Next-gen robotic combat vehicles to ignite fresh growth prospects

31st October 2019
Alex Lynn

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, ‘US Military Combat Vehicle Market, Forecast to 2024’, has revealed that the US Army is significantly investing in enhancing its ageing combat vehicle (CV) fleet while also developing next-generation vehicles that will operate un-manned, collect intelligence, and follow an optionally manned vehicle leader. 

While the development of robotics and autonomous systems will boost combat effectiveness, the convergence and integration of various sensors and weapons systems are set to provide lucrative application opportunities. Frost & Sullivan expects the cumulative spending by the Department of Defense (DoD) on military combat vehicles (CVs) to reach $56.25bn by 2024.

“Technology upgrades and modifications are the stable spending segments as wear and tear of systems and developing defence mechanisms for evolving threats are essential areas of focus,” said John Hernandez, Senior Industry Analyst, Defense at Frost & Sullivan. “In the near future, the US Army will look toward long wave infrared (LWIR) sensors with extended field of view and capable of providing high-definition video to enhance situational awareness in support of military CV.” 

From a competitive perspective, the top five participants accounted for 80.8% of the total value of contracts awarded during 2018. Participants such BAE Systems, General Dynamics, and Oshkosh Defens compete on cost, performance, schedule, support, technology, reliability, contractor relationships, and customer relationships. 

“To contend in a highly established and consolidated market, OEMs need to start restructuring their platforms with a focus on open architecture,” observed Hernandez. “Benchmarking winning modular designs, improving their capabilities by building affiliations that complement their capabilities with a variety of options, and ensuring user requirements are met, will be key to future success.” 

Further strategic imperatives for growth that vendors should tap into include: 

  • Revitalising their offerings to meet the Army’s CV modernisation strategy.
  • Integrators and weapons developers ensuring that the fire control architecture for new CVs can accommodate a variety of weapon systems to meet the Army’s desire for modularity.
  • CV providers concentrating their efforts on developing sensor architectures that increase interoperability and allow the sharing of sensor data between CVs and other platforms.
  • Providers applying efficient engineering practises that balance the Army’s modernisation initiatives to provide lighter, more reliable vehicles to increase capabilities and lower sustainment costs.

“Although there are significant prospects in this market, it is difficult to enter, with incumbent contractors well established with strong supply chain capabilities and logistics management expertise,” said Hernandez. “Furthermore, US involvement in past wars has taken its toll on equipment and slowed efforts to modernise.”

Frost & Sullivan’s research, ‘US Military Combat Vehicle Market, Forecast to 2024’, provides an overview of the US military combat vehicle market. It includes analysis of the spending on various vehicles utilised by military services in the US and how the country is investing in modernising and upgrading these vehicles.

‘US Military Combat Vehicle Market, Forecast to 2024’ is part of Frost & Sullivan’s global Defense research and analysis available through the Growth Partnership Service program, which helps organisations identify a continuous flow of growth opportunities to succeed in an unpredictable future.

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