BATTLESPACE BOOK CLUB
Dec 08. Acquisition forecast for Unmanned Aerial Surveillance Systems. The 65-page research note, defines, quantifies and forecasts unmanned persistent ISR, with a production forecast running from 2009- 2019. G2 Solutions examined hundreds of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) that are military in nature, in service or expected to enter service during the forecast period.
– In total, 34 UAS and/or future programs are summed to arrive at the $44.4 billion total market acquisition figure.
– Many high-profile UAS-inclusive programs will be awarded and move to production/delivery in the 2009-2019 timeframe.
– These include, but are not limited to: Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS), Future Combat Systems (FCS), Watchkeeper, SkyWarrior, STUAS/Tier II and the United States Air Force Next Generation UAS.
– A number of international sales and service-specific UAS purchases also contribute to this forecast.
– Not surprisingly, the integration of a strike capability is both a major program and cost driver, and militaries will increasingly be tasked with balancing these two capabilities.
Persistent ISR Definitions
– Profiled more than 200 fielded, in production or in-development UAS to qualify as an persistent ISR asset
– Dedicated strike and demonstration UAS platforms are not included in this definition
– Some systems can be configured for persistent ISR; this study’s aim is to characterize those systems designed specifically for persistent ISR
– Systems integrator revenues are counted here for market-share purposes, although G2 Solutions acknowledges that not all program revenues will flow to the integrator
– This report is meant to categorize acquisition of specific UAS components (airframe, sensors and ground control) over time
– Systems from countries such as Russia or the People’s Republic of China were not included, for lack of data, restrictions imposed on primary research and to acknowledge that these are closed programs
– Persistent surveillance is not meant to connote persistent stare over an entire theater. Rather, in its broadest terms it is intended to imply an ability to detect, locate and track militarily important and time-sensitive targets.
– Once the target is identified, the UAS should be able to provide surveillance up to, until and after strike aircraft (manned or unmanned) are called upon to prosecute effects.
– Ideally, such a UAS will also play a vital role in assessment as well.
Persistent ISR Market: Drivers
– The need for unpiloted ISR is pervasive and increasing
– Lessons learned are being fed into existing and developmental programs
– UAS programs are an integral and evolutionary part of CONOPS across all service branches, both U.S. and abroad
– Increased bandwidth, communications on the move and a greater degree of sensor-to-shooter capability make UAS more immediately useful
– The number of UAS combat hours flown as increased from 60,000 in 2004 to 250,000 in 2007
– DoD UAS budgets have increased from $1.6 billion in 2005 to close to $3 billion in 2008
– Militaries are loathe to go without a critical capability once deployed
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