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07 Apr 09. The world C4I market is feeling the pressures of a recession and is expected to be in a decline over the next several years, reports Forecast International’s “The Market for C4I.” But although the world C4I market is not immune to economic realities, it is expected to fare better than most of the other major defense industry sectors during the economic downturn. “The Market for C4I” examines some 230 leading C4I programs, and reviews 21 companies involved in the production of C4I systems. It projects a C4I market worth at least $67.946bn over the next 10 years. More specifically, the value of the programs covered by the study will total $10.128bn in 2009 and then decline to $4.059bn in 2018. This 59.9 percent drop ($6.069bn) in projected annual sales indicates that just more than half of the programs explored will be completed by the end of the 10-year forecast period of 2009-2018. Fortunately, most of the shortfall will be made up by new programs that were put on hold to accelerate efforts more directly involved in the war in Iraq and the fight against terrorism. According to Richard Sterk, Senior Analyst at Forecast International, “A high priority during the forecast period will be ‘Networking the Force’ initiatives, or the integration of information technology into operations.” Examples of such technology include network battle command and logistics systems, networked precision missiles and gun-launched munitions, and improved intelligence sensors, active and passive protection systems, and low-cost multispectral sensors. The U.S. Army sees these technologies as vastly improving the precision of control over its forces as they maneuver across the battlefield, cutting down on friendly fire incidents and increasing the efficiency and accuracy of artillery and airpower, as well as more rapidly identifying the locations and movements of enemy forces. Among the companies examined in the analysis, Raytheon, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, and Thales are projected to be the top five C4I defense companies over the next 10 years, based on forecast sales volume and percentage of market share.