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SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Training Systems for Modern Armoured Combat Vehicle Applications Next Generation Training Systems for Modern Armoured Combat Vehicle Applications Improved Training for the Modern Age Lasers – The Next Generation On the Move – The Evolution of Vehicle Training Vehicle Training and Virtual Reality

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Published by Global Business Media


NEXT GENERATION TRAINING SYSTEMS FOR MODERN ARMOURED COMBAT VEHICLE APPLICATIONS

SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Training Systems for Modern Armoured Combat Vehicle Applications Next Generation Training Systems for Modern Armoured Combat Vehicle Applications Improved Training for the Modern Age

Contents

Lasers – The Next Generation On the Move – The Evolution of Vehicle Training Vehicle Training and Virtual Reality

Foreword 2 Tom Cropper, Editor

Next Generation Training Systems for Modern Armoured Combat Vehicle Applications

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Cynthia Turner Krisan, VP/GM, Saab Defence and Security U.S. Training and Simulation

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Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell

Train as you Fight! Vitally Relevant to Future Combat Training Efficient Training Time! Cost Savings! Greater Realism! Safe! I-MILES CVTESS in the U.S. Army New Generation Vehicle Simulators in Norway Interoperability for Combat Vehicle Applications The Future of Laser Based Training Saab’s Relevance to Modern Armoured Combat Vehicle Applications

Improved Training for the Modern Age

Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks

Tom Cropper, Editor

Editor Tom Cropper

Evolution of Training

Senior Project Manager Steve Banks

All in a Game A Healthy Mix

Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes

Lasers – The Next Generation

Production Manager Paul Davies

Development of the Laser Evolution of the System A Healthy Market

For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated.

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Jo Roth, Staff Writer

On the Move – The Evolution of Vehicle Training

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James Butler, Staff Writer

Developing the Perfect System

Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

Co-operation and Interoperability

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References 16

Vehicle Training and Virtual Reality

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Tom Cropper, Editor

Adding to Reality Augmented Reality

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NEXT GENERATION TRAINING SYSTEMS FOR MODERN ARMOURED COMBAT VEHICLE APPLICATIONS

Foreword F

EW ORGANISATIONS invest as much money

We will then run the rule over the latest trends.

or spend as much time on training as the

Advanced technologies offer all sorts of possibilities

military, and with good reason. When people

but some experts remain unconvinced that they

are sent to war, the quality of their training can

represent a significant step forward against the status

be a matter of life and death. For that reason,

quo. We’ll look at some of the key trends and assess

commanders are forever looking for ways to make

evidence about how new systems perform.

training more effective, more realistic and more

Jo Roth will then look at the evolution of lasers

valuable to their soldiers. That means constantly

in military training systems. Even today they are

re-evaluating current procedures and asking the

still referred to as new-age technology, but they

question: can this be done better?

have been around for over 30 years. He charts the

For military vehicles, training has always been a

evolution of laser systems to the highly advanced and

challenge. Each vehicle is expensive – recreating a

comprehensive systems used today. James Butler will

battle scenario with so much equipment is no easy

also look at some of the most cutting edge systems

feat. This is why the use of advanced training systems

in use today before we peer into the future and see

including computer simulation and integrated laser

a world in which training uses both the physical and

training is so important.

virtual worlds to create a totally immersive experience

Our first article comes from Cynthia Turner Krisan,

for soldiers.

VP of Saab Defence and Security U.S. Training and Simulation. She outlines the development of training for armoured vehicles and how they came to produce one of the most sophisticated vehicle training systems on the market.

Tom Cropper Editor

Tom Cropper has produced articles and reports on various aspects of global business over the past 15 years. He has also worked as a copywriter for some of the largest corporations in the world, including ING, KPMG and the Zurich.

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NEXT GENERATION TRAINING SYSTEMS FOR MODERN ARMOURED COMBAT VEHICLE APPLICATIONS

Next Generation Training Systems for Modern Armoured Combat Vehicle Applications Cynthia Turner Krisan, VP/GM, Saab Defence and Security U.S. Training and Simulation

FIGURE 1: SAAB BT 46 LASER TACTICAL ENGAGEMENT SIMULATION SYSTEM.

Train as you Fight! Saab believes that training is all about combat mission success; about giving customers the training tools needed to instil the knowledge, experience, and confidence required for operational success. Confidence is gained through realistic, advanced training using actual equipment on terrain and in meteorological conditions expected in combat. Saab’s task is to provide future combat Warriors with knowledge and experience through Next Generation live laser Tactical Engagement Simulation Systems (TESS). Saab accomplishes this by leveraging modern training tools in realistic scenarios to counter today´s complex threats and risks. Known threats increasingly require highly trained, multi-national, interoperable and ready responses to resolve and secure our way of life.

Training realism ensures that skills can be replicated in highly stressful situations such as combat operations. Realism is a prerequisite to successful training – the better Saab´s TESS simulators replicate the operational environment, the more knowledge, experience future combat Warriors gain, and retain. The best way to prepare for combat missions is with realistic training, followed by immediate feedback and detailed evaluation. That is why Saab put the individual at the very centre of training operations and built the systems from there. Saab´s systems are scalable and interoperable at the system level, enabling large-scale joint and multi-national training events, as well as facilitating Force-on-Force (FoF) battles. This presents unique opportunities to combine training capabilities both today and in the future

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NEXT GENERATION TRAINING SYSTEMS FOR MODERN ARMOURED COMBAT VEHICLE APPLICATIONS

The best way to prepare for combat missions is with realistic training, followed by immediate feedback and detailed evaluation

FIGURE 2: I-MILES CVTESS SYSTEM IN OPERATION.

as Saab continues to develop Next Generation training systems.

Vitally Relevant to Future Combat Training The need for multinational exercises and interoperability requirements was early recognized by a number of European armies; therefore, the Interoperability User Community (IUC) was formed to ensure Next Generation Training Systems would be viable to future training needs.1 In 2011, the IUC implemented OSAG 2 as the baseline standard. Saab has taken the lead in implementing OSAG 2 for modern armoured combat and tactical vehicle training. Saab leverages the highly sophisticated BT 46 Transceiver Unit (TU) laser with retro-reflectors providing confidence in the level of fidelity and accuracy needed for near real-time FoF and gunnery training assessments as ballistics and dynamics of real ammunition are implemented. This ensures that next generation combat vehicles can be integrated into fully interoperable training environments whilst maintaining the high fidelity required as weapon platforms evolve.

Efficient Training Time! Cost Savings! Greater Realism! Safe! Saab’s BT 46 TU solution ensures that expeditious training for armoured combat and tactical vehicles is as close to actual combat as possible without risking life and limb. Saab’s commercial-off-theshelf (COTS) solution allows for interoperability with U.S. Army MILES equipment and, more importantly, allows full interoperability with nations implementing OSAG 2 solutions. When interfaced with the current fleet of armoured combat vehicle’s Fire Control 4 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

Systems (FCS), Saab’s BT 46 TU does double duty as a high performance gunnery trainer by implementing high precision modelling for accurate ammunition and weapon characteristics. As the BT 46 TU is located in the muzzle of the gun barrel, the simulation takes into account parameters such as gun-tip position for when the simulated round leaves the muzzle, sight to gun alignment, gun droop, lead for target motion, and many other characteristics. The BT 46 TU ballistic model implements appropriate parameters into the simulation: •T  ime between trigger and ammunition leaving the gun muzzle; • Muzzle velocity; • Drop and drift of projectiles; • Projectile time-of-flight; • Velocity reduction during time-of-flight; • Ammunition rounds dispersion; • Gun jump and recoil; •M  uzzle reference system adjustment / compensation; •A  mmunition factors such as powder temperature; • Meteorological conditions: o barometric pressure, o ambient temperature and humidity, o winds; •G  un barrel movement (utilizing sensitive built-in elevation and azimuth gyros). In addition, this simulation model ensures crews implement proper tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP) for operating weapon systems including: •U  se of super-elevation based on range to target; •L  ead-angle selection relative to target movement;


NEXT GENERATION TRAINING SYSTEMS FOR MODERN ARMOURED COMBAT VEHICLE APPLICATIONS

FIGURE 3: PARTS INCLUDED IN AN MEP VEHICLE

•A  djustment for parallax, target elevation and range; • Bore-sighting and preparation to fire; •A  mmunition selection and applicable FCS / sight selections; •P  roper selection of meteorological and correction factors; • Zeroing of Coaxial Machine Gun.

I-MILES CVTESS in the U.S. Army Saab’s delivery of the Instrumentable Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (I-MILES) Combat Vehicle Tactical Engagement Simulation System (CVTESS) provides the U.S. Army the ability to simulate both the firing capabilities and vulnerabilities of the vehicles, as well as objectively assessing weapons effects during training. CVTESS provides unit commanders an unmatched system for use at local home-station instrumented training areas as well as Combat Training Centres (CTC). Saab’s CVTESS supports the FoF training needs of Soldiers employing Abrams, Bradley, and Opposing Forces Combat and Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV). It exemplifies an evolutionary approach for replacing legacy MILES equipment used in FoF training exercises. CVTESS integrates with the combat vehicle’s FCS providing extremely realistic FoF training for Soldiers. Additionally, it supports crew-served weapons such as the M2 and M240 machine guns added onto the combat vehicles. CVTESS also simulates weapon and ammunition effects providing realistic visual and audio cues to the crew. It reinforces crew duties, rewards proper TTPs and develops tactical manoeuvre skills for armour and mechanized infantry combined

arms teams up to brigade level. CVTESS provides unit commanders an integrated training system in FoF and Gunnery training events at home and when deployed. CVTESS targeted entities’ detectors adjudicate the lethality effect of each engagement and provide that data via instrumentation at CTCs and Manoeuvre Combat Training Centres (MCTCs) for retrieval and use in After Action Reviews (AAR). The Saab CVTESS modular design accommodates new weapons, ammunition, and vehicle types - key to next generation training solutions. Combined with instant feedback and a robust AAR capability, CVTESS allows U.S. Army Soldiers the ability to train, as they will fight, providing Commanders with measurable readiness for combat implementation.

New Generation Vehicle Simulators in Norway The aim of the Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) Mission Equipment Package (MEP) project in Norway is to develop the next generation of IFV as well as integrating the next generation of live TESS. Norway’s CV90 IFV from BAE Hägglunds is equipped with a turret-mounted Remote Weapon Station (RWS). To meet the exacting requirements of the Norwegian Army, effective laser TESS requires high precision with true ballistic and time-of-flight simulation. The solution: implementation of Saab’s double gyro-stabilized BT 46 TU laser TESS. To provide more realistic and effective training, Norway require a separate RWS detection system with its own vulnerability model integrated into the vehicle control system, in addition to the detection system mounted on the vehicle chassis. WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 5


NEXT GENERATION TRAINING SYSTEMS FOR MODERN ARMOURED COMBAT VEHICLE APPLICATIONS

The Norwegian MEP project symbolizes the partnership between the Norwegian Army and Saab to develop the next generation of digital vehicle TESS providing more realistic live training resulting in better-trained Soldiers

This makes the RWS vulnerable whilst the vehicle is in cover. The RWS is then susceptible to lighter weapons than may affect the vehicle chassis, such as sniper fire, small arms fire and small fragmentation. The simulation system also provides newly developed detectors for the vehicle commander. Instead of wearing a classic personal detection device (PDD), the vehicle commander will be equipped with a detection system on his helmet implementing a separate vulnerability model that is integrated into the vehicle system. This commander is thereby vulnerable to small arms fire when employing the IFV with open hatch. The MEP project also includes a reconnaissance Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV) with a telescopic mast for observation. A separate detection system for the mast, with its own vulnerability model integrated into the vehicle system, has been implemented to improve training realism for operators of the OPV. There is also a multi-role vehicle equipped with a mortar system within the project. This system conducts simulations from the Forward Observer and their ODIN Fire Support System (FSS) through the vehicle and out to the Soldiers in the field. Previously accomplished using the indirect fire function in the Exercise Control (EXCON), this will remove role player requirement in EXCON to provide indirect fire. Instead, the Forward Observer will operate ODIN to communicate directly with the mortar crew. Fire control data is transferred into the vehicle’s instrumentation system and the simulated effect is then transmitted to the affected Soldiers at the appropriate time of flight of the mortar round, thereby eliminating delay and human error. The Norwegian MEP project symbolizes the partnership between the Norwegian Army and Saab to develop the next generation of digital vehicle TESS providing more realistic live training resulting in better-trained Soldiers.

Interoperability for Combat Vehicle Applications Saab´s current vehicle TESS platform is already capable of handling different code systems and dual code setups. It is possible today for users to rapidly reconfigure the Saab laser system (transmitter and receiver) from one laser code to another e.g. from MILES to OSAG 2. This enables users operating in multi-national settings to be able to train together effectively with U.S. equipped forces. This provides the ability to interoperate OSAG 2 equipped Soldiers with MILES legacy users. The OSAG 2 laser code has been selected by the NATO Modelling and Simulation Group UCATT (MSG-140) as the standard for live training. Key to multi-national interoperable and integrated 6 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

training venues, OSAG 2 will pave the way for both the next generation TESS solutions for armoured combat vehicles as well as the full spectrum of training instrumentation. The standardization process is ongoing through the Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization (SISO). Initially approved by SISO, the OSAG 2 laser code is expected to be fully approved and published in 2016. Compared to the MILES standard, OSAG 2 adds improved realism and capability. Real time ballistic projectile and missile simulation, true impact point vulnerability evaluation, more than 16,000 individual Player Identities (PID) and more than 300 ammunition types (NATO and other) are implemented with OSAG 2. When implementing the OSAG 2 laser standard, NATO forces, PfP and Coalition Partners can train together by combining systems to create fully instrumented training environments in any configuration, scale and at any given location. Exercises utilizing this interoperability include EX NOBLE LEDGER (Sep 14), EX FREEDOM SHOCK (May 2015), and FIN EX (executing in May 2016).

The Future of Laser Based Training Saab has delivered and continues to support deployable and fixed infrastructure Combat Training capabilities to the majority of the main NATO partners within Europe. Saab is currently contracted to develop the interface that will allow the UK to continue using BT 46 TU as a tactical training tool for all armoured platforms. As the BT 46 TU is the prime training interface to the platform, the UK has identified that it could be used for other training modes. Current technical gunnery live firing exercises could be pre-empted with live simulation laser based exercises. This will reduce the ammunition burden as well as the costly safety measures that must be implemented on live firing ranges when using live ammunition and will, of course, reduce the impact on the environment. This will also create a common training data collection point for all modes of training from technical gunnery through live fire and tactical gunnery. The system will allow a training organization to capture common key performance indicators (KPI) throughout the vehicle gunnery-training spectrum to evaluate, measure and certify the performance of Soldiers, crews and commanders. From initial individual and crew training, all the way up to brigade level exercises, the system collection of KPIs allows the training development teams to objectively evaluate many items that previously could only be evaluated subjectively. Proper use of TTPs, training audience objectives, and the overall utilization of equipment for reaching the end goals can now be measured and evaluated objectively. Combat readiness


NEXT GENERATION TRAINING SYSTEMS FOR MODERN ARMOURED COMBAT VEHICLE APPLICATIONS

can then be objectively evaluated, and additional training identified early to properly train the Soldier. New vehicle platforms will be equipped with emerging technological capabilities such as automatic through-site recording and data management utilizing the vehicle’s battle management systems and internal computer processors. Much of this data can be used to measure and assess the crew’s ability in both training and operational environments, leveraging embedded technology and training for next generation armoured combat and tactical vehicle operators. Saab has evolved a trusted methodology in the analysis and presentation of data. Developed with the users, Saab provides a world leading AAR capability utilizing high fidelity objective data to improve performance.

Saab’s Relevance to Modern Armoured Combat Vehicle Applications Saab’s fielded systems enable large-scale joint and multi-national training events, and facilitate FoF battles through laser interoperability. Modular and interoperable at the system level, this presents a unique opportunity for NATO forces, PfP and Coalition Partners to train together by combining disparate systems to create fully instrumented training environments with any desired configuration, scale and at any location. Since Saab’s current platforms are already capable of handling different code systems and dual code setups, it is possible for users to rapidly reconfigure a Saab laser system (transmitter and receiver) from one laser code to another (e.g. from MILES to OSAG 2). This enables users operating in multi-national settings to be able to train together effectively at the FoF level, including the

ability to incorporate the legacy users of MILES or some other national codes. Saab has delivered and continues to support deployable and fixed infrastructure Combat Training capabilities to the majority of the NATO partners around the globe. “As global threats change it cannot be ignored that Modern and Armoured Combat Vehicle Applications will take a key role in most training arenas. The most effective training is that which achieves the best balance between realism and the ability to analyse performance and provide feedback, which can be used to improve it. The most realistic military ground training is that which takes place in real terrain and weather conditions using real equipment. This ensures that the physical demands of ground operations are mirrored in training. However, providing realistic weapons effects is a different matter. While blank ammunition and various explosive battlefield effects can demonstrate activity and provide atmosphere, without a realistic apportionment of personnel and vehicle casualties they cannot provide an accurate assessment of effect. Although nothing can quite beat the adrenaline rush provided by using live ammunition, for obvious reasons such evolutions can only be one-sided and are resource-intensive in terms of safety supervision. But substituting lasers and laser detectors for live ammunition enables realistic force-on-force training and if the actions of the players are tracked and monitored, you are then close to achieving that ideal recipe for effective training.”2 Giles Ebbutt, Jane’s International Defence Review, 30 Apr 2015. (Emphasis added by Saab). Saab´s laser based training systems have provided the necessary realism for truly effective training.

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NEXT GENERATION TRAINING SYSTEMS FOR MODERN ARMOURED COMBAT VEHICLE APPLICATIONS

Improved Training for the Modern Age Tom Cropper, Editor

New technology is becoming available, which can offer improvements in military training – but will the armed forces make the change?

As part of their drive to make training more realistic and representative, armies turned to Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement Systems (MILES)

M

ODERN WARFARE is changing and so too is the way in which the army trains. With more advanced technology becoming readily available, commanders have a wide range of options including advanced laser based training systems and virtual computer simulations. There are plenty of benefits including reduced risk to personnel, lower cost, easier logistics and – supporters say – better results, but others are not convinced. What do developers need to do to overcome the doubts?

Evolution of Training A key aspect of combat training for military vehicles has long been live-action exercises. This has clear uses as it helps drivers become accustomed to a combat situation and understand how to move their vehicle in the midst of a battle. It does, though, have limitations, particularly in the variety of scenarios which can be trained. The safety constraints placed on training with live ammunition mean there is a limit to how an exercise can truly imitate a real-world battle situation. As part of their drive to make training more realistic and representative, armies turned to Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement Systems (MILES). These have been in use since the eighties and enable commanders to programme in a wider range of scenarios. A video from the British Armed Forces3 illustrates how these systems work in practice. Soldiers wear sensors on their uniforms which tell them when they have been hit. All this then feeds into a computer programme which helps all participants to analyse and assess the training action. Today’s systems can bring in an increasingly wide range of scenarios including injury from a central point – such an air strike or chemical attack. They also enable soldiers to train against an intelligent opponent who can anticipate and react to their strategies.

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LT Luke Simpson of the British Forces said: “Some of the exercises we go on in the British army don’t have what we call a thinking enemy. This is what this exercise is all about. The best people to train against are people who know their tactics…. If they are able to overcome that they are training even harder than against someone who doesn’t know them. That enables us to train them to a better extent related to how they would be fighting in operations.”

All in a Game As with many other industries, there is also an increased focus on so-called ‘serious games’. Anyone who owns a top-of-the-range console can confirm that the latest computer games are more realistic than ever. Formula 1 Racing Drivers make extensive use of simulations in pre-season tests. They can replicate the conditions of a track and different weather conditions, enabling drivers to evaluate the car and acclimatize themselves to each track before they get there. The same is true in the military. Soldiers can use computer game graphics to simulate a number of different scenarios. NATO, for example, is opening up the gamification scope way beyond simple battlefield training to incorporate more scenarios. Soldiers can be put in the shoes of military commanders to help them understand the decisions which need to be made and the orders which need to be given. While both the MILES concept and serious games have plenty of strong advocates, there is less general agreement when it comes to military vehicles. How can a computer simulation compare to real life equipment? To provide real value, these scenarios do have to be as realistic as possible. Equipment needs to mimic the real world. For example, gunnery simulations must include realistic recoil. Laser sites can make life a little too easy. Systems


NEXT GENERATION TRAINING SYSTEMS FOR MODERN ARMOURED COMBAT VEHICLE APPLICATIONS

which include a visible red beam depicting a straight line shot mean soldiers can easily adjust their aim accordingly. This is where the difference tells between the most modern and sophisticated solutions now coming to market and older legacy equipment. Older simulations had plenty of deficiencies. For example, weapons might not have behaved in a realistic manner. Laser systems were far too open to cheating; a soldier could quickly reset his or her pack if hit and rejoin the game. The technology has evolved bit by bit as each issue is addressed and overcome. A study from the Marine Corps System Command of M1A1 tank crews working with the simulation based Advanced Gunnery Training System (AGTS) found that it generated a significant improvement in the proficiency of marines and also improved live fire performance. The study also claimed that the system had saved the corps millions of dollars in training costs. The study evaluated three tank crews performing ten tasks. Although a small sample, the report authors believe it was enough to prove the system’s effectiveness. Over the course of the study performance improved from 47% to 73% across all tasks. Live firing scores also improved. Crew One started with an AGTS score of 63.6% and finished with a score of 93.0%. Their eventual live fire score was 90.7%. Crew Two’s performance went from 55.2% to 81.9% and an eventual live fire score of 85%. Crew Three, meanwhile, improved from 53.6% to 87%. Their final live fire score was 78%. The results show that the final live fire performance was close to their AGTS score which was enough for the report’s authors to claim the system generates improvements and that scores on the simulator are comparable to predicted real life results4.

A Healthy Mix Simulations cannot, of course, entirely replace live-fire training and, although there are clear cost benefits, armies are better served using these as a supplement to – rather than a replacement for – traditional training methods. Just as a Formula 1 simulation cannot fully emulate the sensation of speed and risk, neither can a computer simulator fully mimic the sights, smells, and sounds of the battlefield. To be fully effective, soldiers will need to experience the battlefield for real and to fire live rounds. At some point there will be a noticeable jump between training and the real world. The aim, though, is to make that jump as small as possible. There is also plenty of variation between the various training systems on offer. Different armed forces use different systems, many of which have different settings which may not be compatible with other forces – a key issue for any joint training exercises. They will also offer different features and, inevitably, some will be better than others. In selecting a system, buyers should ask themselves key questions: How closely do they emulate live action? How much do they cost to run? How complicated are they to install and use? Do they deliver actionable real time training reports and how accurate is the simulation? There is enough evidence to highlight the value the fresh generation of training products offer. However, the technology is moving quickly and offerings vary in quality, price and features. As understanding improves, so too will this technology, which means training can be increasingly realistic and valuable. That will go a long way towards improving performance in the field and ultimately saving lives.

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NEXT GENERATION TRAINING SYSTEMS FOR MODERN ARMOURED COMBAT VEHICLE APPLICATIONS

Lasers – The Next Generation Jo Roth, Staff Writer

As we move forward into a greater connected age, more is being asked of training and the technology tasked with delivering it.

Systems can communicate data directly to a mobile device such as a tablet computer or smartphone which enables commanders to view and control action in real time

T

HE ARMY has been using lasers in training for decades. Now, though, a new generation of laser based training systems is on the market which promises to provide a significant step-forward in quality of training, efficiency, cost and safety. Here’s how lasers came to be a staple of army training and why they are so vital for the future.

Development of the Laser They are often hyped as a futuristic technology, but lasers are nothing new in the army. The first laser based training simulation products appeared in the 1980s. Named the multiple integrated laser engagement system (MILES), these involved the use of lasers or blank cartridges to provide a highly accurate simulation of a battle scenario. Since then the technology has been evolving steadily adding new functionality to the overall package. Today’s systems are highly advanced, flexible and reliable and allow units to run multiple battle training scenarios. In addition, the most sophisticated systems also allow the wireless collection of battle data giving tutors much more scope when it comes to systems analysis. The obvious advantages came in cost and efficiency. There was not the need to carry ammunition, equipment costs were lower, and the risk to personnel was substantially reduced. These systems also allowed a greater variety of scenarios to be tested. With no need to adhere to safety requirements of live-fire training, these systems helped the army to train for a much wider range of military scenarios.

Evolution of the System From their earliest incarnation, laser systems have been facing and then overcoming deficiencies. The earliest products possessed no mechanism for preventing a ‘hit’ soldier from firing. It was all too easy to ignore the hit, reset the pack and continue fighting as if nothing had happened. Later models issued a loud tone to signal when 10 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

a soldier had been hit making it much harder to cheat. A soldier would also have to remove a key from the yellow laser module on his rifle and insert it into the box of his harness. In some instances, the soldier would have to lie back on the ground and signal he was ‘dead’ in order to operate his pack. The second generation of MILES released in the early nineties, provided a further evolution with the Simulated Area Weapons Effect add-on which allowed individual soldiers to be killed from a central location – such as in an artillery strike or a nuclear or biological attack. However, by their nature, laser systems run the risk of being less realistic than live training exercises. Much of a soldier’s experience comes in the sights and sounds of the battlefield. The weight and feel of weapons will have a huge impact on their performance as will variations in accuracy. Systems would need to take account of bullet drop and deviation, which could otherwise seriously skew results. Weapons would have to feel the same in the hand as they do in combat; vehicles must behave the same. The experience has to be as close as possible to real life. Data is also valuable. Each training simulation has the potential to yield a huge amount of data – all of which can be utilised for assessing soldier performance and the value of training overall. There is need for a more integrated solution and it is coming. The most advanced systems today can be characterised as I-MILES (Instrumentable Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System). These are more flexible and more realistic than conventional MILES systems and allow commanders to train in a much wider range of scenarios. By providing easily installable systems for combat vehicles, for example, they can help drivers to hone their combat skills and to understand how these vehicles will operate in a battle scenario. This can be vital. Once in combat, it is very easy for drivers to


NEXT GENERATION TRAINING SYSTEMS FOR MODERN ARMOURED COMBAT VEHICLE APPLICATIONS

become disorientated – training in systems which help improve a driver’s situational awareness can be critical. They are also becoming far more connected than ever. Systems can communicate data directly to a mobile device such as a tablet computer or smartphone which enables commanders to view and control action in real time. They can assess troop performance, identify areas for improvement and issue instant commands based on a much more comprehensive set of data. This information can also be incorporated into 3D reports which can be transmitted off-site for post mortem analysis. Soldiers can gather after the exercise and view information about who shot whom, see where they made mistakes and decide how they can improve their performances in the future.

A Healthy Market Such advances create a fertile environment for providers of new training technology. According to a recent study, the global military simulation and virtual training market is expected to increase to US$15.8billion over the next ten years – an estimated CAGR of 4.2%5. Even so, there are a number of commercial trends which will have some impact on how the market fares. The first is the relatively constrained budgets of most western militaries. The majority of

NATO members no longer meet the NATO’s goals of spending 2% of GDP on the army. The UK is one of the few to make a public commitment to stick to this level, but even their spending has been weak over the past few years – prompting US officials to raise serious questions about the UK’s ability to fight wars in the future6. Even the US, for so long the biggest spender on the military, is cutting back. Spending has fallen by 25% over the course of five years7 as it seeks to move from a period of multiple overseas engagements to a time of relative peace. This has both positive and negative implications for the industry. On the downside, money is tight; commanders will be reluctant to make new purchases unless they feel confident they can absolutely improve on the current system. On the plus side – again, money is tight; commanders need systems that can offer reduced running costs, and a better safety record than conventional training regimes. This is something which plays into the hands of laser and computer simulation training systems. Both these require less infrastructure and so are less expensive to stage. The challenge, therefore, will be for developers to prove their value. This means being able to demonstrate a system effectively, show a long track record of success in the industry and how any new system outperforms the old.

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NEXT GENERATION TRAINING SYSTEMS FOR MODERN ARMOURED COMBAT VEHICLE APPLICATIONS

On the Move – The Evolution of Vehicle Training James Butler, Staff Writer

Laser based training is evolving and it’s having a profound impact on the way in which the army conducts training for its armoured vehicles.

Advanced driver training is one thing; the real value comes in delivering true-to-life combat simulations

I

T’S EARLY spring in 2016 and the countryside around Salisbury Plain is alive with the hum of military vehicles. As the Daily Mail8 reported, one of the largest military vehicle training exercises to take place in years was underway as more than 1,800 personnel manned more than 1,200 armoured vehicles. The exercise was designed to maintain the army’s operational readiness in case of rapid deployment to the Middle East, but what this also shows is the difficulty involved with providing adequate training for military vehicles. Advanced driver training is one thing; the real value comes in delivering true-to-life combat simulations. The very nature of combat and the expense of military vehicles have always made that a major challenge, but thanks to next generation laser based training, it is now possible. In 2015, for example, crews of the Polish Leopard Tanks of the 34th armoured cavalry brigade carried out laser firing exercises as part of their preparation for live-fire training. The crews conducted the training by using a targeted laser beam to accurately simulate live fire. Sensors installed on the vehicle record hits and deliver the information to a computer system where the crew can assess their performance, identify mistakes and adjust their strategy accordingly9. These systems were being used as a preparation for live-fire training, but the most advanced are becoming so sophisticated that they are increasingly capable of mimicking the real thing. As ever, the US army is ahead of the curve. Since 2012, it has been using the most advanced laser based training system for its combat troops and military vehicles – Saab’s Combat Vehicle Tactical Engagement System (CVTESS). Valued at $32million, this represents the fourth and fifth option of a multi-year deal which could potentially run to more than $90million. The initial deal signed in 2012 was intended for use on all the army’s M1 Abrams Main Battle

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Tanks (MBTS) and M2 Bradley Tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles.10 The system is easy to install and can be used on all heavily armoured, and thin-skinned vehicles. It replaces Saab’s own gunner simulation system, which had been used since 1988. That the US army is still using systems designed in the eighties shows how far some modern militaries have slipped behind the available technology. They are now reaching a point where legacy systems such as those are far exceeding their sell-by dates. Among the key advantages the CVTESS system offers are: •A  n event log: An ability to store more than 2,000 events which can then be transmitted to remote after-action sites. This can include the time and location of the event, the weapon fired and the extent of damage. •S  tatus display: The Target Interface Module displays the status via high performance LEDs which will be visible to all combatants in the exercise. •R  educed infrastructure: Wireless transmissions mean fewer cables and a lower Total Cost of Ownership. •S  uperior realism: The system boasts higher combat fidelity than older generation systems, offering realistic injury and damage assessment and accurately rendering the inbattle performance of weapon systems.

Developing the Perfect System The CVTESS, and other I-MILES systems, represent another step in the evolution of modern combat training. As this technology improves, and as militaries learn from past training simulations, developers are able to produce systems which deliver a wider range of scenarios and increased realism. Getting this right, though, is a considerable logistical and technical challenge. To provide a valuable training simulation, systems have


NEXT GENERATION TRAINING SYSTEMS FOR MODERN ARMOURED COMBAT VEHICLE APPLICATIONS

to accurately replicate weapon characteristics including weight and feel, time between the trigger being pulled and ammunition leaving the barrel, bullet drop and variance, projectile speed and changes in velocity. In addition, there are other variables to take into account such as temperature and weather conditions – all these can have an impact on how ammunition behaves. Mimicking these factors involves precise calculations at the tiniest level, but getting it right can have a major impact on the overall value of the training exercise.

Co-operation and Interoperability As training improves, the next evolutionary stage is to encourage greater cooperation between different army units. Speaking ahead of DSEI 2015, Saab Engineering envisaged a world in which NATO members could take advantage of a centralised training facility in which soldiers of member nations could benefit from interoperable kit. According to Claes-Peter Cederlof, Saab’s Vice President in charge of UK operations, the way in which modern militaries are training is changing rapidly. “In today’s fiscal environment we are witnessing armed forces with fewer

soldiers, but we are seeing much better training regimes comprising a combination of live and virtual training at the same time. Over the next couple of years, we will see a totally different type of training for troops.”11 The problem is that different armies use different systems which use different laser signals – many of which are incapable of working together. Saab used the event to call for greater standardisation. Either armies should adopt the same technologies to enable them to work together or they would have to adjust laser signatures to enable different systems to communicate with one another. In 2014 a large joint simulation and training exercise in Norway, (Cold Response) saw several countries participating using the same laser codes, albeit different laser based training systems. The race is on among developers to become the provider of choice in this market. The technology is evolving rapidly offering greater realism than ever before and taking advantage of wireless connectivity to provide a richer and more comprehensive training experience. As it does so it is rapidly changing the face of training, helping forces to conduct more realistic simulations, at a lower cost and with a much lower risk to life and limb.

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NEXT GENERATION TRAINING SYSTEMS FOR MODERN ARMOURED COMBAT VEHICLE APPLICATIONS

Vehicle Training and Virtual Reality Tom Cropper, Editor

Why future military training exercises may take place more and more in the virtual world.

As we push further into the future, many training scenarios are leaving the live environment altogether and plunging into the world of virtual reality

F

OR ALL the talk of budget constraints, billions of dollars are spent on the military around the world, which means it benefits from some of the world’s most cutting edge technology. When it comes to training, sophisticated new systems are coming to market with such speed that in several years’ time there’s a good chance that military training might have changed out of all recognition. As this report has already shown, armies are spending more money on increasingly realistic laser tag exercises which can involve multiple forces and vehicles. Computer simulations and games are also gaining popularity, but as we push further into the future, many training scenarios are leaving the live environment altogether and plunging into the world of virtual reality.

Adding to Reality When he acquired Oculus Rift, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had this to say: “Oculus is the clear leader in something that has the potential to be the next important, or one of the next most important, computing platforms.12” The system had been in development since 2012 when a highly successful Kickstarter programme raised more than $2.4million13. The system is yet to go on sale to the general public, but alongside other platforms such as Playstation VR it promises to revolutionise everything from gaming to movies, business and also the military. By early 2015, the armed forces were also using it at events to give new recruits a taste of what life in a battle is actually like. At a series of events in London and Manchester, they invited potential recruits and the general public to drop into virtual training exercises using the Oculus Rift headset. The system could recreate various scenarios such as driving a Challenger 2 tank14. This was more a PR stunt than a true training exercise, but Virtual Reality does indeed offer an exciting option for the future of training. Although the initial cost of the system is high, 14 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

it cuts down on the expense of equipment and ammunition as well as the trouble of organising a live training system. As this technology improves, it is bringing increasingly realistic simulations giving students and new recruits a real taste of what live action would look and feel like. The military is keen to stress that this is an add-on to traditional real-life training simulations, rather than a direct replacement. Even so, this does have key benefits: - Lower risk of injury. - Reduced equipment costs. - Greater flexibility. This last point enables soldiers to experience a greater range of scenarios than would be possible during live-action. Safety and logistical restrictions limit precisely what scenarios can be trained. As these become more common, the army is finding ways to interlink training across multiple locations and among different divisions. Various units would be able to collaborate in one vast training simulation taking place on the virtual plane.

Augmented Reality While VR is beginning to gain real traction, we’re also seeing the rise of a similar technology – augmented reality (AR). As the name implies, this adds to reality by overlaying images on top of the real world. These systems can achieve a striking level of realism. Take, for example, a recent advertising campaign for Pepsi. It installed AR screens at a bus stop and used it to overlay all sorts of features onto the real world. A person might enter the stop, look to the left and see a tiger coming their way. As the footage showed it was real enough to frighten several passers-by15. This same technology has a number of useful applications for the armed forces. In 2015 the Marines began experimenting with AR headsets16. These were able to superimpose elements such as buildings, aircraft, landscape, tanks or other vehicles onto the landscape around them.


NEXT GENERATION TRAINING SYSTEMS FOR MODERN ARMOURED COMBAT VEHICLE APPLICATIONS

This builds upon similar technology being used by the Pepsi advertisements and users of systems such as Google Glass, but needs to be significantly up-scaled to cater to the requirements of the army. The experience needs to be smooth and universal. Different combatants across the field will need to see the same computer elements imposed on the same places. These elements will also need to react in synch with their movements – as they change locations a static element needs to remain where it is. Mobile features such as tanks, meanwhile, must move in a consistent manner for all participants. The system, named the Augmented Immersive Team Trainer, is designed to help soldiers experience scenarios which would otherwise be difficult to recreate. For example, they will be able to call in an air strike, experience artillery barrages and so on. Much of this technology is already being used, but powered by the likes of Oculus Rift it is becoming more sophisticated and realistic.

Armies are taking the basics of technology developed by these commercial providers and re-tooling it for their own requirements. While older systems might have been unable to deliver the level of realism required, the next generation of training simulators is doing just that. The result is something which looks and feels more realistic than anything the army has yet managed. As with any new technology, as much depends on how the technology is introduced as what it can do. New system acquisitions can be risky as well as beneficial. Each one will bring with it an associated cost, and if it doesn’t truly deliver on the army’s requirements, the result will be a waste of money and poorly trained soldiers. Next generation technology has hoodwinked the military before. Millions of dollars have been wasted on systems which looked good, and sounded great but were ultimately unable to deliver. In developing these systems, therefore, the army has to ensure they fit in with their key requirements.

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NEXT GENERATION TRAINING SYSTEMS FOR MODERN ARMOURED COMBAT VEHICLE APPLICATIONS

References: 1

http://halldale.com/insidesnt/live-training-multinational-missions#.Vx6HTPkrKUk, Jan Vermeulen, Chairman IUC, 20 Oct 2011,

accessed 25 Apr 2016.

2

http://saab.com/globalassets/commercial/land/training-and-simulation/live-training/manpack300/tes-takes-training-to-the-next-level.pdf

Giles Ebbutt, Jane’s International Defence Review, 30 Apr 2015, accessed 18 Apr 2016. © Copyright IHS and its affiliated and subsidiary companies, all rights reserved. All trademarks belong to IHS and its affiliated and subsidiary companies, all rights reserved. 3

British Army Plays Ultimate Game of Laser Tag: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCWcGezvdTU

4

Marines AGTS Tank study: https://defensesystems.com/articles/2015/03/24/marines-agts-tank-simulation-study.aspx

5

Military Simulation and Virtual Training Market:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/military-simulation-and-virtual-training-market-158b-worth-global-opportunity-by-2025-499209471.html 6

UK Defence Spending Concerns US Army Chief: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31688929

7

The 2017 NDAA Should Begin Rebuilding America’s Military:

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2016/03/the-2017-ndaa-should-begin-rebuilding-americas-military 8

9

10

Ready for Action: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3482620/Ready-action-1-800-personnel-1-200-vehicles-training-exercise-Salisbury-Plain-help-maintain-British-Army-s-swift-response-ability.html

Polish Leopard 2A Tanks: http://www.defence24.com/190835,polish-leopard-2a5-tanks-involved-in-a-laser-training-firing-exercise Saab to Provide More Equipment for US Army Combat Vehicles

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2016/01/12/Saab-to-provide-more-equipment-for-US-Army-combat-vehicles/8371452609135/

11

Saab Aids in Growing Role of Simulation Training: http://www.miltechmag.com/2015/09/saab-aids-in-growing-role-of-simulation.html

12

Army Recruits Reserves with Virtual Reality: http://news.sky.com/story/1408858/army-recruits-reserves-with-virtual-reality

13

Oculus Rift Kickstarter Backers Receive Free Consumer Headset:

http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/5/10714554/oculus-rift-kickstarter-backers-free-consumer-headset-ces-2016 14

Army Recruits Virtual Reality: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2912565/Army-recruits-virtual-reality.html

15

Pepsi Max Shocks and Delights Londoners with AR:

http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-case-studies/pepsi-max-shocks-and-delights-londoners-with-augmented-reality-stunt/ 16

ONR Tests New Glasses: http://phys.org/news/2015-05-onr-glasses-augmented-reality-marines.html

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Defence Industry Reports – Next Generation Training Systems for Modern Armoured Combat Vehicle Apps  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Next Generation Training Systems for Modern Armoured Combat Vehicle Applications

Defence Industry Reports – Next Generation Training Systems for Modern Armoured Combat Vehicle Apps  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Next Generation Training Systems for Modern Armoured Combat Vehicle Applications