, budget cuts in various aspects of the economy, including defense, seem to be the way forward including via sequestration. Due to the global economic and financial crisis, increases in military expenditure have decelerated considerably over the last five years. The US and many European countries have reduced their defense budgets for two years in succession: and this is projected to continue in the forecast period. These factors are expected to result in a cut in the defense budgets of major European nations and adversely affect sales for almost all military equipment, including military simulators and virtual training systems. Even though the market is expected to grow for military simulation and virtual training during the forecast period, research and development efforts are expected to be affected as the companies catering to the demand are expected to concentrate more on meeting existing orders than investing on new product inventions.
Numerous countries incuding the US, Russia, China, India and the UK are currently involved in the procurement of a range of military equipment including, rotorcraft, naval surface combatants and armored vehicles, in order to replace their ageing fleets and obsolete weapons. Therefore, they are rapidly inducting new technology into their militaries which projects a significant need for training for personnel. The quickly growing military aircraft is expected to be the major driver for the simulation and virtual training market, resulting in the flight simulators segment to be the largest during the forecast period. Helicopter Simulators is the second largest segment which is driven by the robust growth of the military rotorcraft market.
Increasing demand for UAVs around the world is anticipated to drive the UAV simulator market during the forecast period. With the increased use of UAVs that are cost effective, for reconnaissance and surveillance missions, training the Air Force personnel is expected to become critical. UAVs equipped with advanced technologies serve as force multipliers and enable armed forces to deploy fewer personnel in a combat area, without compromising their capability to detect and counter potential threats posed by terrorist organizations, pirates, insurgents and illegal immigrants. This is the primary reason why deployment of unmanned spy aircraft in combat zones is growing and in turn is driving demand for UAV simulators, and related virtual training programs, across the globe. Another factor stimulating the demand is the restriction on national airspace for training programs in the US and many countries in Europe. Moreover, companies are increasingly developing technologies that would allow personnel to practice flying missions without leaving the barracks or stepping foot in a classroom, such as training on mobile tablets and smartphones. With limited funds set aside for training programs, defense ministries across the world are looking for such solutions that will help them reduce costs. UAV simulators are expected to need only a joystick and a personal computer, which will allow operators-in-training to practice on their own and switch between platforms and environments.
Recent years have observed a shift in the method of conducting military training from using actual equipment to training using simulators and virtual training programs. With an increased threat to global peace and security, countries across the world now recognize the need to develop simulators that help pilots prepare for any situation from, refueling in mid-air, to avoiding runway incursions, to engaging in air-to-air combat. Historically, countries were only using simulators to train their armed forces in basic functions of military equipment such as flight take-offs and emergency procedures. However, with the advent of technology, use of simulators is increasing in the areas of weapon deployment and other advanced functions. The cost of acquisition and operation of simulators is also very minimal compared to military equipment. For example, the cost of operating a tank is US$75 per mile, whilst to operate a tank driver training simulator is US$2.50 per mile. Moreover, in 2010 the US Army saved US$2.5 million by training 2,200 soldiers on simulators. Additional savings of US$29.0 million were made on ammunition, with the introduction of the Conduct of Fire Trainer. This global change in perception of militaries is anticipated to provide higher growth opportunities for simulator manufacturers.
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