Who, what, when, where, why, and how – answering these questions remains the essence of C4ISR. Delivering relevant information for operational use will continue to be a high priority.
In the coming decade, C4ISR activity will in particular focus on “networking the force,” with an emphasis on information technology systems.
Forecast International’s “The Market for C4I” examines 250 leading C4I programs worldwide and reviews 24 companies involved in the production of C4I systems. It projects that these programs will have a combined market value of at least $59.005 billion over the next 10 years.
The market starts on an upswing, coming in at $8.084 billion in 2014, then increasing to a forecast period peak of $8.226 billion in 2015. From this peak, the market begins a slow natural decrease in value from $6.861 billion in 2016 to $4.257 billion in 2023. This 47.33 percent ($3.827 billion) drop in projected sales over the decade indicates that less than half of the programs explored will be completed by the end of the 10-year forecast period of 2014-2023.
“Don’t expect any eye-popping technological breakthroughs over the next few years,” said Richard Sterk, a Senior Analyst at Forecast International. He added, “With every penny in national budgets having to be justified 10 times over to ensure the investment will produce results, no one is going to pump millions upon millions of dollars into flushing out a concept that might not pay out.” But that could change.
“However, given that the world is as volatile as the stock market,” said Sterk, “any change in the geopolitical climate, such as in Russia or North Korea, could throw all current strategies out the window.”
Based on the market as reviewed in this analysis, the top five C4I defense companies over the next 10 years in terms of sales volume and percent market share will be Lockheed Martin, Israel Aerospace Industries, Northrop Grumman, Harris Corporation and General Dynamics.