Military training and simulation spending to increase, analysts say

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California. Industry analysts say that spending by the Department of Defense (DoD) on training and simulation is expected to increase throughout the fiscal years defense plan (FYDP) to make up for the previous years’ training shortfalls. Frost & Sullivan researcher forecast a 1.7 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2020 for this sector. making it essentially a flat market once adjusted for inflation..

They also say that significant spending reductions in live training are not expected to happen for several years as the DoD is still evaluating the best balance of live, virtual, and constructive (LVC) training or mixed reality training. The Frost analysis is from the firm's "US DoD Training and Simulation Market" report ( This translates to

An increase is expected in , , , (RDT&E) funding, mostly driven by the Air Force’s next-generation T-X trainer program. However, there is likely to be a significant reduction in the funding for training and simulation procurement due to the winding down of training system deliveries for new start programs such as the , , and the Littoral Combat Ship ().

What hampers investment are spending cuts in foreign and domestic operations as well as uncertain future DoD funding level. Tighter global defense spending may also hinder the (FMS) program, which has been a strong source of revenue 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,” says Michael Blades, Frost & 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 main driver for new investment is the continuing demand for mixed reality training, which creates a distinct opportunity for vendors of (VR) and augmented reality (AR) devices.

Frost analysts say the eager adoption of VR and AR in the consumer market will help it translate to increased familiarity and use of these technologies in the defense market. Game-based learning is quickly gaining traction and could become very popular as a training method.

VR systems will see increased usage in virtual environments, but 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 leverage both AR and VR.

“By 2020, nearly all training exercises will include some sort of mixed reality constructs or devices,” Blades says. “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.”

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