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.
Some significant highlights of MS&T contracts in the Orlando region in 2017 include:
- 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.
- Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Rotary & Mission Systems division in Orlando won a $59 million contract from the U.S. Air Force in June 2017, providing air frame trainer assests used to perform load training for military personnel. Also in June, Lockheed Martin's Missile & Fire Control facility in west Orlando won a $413.8 million contract with the U.S. Air Force for the engineering, design, software and hardware development work of its Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile program.
- In April 2017, the U.S. Army selected Lockheed Martin for a $288 million contract to build a modern, laser-based combat training system for miltary vehicles. Lockheed partnered with Saab Defense and Security, which also has a significant presence in Orlando, to make a bid for the deal. The Army’s Orlando-based Program Executive Office Simulation, Training and Instrumentation, known as PEO-STRI, secured the contract, and a significant portion of the work will be done in Orlando.
- Leidos' Orlando's operations won a $22 million contract in January 2017 to support PEO-STRI and allow Leidos to provide terrain data and battlefield equipment representations to support effective and realistic training environments for a broad range of simulation systems.
A large reason that many simulation and defense companies choose to opreate in Orlando is the proximity to UCF, the second largest university 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 MS&T cluster and military partners, providing a steady talent pool necessary for taking on large government contracts.