Orlando is recognized as the Modeling, Simulation & Training (MS&T) capital of the world – so it is no surprise that I/ITSEC, the world’s largest MS&T conference, chooses Orlando to host nearly 15,000 industry, academia and government attendees each year. Over 300 companies will exhibit at I/ITSEC, over a third of which have a business presence in Orlando.
Orlando-based companies and organizations secure billions in contracts involving MS&T. On an annual basis, $4 billion modeling, training and simulation contracts flow through the region. Orlando is home to top players including Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and AITC, just to name a few. And thanks to important organizations like the National Center for Simulation and TEAM Orlando, the region is an ambitious playground for collaboration between academic institutions, business partners and military defense organizations.
Pictured: A Lockheed Martin F-35 Full Mission Simulator.
Some significant highlights of MS&T contracts in the Orlando region include:
- Three Orlando-based simulation companies including Engineering & Computer Simulations, Raytheon Corp. and Pulau Corp. won U.S. Army contracts to provide and manage training assistance for various operations.
- Winter Springs-based Advanced IT Concepts Inc., a certified minority- and veteran-owned small business, secured a $45 million-$50 million subcontractor part of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s $3.5 billion U.S. Army deal earlier this year.
- Orlando-based simulation company Applied Visual Technology Inc. or AVT Simulation landed two U.S. Army contracts totaling $17.3 million to deliver close-combat tactical training post-deployment software.
- Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Rotary & Mission Systems division in east Orlando won $3.5 billion contract from the U.S. Army to sustain various high-tech equipment used for training. The seven-year contract, which will be completed in 2025, is expected to bring together multiple players in the simulation industry such as Cubic Global Defense and Pulau Corp. — both of which have offices in Orlando.
- Lockheed Martin also won a $1.4 billion contract from the U.S. Navy to build and deliver more than 200 F-35 air systems, of which some work will be completed at its west Orlando Missiles & Fire Control campus.
- A $12M federal grant to fund smart transportation that will allow the Central Florida region enhance intelligent transportation systems aimed at pedestrian safety and easing congestion. The University of Central Florida (UCF), Florida Department of Transportation, and MetroPlan Orlando will receive the $11.9 million from the Federal Highway Administration to test the technology of smart cities in the rapidly-growing city of Orlando. The results have the potential to become national models for other growing locations.
A large reason that many simulation and training companies choose to operate in Orlando is the proximity to UCF, the one of the largest universities in the nation and one of the top engineering schools in the U.S. UCF’s Institute for Simulation and Training works closely with Orlando’s defense cluster and military partners, providing a steady talent pool necessary for companies taking on large government contracts.