Frost & Sullivan: U.S. DoD Spending on C4ISR Loses Steam as General-purpose Equipment Gains Traction
DoD spending trends point to a growth in demand for inexpensive, tried and tested platforms
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Straitened economic circumstances and troop withdrawals are expected to reduce command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) funding, restricting the Department of Defense's (DoD's) spending to applications that have direct relevance to counter-insurgency or terror operations. Planned force structure reductions, particularly for ground forces and satellite assets, will curtail C4ISR spending and instead, turn the DoD's attention to intelligence and special operations.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.defense.frost.com), DoD C4ISR, finds that the 2013 U.S. DoD C4ISR budget request is $42.97 billion and will decline at a moderate rate through 2017. C4ISR spending is about 6.9 percent of the total DoD budget.
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"While research, development, test & evaluation (RDT&E) spending will reduce, the following: repair, maintenance, training, information assurance, and operational services will continue to be funding priorities," said Frost & Sullivan Senior Industry Analyst Brad Curran. "The DoD budget will be mostly earmarked for acquiring cost-efficient, general-purpose equipment."
There will be fewer platforms of all types, as the DoD will eschew high-end platforms in favor of proven and reliable designs that afford maximum flexibility.
Most of the available C4ISR equipment has reached the end of its serviceable life and is awaiting upgrades. The DoD is looking to spruce up neglected 'conventional' capabilities as missile defense and electronic warfare require substantial investments to keep pace with the advances made by potential adversaries. Electronic warfare and information operation activities will experience the fastest growth rate till 2017.
The DoD is perceptibly leaning toward multi-purpose technologies that fuse various collection disciplines and standardize reporting. Processing and dissemination of full-motion video will also continue to be an area of robust growth.
There has been a surge in the adoption of practical, rapid, inexpensive platforms such as aerostats and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) tools like wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi). C4ISR services such as language and cultural skills, maintenance, engineering, integration, training, project management – especially for cyber security and cloud computing applications – are in high demand.
"Funding by segment reflects an attempt to rebalance technical sensors and collection with less expensive, but vital analysis and 'people skills' required for successful military operations," said Curran.
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