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.
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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.
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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)
·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.