U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Special Operations Command (SOCOM) spending is anticipated to remain stable over the next few years, despite existing budget pressures. Investments in commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products as well as networking and collaboration tools will rise as they lower overall costs and enhance efficiency.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan's US DoD Special Operations Command Budget (defense.frost.com) finds spending on military products and services stood at $10.09 million in 2012 and estimates this to reach $10.60 million in 2018.
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"With the U.S. DoD SOCOM involved in direct operations, training or relationship building in over 100 countries, the need for operations and maintenance services as well as military system upgrades is on the rise," noted Frost & Sullivan Aerospace & Defense Senior Industry Analyst Brad Curran. "U.S. policy to forge low-footprint, low-cost military relationships to achieve counter-terror objectives provides the foundation for budget and acquisition plans."
The U.S. DoD SOCOM is also expected to spend on new platforms, especially training and ground mobility vehicles up to 2018. In terms of technology, expenditure will focus on incremental size, weight and power (SwaP) product improvements. Command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance systems, training and simulation, as well as rotary wing applications will witness maximum growth.
However, the combined effects of sequestration, continuing resolutions, reprogramming, and overseas contingency operations is driving up costs, delaying real reform to the requirements process and stifling new technology implementation. This leads to uncertainty surrounding the budget and future U.S. DoD SOCOM programs, which hinders efficient research, development, testing, evaluation, procurement, and fielding of military systems.
This poses a further challenge for large system integrators, as they lose skilled engineers and become reluctant to invest in or acquire small firms with innovative technologies.
"Market participants should offer cost-effective, high-performance military systems in order to win more contracts with the U.S. DoD SOCOM," said Curran. "They will also do well to extend reliable support services and build strong relationships with contractors."
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US DoD Special Operations Command Budget / ND21-16