The soldier system market was valued at USD 9.08 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach USD 14.14 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 7.65% during the forecast period from 2018 to 2023.
Development and incorporation of advanced technologies to overcome deficiencies of the existing soldier systems
Companies dealing in soldier systems market across the globe are continuously working for the development of a number of cutting-edge technologies in the field of communication and intelligence to enable troops to function quickly and smartly in battlefields. These companies are carrying out R&D activities for the development of new and innovative technologies to address the identified gaps in soldier systems, thereby supporting the operational effectiveness of soldiers.
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The companies developing modern soldier systems are emphasizing the development of integrated modular soldier systems to overcome the above-mentioned deficiencies of the existing soldier systems. These integrated modular soldier systems are being designed to improve command execution, target acquisition, and situational awareness for soldiers in battlefields, thereby offering a growth opportunity for the manufacturers of various components and subsystems of soldier systems. Countries of South Asia and the Middle East are the emerging pockets for the soldier systems market as these countries are continuously facing cross-border terrorism due to regional disputes and hence, need high-tech integrated suites for their soldiers.
Lack of clarity and technology readiness
Without a clear technology strategy, the soldier modernization programs might fail to achieve their objectives. Presently, most of the countries of the world are not clear about their combat requirements due to continuously changing warfare scenarios. Moreover, there is a gap between the expected performance of technologies and their availability.
This lack of technological readiness impacts the progress of the ongoing soldier modernization programs, which are based on the total system approach (modern equipment is acquired as a single kit). This is expected to have an adverse impact on the soldier system market. Most of the soldier modernization programs carried out in the European region followed total system approach and as such, suffered from significant delays in their implementation, thereby leading to the reconsideration of these programs by the governments of their respective countries. This is due to low clarity with respect to long-term combat requirements of countries and the inability of technologies to meet their expected performance requirements. A very few initiatives, which involved a close collaboration between militaries and industry experts have succeeded in this domain. FELIN, which is a soldier modernization program of France, is the most successful program of all programs adopted by different countries that followed the total system approach. The success of this soldier modernization program can be attributed to the effectiveness of its supplier, Safran to meet various end-use and operational requirements of soldier systems, which include protection, mobility, weapon use, autonomy, observation, communication, and command.
However, governments of countries such as India, South Korea, and Brazil have identified the challenges that pioneers of soldier modernization programs have faced and as such, have opted for the incremental approach, which involved modernization of soldier systems in different phases, to guarantee a sustained procurement process to avoid extended delays in modernizing their soldier systems.
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