Downsized DoD Budget for C4ISR Forces Technology Developers to Consolidate Advances
Incremental upgrades to existing programs seek to integrate technology improvements faster and at a lower cost
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Oct. 31, 2013 – Military force structure reductions will result in reduced spending by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR). Priority funding will go toward meeting modifications and product improvements that increase sensor sensitivity and collaboration. As a result, a greater focus on computing, networking and collaboration tools based on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology will emerge.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan's Aerospace and Defense (www.defense.frost.com) practice predicts the U.S. DoD C4ISR market will reach $41.42 billion in 2014, but will shrink to $35.20 billion in 2018.
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Combined effects of sequestration, continuing resolutions, reprogramming, overseas contingency operations (OCO) funding place holders, and the Strategic Choices and Management Review drive up costs of C4ISR procurement. In addition, these factors delay real reform to the requirements process and stifle innovative technology implementation.
"Providers of essential commercial technology, such as satellite communications, are unable to plan, invest and provide responsive and cost efficient services as a result of these uncertainties,” said Aerospace and Defense Senior Industry Analyst Brad Curran. “In addition, they also affect large systems integrators’ ability to retain skilled engineers or invest in or acquire small firms with innovative technologies.”
However, with COTS-based computer networking technologies combining lower costs and more frequent technical refresh advantages, the DoD is showing interest in actively leveraging IT and sensor product advantages for social networking, mobile computing, cloud computing, and cyber security.
There has also been a dramatic rise in funding to improve collaboration and security of enterprise networks. The trend towards short-term and multi-vendor contracts has helped to raise the number of market participants, including new commercial vendors, across all C4ISR technology areas.
There is potentially more value in utilizing COTS aircraft if the industry and the government could collaborate to find a common method for precisely defining and explaining program requirements.
“In future, the focus will be on mature, proven and common C4ISR systems,” noted Curran.
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