Indian Defence Simulation and Training Market

The defence simulation and training market is a growing and increasingly significant sector in the defence industry. Simulated training is the most cost and time effective methodology for training in system use and maintenance. This actually creates a realistic surrounding to generate near real responses to various situations as well as handling of complex weaponries without the need to go outdoors and use operational/real equipments. It also enhances the safety levels when handling the weaponries in practical situation coupled with saving transportation costs and ammunition. Simulators that are being used for such training provide an opportunity to practice for even the most unforeseen contingency. Simulators spare real-world equipment from wear-and-tear and exposure to the elements, as well as enabling training in extreme situations that would be virtually impossible to practice in the field. Moreover, they can be used under all weather conditions and around the clock.

Simulation has emerged as an effective way to train personnel at all the levels of responsibility, and to both develop and assess new tactics, techniques or procedures, and evaluate the efficiency of new weapon systems. Simulation is also a means to optimize the costs of every phase of development during the whole life cycle of the system. Simulators in defence training can be broadly categorized into three types:

  • Constructive Simulation
  • Live Simulation
  • Virtual Simulation

On the account of prevailing worldwide economic constraints, countries are moving to reduce defence spending and thus, defence simulation and training including the demand for advanced simulators is expected to grow strongly. A majority of the global defence simulation and training industry, which is highly concentrated, is captured by few technology companies

1including Thales, Elbit, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, CAE, Saab, and L-3 Link Simulation and Training. These companies operate globally through established subsidiaries in major countries.

The market for defence simulation and training is primarily dependent on the acquisition of other defence weaponries such as aircrafts/helicopters/UAVs, ships/submarines, tanks and so on. Keeping in mind the augmenting defence spending by the countries of world including India, it leaves no scope for the doubt that there will be a robust increase in the global defence simulator market in the coming years. The market which primarily consists of airborne/flight, land, space and naval simulation systems is expected to increase from US $28 Billion approx in 2013 to US $38 Billion by 2024 increasing at a CAGR of 2.98 percent.
If we take country-wise projections into consideration then it


depicts that North America is expected to account for the largest share of the total global military simulation and training market with more than 60 percent share followed by

3Asia and Europe accounting for 17 percent and 14 percent respectively of the total global defence simulators market over the next ten years. Amongst the Asian countries India, Russia and China are the ones who are likely to spend more on simulators. Latin America, Africa and the Middle East are also likely to witness increase the global military simulation expenditure.

The Indian defence training and simulation market can be broadly segmented into:

  • Land-based training and simulation
  • Flight/Air based training and simulation
  • Naval/Sea based training and simulation

Out of these, flight/air training and simulation market is projected 4

to account for the highest proportion of expenditure in the Indian defence simulator market, followed by land-based and maritime simulation market. This sharing scenario is likely to remain the same in coming years. At present, the land-based training and simulation is still in a nascent stage, while the air and sea training and simulation markets are in growing stage of exponential advance.

Land-Based Training and Simulation
The Land-Based Training and Simulation encompasses simulators for defence combat/ land equipment and systems like missiles/grenades, small arms, armoured vehicles/tanks and so on. It is to be seen that the Indian Army has been slow in acquiring simulators and adopting simulation training programmes. One of the reasons for its lagging behind can be 5

attributed to the fact that unlike the other two defence services the Indian Army does not include simulators in contract when it comes to buying for new equipment. The Army which has three technical corps and operating and maintaining complex equipments requires appropriate and high altitude of procedural and technical expertise coupled with on-job appliance by all Army officers/personnel. Introduction of advanced simulation tools is the need of the hour. Though, Indian Army has inducted a computerized war gaming package known as Shatranj and “Sangram, developed indigenously by the Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO), for training the battalion commanders and the staff but it has yet o come forward with the superior computerized war gaming and Electronic Warfare (EW) training simulators. The Army has also successfully come out with driving simulators and small arms simulator to have a feel of driving a vehicle and firing a missile without actually owning one. However, the army's approach is to develop such systems indigenously, where a large number of simulations are required and the main weapon of equipment would remain in service for about 20 years.

Flight/Air Training and Simulation
The Flight/Air Training and Simulation includes simulators for aircrafts, helicopters and UAVs. The association of the Indian Air Force (IAF) with simulators is not new. A simple simulator known as a Link Trainer was in service with IAF many decades ago. Thereafter, pilots got the opportunity to train on the simulators of combat aircraft such as the MiG 21 or Su-7. Today, the IAF has graduated to the Hawk Simulator as also Flight Training Devices for the AN-32 and Do-228 in the basic training stages. Thereafter, pilots are exposed to other6

technologically sophisticated simulators such as for the C130J multi-engine transport aircraft. Apart from flying training the IAF has simulators for training of vehicle drivers, medical personnel, radar operators, basic and advanced training of Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) as also for war-gaming, weapons and combat training, to mention a few. Presently out of 45+ simulators, around 30 are operational, with others in the process of being replaced and new ones being bought.

Naval/Sea Training and Simulation
Naval or Sea Training and Simulation include simulators for ship/submarine navigation, radars/sensors, weapon systems, electronic/surveillance systems. The Indian Navy has been using analog tactical trainers for quite a long time for ship/submarine manoeavring. Computer wargames, viz., MINTAG, Manthan and Sugar developed by DRDO have also been inducted into the Navy for integrated training. The blue-water force recently has also commissioned a Flight and Tactical Simulator (FATS) for Sea-king helicopter, a Water Survival Training Facility (WSTF) for aircrew at Kochi and Sonar Simulators which will help in training ship and submarine operators of IN. The Naval arm is also in a process of inducting a new gunnery simulator which will help the Navy personnel to become skillful in handling small arms and shooting.

It is to be seen that the IAF and the Navy have been using flight simulators and gunnery simulators, for the last few decades but sophisticated simulators as well as all range simulation packages for different levels of battle training are yet to be introduced in the training establishments. To enhance their combat competency, the Indian armed forces urgently need advanced simulation technology that will be time and cost effective and most importantly helps in reducing the loss of life and equipment. The Indian Armed Forces today are technology-intensive and uses highly sophisticated equipment. Other than aircraft simulators, there is a large requirement for Computer Based Training (CBT) and working models with the need to move


to simulation, away from the old cut or exploded models. Simulators for Remotely Piloted Vehicles, ATC, vehicle operators and weapon handling are required in adequate numbers at the training institutes.

Realizing the importance of simulation and training in increasing training capabilities coupled with reducing costs, Indian Armed Forces have started spending on simulators and training and the scenario is likely to be on incremental path in the coming years. Rather, India has been identified as one of the crucial future emerging markets within defence simulation and training expecting very strong growth in spending.

Trends depicts that out of the total defence revenue expenditure allocation every year, the country spends about 4 - 5 percent on training and related activities. As per projections, the country is anticipated to spend over Rs 2000000 crores ($370 Billion) (excluding pay and allowances) in the next 15 years on revenue procurements. Taking this into consideration, we can say that in the next 15 years the country is likely to spend Rs 80000-100000 crores ($14-18 Billion) on training and related activities. Thus, the market for simulation and training systems will definitely be witnessing a robust growth year-by-year offering lucrative opportunities to both local and foreign vendors.
At present, a majority of the Indian defence simulation and training market is captured by very few established public and private players comprising of DRDO, Zen Technologies, CAE India, BEL, HAL, BDL and Alpha Design Technologies. For ex. CAE is already under contract to design and manufacture a C-130J full-mission simulator and P-8I simulator for the IAF and Navy respectively under subcontract to Lockheed martin and Boeing, as part of India's current and anticipated procurement of C-130J and P-8I aircrafts.

Considering the on-going modernization programs of the Indian Armed Forces that are most likely to continue for over a decade, the defence training and simulation market of the country presents vast growth potential over the next decade providing


ample and lucrative opportunities to domestic and oversee suppliers. Also, to be seen that the simulators/training centers have been one of the major areas in the defence offset realization in the last few years garnering around 17 percent of the share.

As of now, various on-going and completed simulation and training programs are being implemented by the three defence services. These include:

  • BMP-II Integrated Missile Simulator
  • MiG21M Fixed-Based Full Mission Simulator
  • Driver Simulator for Arjun Main Battle Tank (MBT)
  • Jaguar Simulator Upgrade
  • Visual database development services for various simulation projects
  • Wargaming constructive simulation applications
  • Upgrade of Sea Harrier Simulator for Indian Navy
  • Action Speed Tactical Trainer (ASTT) for Indian Navy
  • Arjun MBT Gunnery Training Simulators (GTS)
  • AN-32 Flight Training Device for Indian Air Force
  • Computer-Based Training (CBT) for UAV operations for Indian Army
  • Agastya Gunnery Procedure Trainers
  • Cheetah helicopter Full Mission Simulator for Indian Army
  • MiG-27 Part Task Trainer for Indian Air Force
  • Jaguar Simulator Upgrade for the Indian Air Force
  • Dornier DO-228 Flight Training Device for the Indian Air Force
  • Burya Ship Handling Simulator for the Indian Navy
  • Providing a range of training support and maintenance services for the Indian defence forces, such as supporting the Hawk synthetic training equipment at Indian Air Force Base Bidar
  • Jaguar Simulator Upgrade to DARIN-II

            Source: CAE Report & Q-Tech Synergy

Apart from these some of the opportunities in near future in this segment for which the RFIs/RFPs has been issued in the recent years.  And with many new RFIs/RFPs being floated by the IAF in recent areas, would provide lucrative opportunities to both the private and foreign countries to tap upon.

  • Simulator for Chemical Agent Detection Monitoring
  • Driving Simulator Four Wheel for IAF
  • Igla Training Simulator
  • Very Short Range Air Defence System Simulator
  • Infantry Weapon Training Simulator (IWTS)
  • Fast Transient response Electromagnetic Pulse Simulator for IA
  • Simulators For Kamov 28 Helicopter And 'Observer' School for IN
  • Small  Arms Firing Simulator for IN
  • Spatial Disorientation Simulator for IAF
  • Free Fall Simulator (Vertical Wind Tunnel) for para jumping training for IAF
  • Driving Simulator with Motion Platform for IA
  • Unmanned Aerial vehicle (UAV) mission simulator for UAV crew for IA
  • Simulators for Hawk MK 132 AJT for IAF
  • Driving Simulators for T-90/ T-72 tanks for IA
  • Operational Level War gaming Simulator for IN
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Simulator for IA
  • Interactive Fire Arms Training Simulator System for IAF
  • Combat System Simulator for Training P-75 Submarine Personnel for IN
  • DRONA Small Arm Simulator (MK-III) for IA
  • Simulator Gun, Simulator Pistol, Simulator Ammunition and Simulator Claymore Mines for IA
  • Shoulder Fired Weapon Indigenous Simulator (SWIS) for IAF
  • Fibre Glass Outer Shell of Avro Aircraft for Simulator

Other than these there are many defence programmes of the Indian Armed Forces that are in progress and would envisage the procurement of simulators in future. The list includes:

  • Procurement of PC 7 MK Ii Basic Trainer Aircrafts for IAF
  • Intermediate Jet Trainer Aircraft for IAF
  • Future Infantry Soldier As A System (F-INSAS) for IA
  • Additional procurement of T-90 Tanks for IA
  • QRSAMs for all the three Armed Forces
  • ATGMs for IA
  • 197 light utility helicopters (LUHs) for IAF and IA
  • 126 MMRCA for IAF
  • Additional Sukhoi Su-30MKI Aircrafts for IAF
  • Additional Airborne Early Warning & Control Jets for IAF

The defence services have indeed made some progress in simulation training and in procurements of simulators; however there still exists urgent need and huge scope for inducting more advance and sophisticated training aids/systems by the services. Also, the Defence Ministry must ensure that all future procurements should include acquisition of appropriate training simulators.


Ritika Behal

Ritika Behal

3 Responses

  1. Very well articulated article.

  2. Excellent information…

  3. Nicely articulated article.

    I would love to receive more information on defense simulation and training market, if you can provide.