Canadian Manufacturing

US DoD to focus spending on commercial IT advances in artificial intelligence and cloud computing

Procurement will overtake research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) for the largest share of spending by 2024, says Frost & Sullivan

September 15, 2020  by CM Staff

US DoD to Focus C4ISR Spending on Commercial IT Advances in Artificial Intelligence and Cloud Computing

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Assessment of the US DoD C4ISR Market, Forecast to 2025, highlights the US Department of Defense (DoD) command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) budget spending and technology trends.

The market spending for C4ISR programs is estimated to reach US$58.50 billion by 2025 from US$53.60 billion in 2019, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.5%. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the expenditure is not expected to create a long-term negative impact on the C4ISR program. However, the need to develop improved medical treatments will push the demand for additional investments.

“C4ISR and IT industries are converging around artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, data analysis, self-healing networks, and cloud computing,” said Brad Curran, aerospace & defense research analyst at Frost & Sullivan, in a prepared statement. “Going forward, naval, airborne, and ground tactical networks are overly complex, making the networks too difficult to establish and defend. To resolve this problem, DoD requires integration and cybersecurity services from the defense industry.”

Curran added: “Procurement will overtake research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) to take up the largest share of spending by 2024. It will primarily focus on manpack radio, fixed surveillance systems, naval IT networks, ship self-defense systems, anti-submarine warfare sensors, and deployable tactical networks. Further, the operations and maintenance department’s spending will emphasize on service-wide communications, global early warning sensors and networks, cybersecurity, weather systems, and software/digital technology pilot programs.”


The steady growth of the C4ISR budget spending presents immense growth prospects for its market participants, including:

  • Command and Control (C2) to Enable Collaboration: The largest C2 program requests are base operations/service-wide communications, Global C3I, and polar satellite communications. C2 solution providers must adapt to commercial technologies; space technology firms can help develop new concepts such as on-orbit servicing and software-defined satellites.
  • Communications to Enable Mission Execution: There is a significant need for combat communications, battle management systems, small form factor radios, and satellite terminals. Communication solution suppliers must have the ability to integrate commercial wireless devices.
  • Computers to Enable Combat Systems: 5G networks, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and trusted and assured microelectronics had large spending request increases. Firms with hardware, software, networking tools, machine learning, and small form products will be in high demand.
  • Intelligence to Enable Decision-Making: Providers of intelligence solutions must leverage commercial social media, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence technology advances.
  • Surveillance and Reconnaissance to Enable Situational Awareness: Providers of S&R solutions must have the ability to network sensors and apply artificial intelligence solutions.