UAV (Unmanned Aerial System) Flight Training and Simulation Market Report Information by UAV types (HALE UAVs, MALE UAVs, and SUAVs), by applications (Civil & Commercial, Defense & Military, and Homeland Security), and by Region – Forecast To 2023.
Unmanned aerial system (UAV) flight training and simulation can be defined as a simulation of the operation of a real-world system or process related with UAV flight training. These systems simplify pilots to train in an artificial environment that prepare them to obtain skillsets required to gain hands-on experience for real-time situations without the risks associated with actual flights.
Initially new pilots undergo training whereas existing pilots undergo recurrent training to retain their qualification. A flight simulator covers simulation in three areas, namely, aircraft, environment, and cueing simulation. It should meet the norms of ICAO and FAR regulations. It helps the pilots train in real time, which minimizes risks and reduces costs for training.
The demand for the UAVs is growing rapidly because of the increased utilization of UAVs across industries such as oil and gas, mineral exploration, defense forces, and scientific research. Another reason for significant increase in demand for UAVs the cost-effectiveness and capability to perform complex tasks. For example, in oil and gas, and mineral industry, UAVs can be utilized to perform geophysical and geomagnetic surveys. These surveys will find out the nature of basic magnetic rock structure present beneath the Earth surface by estimating the differential earth magnetic field strengths. Thus, well-trained geophysicists with the knowledge of basic rock structure will use UAVs to predict the location of mineral deposits.
Simulators are utilizing advanced technologies, such as computer graphics, mechanical actuation, and distributed computing. With the increase in computing speeds and memory capacity, high computational performance can be achieved in UAV simulators. The shift toward high-fidelity displays and mobile devices and tablets will provide the pilot with the real-world scenario and will help them prepare for any situation.
In transport industry, UAVs can carry products that are stored in the internal payload bay. UAVs are increasingly being utilized in the scientific research. UAVs are capable of flying in the areas where piloted craft operations are too dangerous. For example, UAVs can be employed in hurricane-affected areas, and are capable of communicating the real-time data to the National Hurricane Center.
UAVs are remotely controlled by the user using communication systems. These systems are useful in air traffic communications, vehicle control, and monitoring. However, these communication systems are vulnerable to hacking, jamming, and sometimes the illegal control over the vehicle. Communication security is widely dependent on the frequency used, the encryption technology deployed, the communication media, and the affiliated properties of the communication link. Encryption with lower bandwidth and lower frequency poses a security risk issue for the defense industry.
One of the challenges to the introduction of new technology is the prohibitive cost, driven by safety and certification requirements, which requires expertise. UAV systems and components including flight simulator go through rigorous testing and evaluation processes prior to certification. Other factors such as allowable load factors and ground maneuvering conditions also need to be considered while designing or introducing new technology to meet airworthiness requirements. Innovations require substantial backing and support from prominent manufacturers and players in the aviation industry. Big players in the industry require a business incentive to support such innovations.
The global UAV flight training and simulation market is expected to grow at CAGR over 6%, during forecast period 2017-2023.
The Americas being the largest military investor across the world is investing in UAVs, which are considered to be economical and cost-effective.
Asia Pacific countries such as China, South Korea, and Japan are continuously increasing their defense budgets year-over-year for the nation’s security. Increasing defense budgets globally, rising tension between Middle East countries, growing terrorism, and border disputes in Asian countries have resulted in demand for new and modernized systems and technologies to strengthen military forces and armaments.
The UAV vendors such as Delair-Tech hold expertise in the development of small- and long-range UAVs, which perform pipeline surveillance. In 2015, Defense ministries of Germany, France, and Italy signed a contract for a two-year program to study MALE UAVs. Also, France and Britain signed the contract for a two-year program to study future air combat system.
Major vendors such as Boeing continue to develop more sophisticated UAVs. In 2012, Boeing revealed the hydrogen-powered Phantom Eye UAV is capable of staying in the air for four days at a height of 65,000 feet. This will provide the U.S. military to have the edge over the others to perform an intelligence and reconnaissance mission.
The market is characterized by the presence of well-diversified international, small, and medium-sized vendors. The competitive environment in this market is expected to boost with the increase in technological innovations, product extensions, and increase in the number of mergers and acquisitions. It is expected that international players may grow organically during the forecast period by acquiring smaller players.
Globally, the increased utilization of UAVs across industries has led to R&D and launch of new programs by governments. For example, a program led by the defense forces of the U.S., and Boeing developing a high-altitude long endurance (HALE) UAV named Boeing Phantom Eye.
The key players for UAV flight training and simulation market are CAE (Canada), Israel Aerospace Industries (Israel), L-3 Link Simulation and Training (U.S.), Selex (U.S.), and Simlat (Israel). The other prominent vendors include BAE systems (U.K), Northrop Grumman (U.S.), Textron Systems (U.S.), Thales Training & Simulation (Norway), and Crew Training International Inc. (U.S.).
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