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NETCENTRIC WARFARE – A DRIVING FORCE

01 Jun 04. The global war on terrorism, highlighted by military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, is propelling new demand for C4I technology and equipment. According to Forecast International’s annual “C4I Market Overview,” the world C4I market value will be worth more than $83.899bn over the course of the 10-year period reviewed in the analysis (2004-2013).

“Network-centric warfare is the catch-phrase of the day,” said Richard Sterk, Electronics Group Leader and Senior Defense Analyst at Forecast International. “What it means is that several different organizations are able to communicate with one another smoothly through their own computer networks. This emphasis on netcentric warfare is one of the leading drivers of the current C4I market.”

Sterk said that this is not an easy task “given the range in age of technology in use around the world, as well as the technological hurdles to be faced in trying to disseminate vast amounts of information on such a grand scale.”

The next few years will be characterized by various minor fluctuations,
with the market starting strong at $9.064bn in 2004, but then declining to $8.932bn in 2007 and $8.708bn in 2008. It will then rise slightly to $8.884bn in 2010, but is expected to drop thereafter to $6.987bn in 2013 in conjunction with a decline in R&D and production of existing systems.

Unfortunately, the war on terrorism has not produced the market goldmine that many had predicted, said Sterk. “Many defense manufacturers had originally hoped to cross their military products over into the civilian market and begin outfitting municipalities with military-like information networks that would allow for greater coordination in responding to an emergency or threat,” Sterk said, adding, “this just hasn’t happened.”

The following represent the top five C4I companies as projected for the next 10 years (2004-2013) based on forecast sales volume and percentage of market share using the criteria identified in the analysis. Raytheon Co, with 12.31 percent of anticipated 10-year market share, valued at $10.324bn, is seen as leading the C4I market. General Dynamics is ranked number two with 6.71 anticipated market share, or $5.625bn. Lockheed Martin Corp is third with an expected market share of 6.20 percent, representing $5.198bn in value. Boeing ranks fourth with a predicted 4.0 percent hold on the C4I market, representing a 10-year sales total of $3.356 billion. Rounding out this survey at number five is Northrop Grumman, which is predicted to harvest 3.63 percent of the market, for a value of $3.043bn over the next 10 years.

“While there is some market in homeland defense for C4I producers, such
a market is going to be more of a whimper than a bang,” said Sterk.

Comment: This survey will provide a useful yardstick for our readers. However looking at the rankings, we are surprised that Forecast has put Raytheon at No 1 given the comparatively small size of its C4I business and Northrop at No. 5 given the very large size of its C4I business particularly post-TRW acquisition. A closer analysis of the figures would be interesting, perhaps airborne C4ISTAR equipment does not qualify? A BATTLESPACE league table would be Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing. However when FCS and JTRS come on stream, Boeing will move rapidly up the table, probably overtaking Raytheon and Lockheed Martin

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