The total U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) budget projections for 2011 are for $708.20 billion. The budget includes funding and contract activity for radar technology functions. The U.S. DoD seeks continued improvements in radar size, weight, and power (SWaP), bandwidth efficiency, detection, cross cueing to other types of sensors, and data collaboration.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (aerospace.frost.com), U.S. DoD Radar Markets, finds that the 2011 U.S. DoD Radar budget is about $2.47 billion. This is a $211.8 million increase over the 2010 enacted level. Radar spending is about 5.7 percent of total DoD C41SR spending.
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In the DoDs' budget, radar procurement is both the largest category and has the fastest rate of growth as army unit Tables of Equipment (TEs) expand and ground and sea-based Missile Defense Agency (MDA) systems deploy in larger numbers.
"Radar funding through 2016 has a positive 1.6 percent compound annual growth rate," observes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Brad Curran. "The priorities of acquisition are improvements to proven equipment, new build platforms, modifications, replacement systems and filling TEs."
The current fleet of manned airborne surveillance and reconnaissance platforms is reaching end of service and will require reinvestment and radar systems. Moreover, opportunities exist in maintenance, logistics, engineering, integration and training, especially for deployed systems and software upgrades.
Continuous combat operations since 2001 have driven the need for replacement equipment, integration and improved capabilities. The DoD will continue to rely upon large systems integrators to build and manage complex radar systems.
Currently, there is no U.S. defense industrial policy to govern the process of drawing contracts. The DoD is pressing for more competition amongst bidders for contracts and calls for a vigorous enforcement against contracting fraud.
Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) is the largest contract category to receive funding with $1.21 billion but has a negative compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.3 percent. However, procurement will grow the fastest at about 4 percent through 2016 as new platforms of all types come on line and the current equipment is upgraded and replaced.
With reduced spending and growth rates, cuts for immature technologies, less RDT&E, more commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) usage, and fixed price contracting, both the DoD and the radar market need a complete understanding of the requirements, technology, program funding, and management stability.
Due to the extended continuing resolution for the 2011 budget, some radar upgrades such as the one planned for the F-15E will be postponed along with some naval aircraft and ship radar maintenance. Continuing the development of radar technology with improved SWaP attributes will enhance operational opportunities.
Further, SWaP requirements of radar also set limits on its use on smaller platforms. The crowded radio frequency spectrum limits operational flexibility and new architecture designs.
"There will be fewer platforms of all types," adds Curran. "Thus, future buys will look away from high-end platforms toward proven and reliable designs that afford maximum jointness, mission flexibility and the capability to be quickly and easily upgraded."
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U.S. DoD Radar Markets / N84A