Advanced technologies will produce cost and time efficiencies by providing high-quality training when and where needed, finds Frost & Sullivan’s Defense team

Santa Clara, Calif. - August 2, 2017

The trend toward live, virtual, constructive or mixed-reality training is accelerating and continues to drive investment and innovation in the United States Department of Defense (DoD) training and simulation market. With mobile and distributed training capabilities becoming more important to meet the challenges of high operations tempo and dynamic technological changes, industry participants must continue to develop secure, robust, immersive, and realistic virtual environments while adding live elements as requirements and technology dictate.

“New disruptive, innovative technologies such as augmented reality(AR) and virtual reality (VR) devices, immersive motion systems, and artificial intelligence (AI) are transforming how training is tracked, evaluated, and administered,” said Frost & Sullivan Aerospace & Defense Research Director Michael Blades. “These technologies can provide individual or group training in a virtual environment while enabling job requirements, personalized training programs, retention, combat readiness, and repetition at a low cost when and where needed.”

Recent research from Frost & Sullivan’s US DoD Training and Simulation Market, Forecast to 2021, finds that the Navy is expected to spend the most on training and simulation, between $6 billion and $6.12 billion each year from 2016 to 2021. 

U.S. defense firms’ main competition comes from European firms, such as Saab, Thales, and Leonardo, which have comparable training technologies. A strong U.S. dollar will mean more partnerships between U.S. and European companies as U.S. companies maximize their exposure to lucrative European training contracts when foreign military sales (FMS) are deemed too costly.

Strategic imperatives for success and growth in the U.S. DoD training and simulation market include:

  • Developing and implementing technologies such as AR and VR goggles to provide immersive training and optimize the live/virtual training balance;
  • Utilizing secure global networks and smart devices such as phones, tablets, and AR/VR goggles to provide training anytime and anywhere to reduce the need for generalized, time-consuming training courses;
  • Evaluating where inexpensive motion cueing systems can replace expensive full-motion simulators while still providing required training;
  • Providing portable and programmable mobile target systems or partnering with current providers; and
  • Seeking out best-of-breed commercial software companies that focus on AI and deep-learning techniques.

“The DoD continues to emphasize mixed-reality training programs with robust, secure networking based on non-proprietary open operating systems. However, military budget uncertainties have been and will continue to be the top constraint to investment in new and innovative training and simulation technologies,” noted Blades. “Leveraging partnerships with flexible, software-focused commercial technology firms through the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) should lead to faster, more innovative solutions if executed properly.”

Source: Frost & Sullivan

Illustration Photo: Team USA Olympic Swimmer Maya DiRado visits a virtual reality training facility part of 7th Army Training Command aboard U.S. Army Base Bavaria, Germany, Dec. 8, 2016. (credits: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro / DoD / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))


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