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Simulator Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By End-use Industry (Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Marine & Naval, and Media & Entertainment), By Application (Training, Research & Development, and Others), By Type (Full Flight Simulator, Fixed Base Simulator, Driving Simulator, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2022-2029

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI107016



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The global simulator market size was valued at USD 14.78 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 16.12 billion in 2022 to USD 30.41 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 9.49% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with simulators experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of -7.07% in 2020 as compared to 2019.


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A simulator is a computer-based program or machine that simulates a real-world situation. Moreover, it creates a virtual version of it, often for the purpose of training, experimenting, and other research and development applications. For instance, in the aviation industry a simulator is a device that artificially recreates the flight of an aircraft and the surroundings and environment in which it operates for pilot training, design, or other purposes. It involves replicating the equations that govern how aircraft fly, how they respond to flight control applications, the effects of other aircraft systems, and how the aircraft responds to external environmental factors such as air density, turbulence, wind shear, cloud cover, precipitation, and other conditions.

The simulation system covers a wide range of end-use industries but mainly the market is segregated into four major segments, including aerospace & defense, automotive, naval, and media applications. Moreover, the industry comprises key players in large numbers developing more advanced simulation devices majorly for training purposes. Moreover, the flight training institute and airline operators are spending more and procuring a large number of simulators for training purposes. For instance,

  • In November 2021, CAE announced to expand its pilot training capacity in Europe through the deployment of the new CAE 7000XR Series Boeing 737 MAX full-flight simulator (FFS) at the CAE Amsterdam training center.


COVID-19 Pandemic Led to Delay in Simulator Deliveries

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and severe lockdown measures created a huge impact on the industry, resulting in a short-term shutdown of flight, automotive, and marine simulator centers. The aviation and automotive industries were majorly impacted by the pandemic. There was a sudden decline in the number of active pilots. The decrease in pilot demand further resulted in the postponement of such deliveries. Moreover, due to the disruption in supply chains, the automotive industry around the world faced a major problem in vehicle manufacturing and testing. For instance,

  • In late 2020, CAE significantly cut down the capital expenditures and R&D investments. The company also announced cost-cutting measures, including salary freezes and salary deductions for staff not affected by reduced work.

Due to pandemic restrictions, the flight training centers were running with less than 50% staff and students that led to cancellations and delays of deliveries around the world. For instance,

  • Two-thirds of CAE’s more than 50 commercial aircraft training centers around the world continue to operate, but training utilization is lower than usual due to restrictions resulting from border closures and lockdowns that have forced temporary closures and disruptions.


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Adoption of HD Quality LED Screens for Displays to Boost Simulator Market Growth

LEDs screens have high resolution and are compact, with a wide color gamut and commercial enough to use them extensively. One of the most prominent benefits of the LED screen is high reliability and long service life, with many actual device-hours of testing for LEDs establishing a median lifetime well in excess of 50,000 hours. Moreover, LED display presents a computer-generated image of the outer world scene, which offers a real-like training experience. LED screens are widely used for automotive and aerospace industry applications. LED panel technology has become progressively attractive for driving simulators owing to advanced specifications such as improved pixel pitch, which has altered from 2.5mm to as little as 0.9mm. For instance,

  • In July 2022, the driving simulator manufacturer DiL Cruden announced that five of the nine simulation systems it has delivered to the new BMW Group FIZ driving simulator center in Munich are equipped with LED wall solutions from the ICT specialist. The company believes this is the first major application of LED visual wall technology in a driving simulation system.


Increasing Demand for Training Applications in Military, Aviation, and Naval Training to Surge the Demand for Simulators

Growing use for various commercial and military training applications, such as in flight training, automobile driving training, and marine training, is expected to drive the market growth. The significance of these training devices is well understood by the Armed Forces in terms of cost reduction, safety, training in near realistic settings by replicating variable combat scenarios, and quick training and conserving the critical operational equipment from wear and tear. For instance,

  • Information compiled and sourced by Flight Global shows that close to 1,500 commercial aircraft simulation devices are currently in use globally; 74% are full-flight simulators and the balance are fixed-based flight training devices.

In the military and naval domain, simulators are used in tactical training systems that are used for training of commanders and staff of military formations and units in a realistic operational environment, including an emergency situation. The increased defense budget and growing army training operations will drive the market growth during the forecast period.

Modernization in Technology with AR, VR, and Ergonomics is Driving Market Growth

Immersive technology solutions such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have led to an increase in innovative and engaging training solutions. VR is a fully adaptable experience composed entirely of computer-generated environments and objects or 360º videos. VR is created by using advanced sensory simulators to give the user’s brain a sense of separate reality. This can be done by using headsets known as Head Mounted Displays (HMD). For instance, Boeing is experimenting with its new AR glasses developed to assist technicians with interactive, hands-free, 3D wiring diagrams that can adjust in real time.

The automotive industries are now incorporating Virtual Reality (VR) technology across the different product and sales processes for higher market growth and efficiency. Virtual reality technology is helping dealerships to offer an immersive showroom experience to end customers. Customers can wear VR HMDs to get a view of the exterior and interior of all the different models offered. Thus, considering the above factors related to AR, VR, and ergonomics in the simulator industry, higher market growth is anticipated during the forecast period.


High Operational and Maintenance Cost associated with Simulators to Hinder Growth

The operational costs and price of simulator devices depend on several factors such as training needs, aircraft or ship type, the level of device qualification, its features, and more. Due to the wide range of these simulation devices available, the cost can range up to several thousand or million dollars. Moreover, the necessarily respond exactly as the equipment would perform under the conditions and the feedback given by the trainee, which, in turn, makes these training devices more expensive to develop and continuous upgrades make it more expensive to operate

The ability to highly customize the design as per customer’s specific needs drives the simulator cost for full flight simulators. Regulated by the FAA and EASA, a full flight training simulator should include six-axis motion systems, control loading systems, advanced visual systems, instructor stations, exact cockpit replicas, and a sophisticated aircraft data package.


By End-use Industry Analysis

Aerospace & Defense Segment to Hold Highest Market Share Due to Increased Pilot Shortage

Based on end-use industry, the market share is segmented into Aerospace & Defense, automotive, marine & naval, and media & entertainment.

The aerospace & defense segment is to be the largest segment with highest market share in 2021. The growth of the segment is due to increased procurement of full flight simulators from the airline operators due to shortage of airline pilots around the world. Moreover, the growing number of commercial and military full flight training institutes around the world is one of the major reasons responsible for the segment growth.

The automotive segment is projected to grow at the highest compound annual growth rate through the forecast period. Rapid expansion of the automotive sector especially in emerging and developing economies such as the U.S, China, and India will boost the segment growth. Moreover, the growing trend of digital prototyping and rapid virtual testing in the automotive industry for heavy and light vehicles propel segment growth during the forecast period.

The growth in the media and entertainment segment is due to the increasing trend of ultra HD quality video games and the booming gaming industry around the world. New technology and the introduction of a new generation of consoles led to a boom in the sector making it a USD 180 billion industry.

By Application Analysis

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Training Segment to Hold Market Dominance Due to Large Procurement of Full Flight Simulators

Based on application, the market is segmented into training, research and development, and others.

The training segment dominated in the base year due to large procurement of full flight simulators. Airline operators are experiencing pilot shortage and are training their pilots on large scale by procuring modern generation devices. These are an effective device for training in different situations. Training simulators are used by militaries and governments for training in the aviation, marine, and automotive sectors. Thus, higher segment growth is projected during the forecast period.

  • In July 2021, Porter Airlines finalized a new eight-year agreement with the Flight Safety International to continue as their airline's exclusive pilot training partner. The Flight Safety International Installed North America's first E2 flight simulator will support Porter's recent order for up to 80 Embraer E195-E2 aircraft.

The research and development segment is expected to grow at a significant rate due to increasing demand for automotive simulators for testing and development of new vehicles to ensure passenger and driver safety. Moreover, these simulation devices can help in conducting experiments needed to establish research results.

The others segment is projected to be the fastest growing segment during the forecast period. The growth of the segment is attributed to the rising use of simulators for MRO activities and for specialized training for aircraft technicians that cover a widening spectrum of disciplines. Moreover, the use of simulators in maintenance training offers in-depth understanding of complex systems. Airlines and MROs can benefit from simulators in MRO applications.

By Type Analysis

Driving Simulators Segment to Witness High CAGR owing to Increasing Demand for Vehicle Testing Applications

Based on type, the market is segmented into full flight, fixed base, driving, and others.

The driving simulators segment is anticipated to witness growth with a highest CAGR of during the forecast period, owing to the growing demand for driving simulation devices across the automotive industry for field testing modern generation cars and trucks to boost the segment growth. Moreover, driving simulators have capabilities to conduct thorough tests of a driver’s skills and their ability to drive a vehicle without causing accidents, collisions or injuries.

The full flight simulators segment was the largest segment in 2021. The growth of the segment is attributed to the rising demand for these simulation devices as these full flight training systems are well equipped with motion sensors and night vision devices, which help the pilots learn the exact situation they will face during night operations. These benefits are propelling the demand for full-flight simulators.


North America Simulator Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)

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North America dominated the market in 2021. The North America market size stood at USD 5.28 billion in 2021. The growth is attributed to the presence of the highest number of pilot shortage. According to CAE Inc., the region is projected to require around 85,000 active pilots to cater to the airline industry in the next 10 years. Moreover, the U.S. is facing a huge pilot shortage on a daily basis and flights at the commercial level are getting canceled due to shortage of crew. Thus the airlines in the region are setting up new infrastructure for simulator training and other major applications.

Europe was estimated to hold the second-largest simulator market share in the base year due to prominent system manufacturers and aircraft manufacturers in this region such as Airbus, Thales Group, and Indra Sistemas.

The market in Asia Pacific is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Air passenger traffic in the Asia Pacific is encouraging the development of the airline industry and creating a need for trained pilots in emerging economies such as China and India. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), China will overtake the U.S. to become the world’s largest aviation market by passengers by 2024. Moreover, emerging economies such as India are investing more in reviving and building a new simulator infrastructure.

Furthermore, the market growth in the rest of the world will witness higher growth numbers owing to the development of the aerospace sector in the Middle East due to a large number of commercial airlines registered in the region. Moreover, the growing hybrid automotive sector in South America will drive market growth during the forecast period.


Strong Product Portfolio Country Presence of CAE and Frasca International Inc. to Lead the Market

Strong regional and country presence and diversified product portfolio of systems and solutions along with increased investment in R&D and strategic collaboration are the most significant factors responsible for the dominance of these companies. For instance, CAE has the world’s largest civil aviation training network, with 250+ full-flight training services in 50+ training locations in some of the world’s most desirable destinations. Moreover, CAE offers a comprehensive portfolio of simulation products and expertise in the implementation of a range of simulation-based capabilities across the air, naval, land, and public safety market segments.


  • CAE Inc (Canada)

  • Raytheon Technologies Corporation(U.S.)

  • L3 Harris Technologies Inc (U.S.)

  • BAE Systems Plc (U.K.)

  • Boeing Company (US)

  • Frasca International Inc (U.S.)

  • Tecknotrove Systems Pvt Ltd (India)

  • Kongsberg Group (Norway)

  • Indra Sistemas, SA (Spain)

  • PulseWorks LLC (U.S.)

  • Cre8tive Rooms LLC (U.K.)


  • January 2022 L3Harris signed a contract with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to supply a new A320ceo full flight simulator for the airline's training center in Karachi. The company will provide an Airbus A320ceo FFS RealitySevenE to the PIA training center in Karachi, which will be the first RealitySevenE simulator to be delivered in the MEASA region.

  • May 2022 Airbus Defense and Space awarded Thales a multi-million-pound contract to supply the Royal Air Force with a second full-flight simulator for the Airbus A400M military transport aircraft. The A400M simulator enables realistic training, allowing the number of actual aircraft flight training hours to be reduced.

  • February 2022 Kongsberg Digital (KDI) has won an important tender in which the company will supply an extensive range of maritime simulator solutions for South Metropolitan TAFE (Technical and Further Education) institute in Fremantle, Western Australia.

  • May 2022 – CAE announced that it is set to deploy the first CAE 7000XR Series Dassault Falcon 6X full-flight simulator (FFS) at its Burgess Hill training center in the U.K. As the exclusive training provider for the Dassault Falcon 6X, CAE has developed an innovative pilot training program to support the entry into service of the new aircraft type.

  • March 2022 – BAE Systems announced that it has completely acquired Bohemia Interactive Simulations for USD 200 million. The company specializes in building high-fidelity training simulations for the military. Bohemia Interactive Simulations works with 60 different militaries around the world and 300 integrators serving those militaries.


An Infographic Representation of Simulator Market

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The research report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, types, and applications of the product. Besides this, the report offers key insights into the market trends and highlights key industrial development and defense applications. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation 



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion)


By End-use Industry

  • Aerospace and Defense

  • Automotive

  • Marine & Naval

  • Media & Entertainment

By Application

  • Training

  • Research & Development

  • Others (Maintenance & Troubleshooting, Vehicle Assistance, and Leisure)

By Type

  • Full Flight Simulator

  • Fixed Base Simulator

  • Driving Simulator

  • Others (Air Traffic Control Simulators and Vessel Traffic Control Simulators)

By Geography

  • North America (By End Use industry, Application, Type and Country)

    • U.S. (By Application)

    • Canada (By Application)

    • Mexico (By Application)

  • Europe (By End Use industry, Application, Type and Country)

    • U.K. (By Application)

    • Germany (By Application)

    • France (By Application)

    • Italy (By Application)

    • Rest of Europe (By Application)

  • Asia Pacific (By End Use industry, Application, Type and Country)

    • China (By Application)

    • Japan (By Application)

    • India (By Application)

    • South Korea (By Application)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Application)

  • Rest of the World (By End Use industry, Application, Type and Region)

    • South America (By Application)

    • Middle East & Africa (By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 14.78 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 30.41 billion by 2029.

Registering a CAGR of 9.49% the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2022-2029).

The aerospace & defense segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.

CAE Inc. is the leading player in the global market.

North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2021.

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