Sponsored by Meggitt Training Systems
19 Feb 19. New Enforce Tac Exhibitor Meggitt Training Systems to Exhibit Portable, Small-Arms Simulator. Meggitt Training Systems will conduct demonstrations of its FATS® 100P portable simulator during its first visit to Enforce Tac (stand 12-129) on March 6-7, 2019, in Nuremberg, Germany. Leveraging key features from the US Army Engagement Skills Trainer II and US Marine Corps Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer programs of record, the industry-leading FATS 100P delivers a significant expansion in virtual small-arms training capability and is ideally suited for use by European law enforcement departments.
“As tactical law enforcement challenges evolve, Meggitt is leveraging in-house expertise and customer feedback to expand its line of simulators from the immersive FATS 300 and 180 to the portable 100P,” said Matt Cunningham, Meggitt’s director of virtual systems sales. “Enforce Tac visitors to our stand can learn more, especially how the FATS 100P facilitates training resource sharing among units, as well as enables field deployment for easy set-up in a room that’s not a dedicated training space.”
The FATS 100P features advanced functionality for both instructor and trainee, delivering weapon handling and shot placement analytics, marksmanship automatic coaching tools, video-based judgmental training for escalation and de-escalation, and enhanced graphic capabilities, all in a compact package. Portable and light, the FATS 100P comes in two rugged hand-carry cases the size of a large range bag that allow easy transportation, set-up and operation by one person.
Up to six weapon simulators, including wireless BlueFire® and convertible BlueRail® ones, can be run simultaneously. Meggitt weapons on display will include M4 carbines, Glock G17 pistols, OC spray and a Taser X26P.
To see a demonstration of Meggitt’s FATS 100P simulator, plus speak with a company representative during Enforce Tac, visit stand 12-129 or schedule an appointment at https://meggitttrainingsystems.com/about/request-a-meeting-with-meggitt-training-systems/
21 Feb 19. Iran starts Gulf war games, to test submarine-launched missiles. Iran on Friday began large-scale naval drills at the mouth of the Gulf, which will feature its first submarine cruise missile launches, state media reported, at a time of rising tensions with the United States. More than 100 vessels were taking part in the three-day war games in a vast area stretching from the Strait of Hormuz to the Indian Ocean, the state news agency IRNA reported.
“The exercise will cover confronting a range of threats, testing weapons, and evaluating the readiness of equipment and personnel,” navy commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, said in remarks carried by state television.
“Submarine missile launches will be carried out … in addition to helicopter and drone launches from the deck of the Sahand destroyer,” Khanzadi said.
State media said Iran would be testing its new domestically built Fateh (Conqueror) submarine which is armed with cruise missiles and was launched last week.
Iranian officials in the past have threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route, in retaliation for any hostile U.S. action, including attempts to halt Iranian oil exports through sanctions.
U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme last May and reimposed sanctions on Tehran. He said the deal was flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran’s development of ballistic missiles or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.
Iran has expanded its missile programme, particularly its ballistic missiles.
Iran launched its domestically made destroyer Sahand in December, which official say has radar-evading stealth properties.
The USS John C. Stennis entered the Gulf in December, ending a long absence of U.S. aircraft carriers in the strategic waterway.
Iran displayed a new cruise surface-to-surface missile with a range of 1,300 km (800 miles) earlier this month during celebrations marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Western experts say Iran often exaggerates its weapons capabilities, although there are concerns about its long-range ballistic missiles. (Source: Reuters)
21 Feb 19. RAAF joins US and Japan for Exercise Cope North. An RAAF task force has been deployed to Guam to participate in a large-scale joint military exercise with the US Air Force and Japanese Air Self-Defense Force focused on building specialist air combat and airlift capabilities. The Royal Australian Air Force has deployed 16 aircraft and over 450 personnel to participate in Exercise Cope North in Guam. The exercise focuses on interoperability with Australia’s counterparts from the United States and Japan.
Exercise Cope North, held from 18 February to 8 March 2019 at Andersen Air Force Base, is a long-standing joint military exercise to improve combat readiness, humanitarian assistance procedures and cooperation between the defence forces of the United States, Australia and Japan.
Group Captain Nicholas Hogan, Australian Commander for Exercise Cope North, said it was an effective way to strengthen military alliances, saying, “More than 2,900 military personnel and approximately 100 aircraft from the RAAF, United States Air Force, United States Navy and Japan Air Self-Defense Force will participate.”
The bilateral exercise is designed to enhance joint operational capability alongside military aircraft from the United States Air Force and Japanese Air Self-Defence Force.
Twelve F-18A Hornets, an E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft, two C-27J Spartans, a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport, a Combat Support Element and an Aeromedical Evacuation Team have been deployed to the exercise.
“The exercise will begin with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training and conclude with air combat and large force employment training to refine our procedures and operate more effectively alongside our military partners in the region,” Group Captain Hogan said.
The exercise provides a quality venue to develop multilateral interoperability and coalition procedures in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and air power missions, to include air superiority, close air support, interdiction, electronic warfare, tactical airlift, aerial refuelling and airborne command and control.
Aircrew will be exposed to large force employment on a scale not possible in Australia when they perform counter air, precision strike and offensive air and surveillance support. (Source: Defence Connect)
21 Feb 19. Navy simulator to keep Australian sailors at leading edge. A new simulator at the Defence Force School of Signals Maritime Wing at HMAS Cerberus has been developed to ensure that the Royal Australian Navy’s newest Communications and Information Systems sailors can join their first ships fully prepared for the rigours of operating at sea.
The learning system simulator was developed by Cirrus Real Time Processing Systems, an Australian-owned and operated small to medium enterprise. The successful delivery of this system is a demonstration of the capability within Australia to develop and engineer complex simulation technology to support the ADF.
Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said the simulator would significantly enhance the Royal Australian Navy’s ability to conduct complex operations.
“This simulator is another innovative step forward for our Navy, providing our highly capable sailors with the training tools they need to succeed in their mission of preserving peace and security for all Australians,” Minister Pyne explained.
The simulator is based on a generic communication centre in an enhanced frigate and is designed to mimic the operational environment at sea, using scenarios that may be encountered by communicators embarked in Major Fleet Units.
The simulator will support training and assessment for basic communications operator courses through to advanced courses. It will be used for the first time during a pilot course due to be conducted in mid-2019.
“Communicators are critical to the success of our fleet as we operate in an increasingly dynamic maritime domain, regularly in task groups with ships, aircraft and troops on the ground,” Minister Pyne said.
Cirrus Real Time Processing Systems provides expert software development, test, integration and support services to a range of clients, with many of the company’s products in-service with the Australian Defence Forces and export clients. (Source: Defence Connect)
21 Feb 19. F-35 cuts its air dominance teeth at Exercise Red Flag 19. Exercise Red Flag 19 has wrapped up with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter demonstrating the lethal air-to-air capabilities of the fifth-gen platform in a series of near-peer air combat drills. The Exercise Red Flag series is hosted by the United States Air Force 414th Combat Training Squadron and is held several times a year with a number of domestic and international participants. Australia has been a regular participant in the Red Flag exercise since 1980.
Aircraft and personnel deploy to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada for Red Flag under the Air Expeditionary Force concept and make up the exercise’s “Blue” forces. By working together, these Blue forces are able to utilise their diverse capabilities to execute specific missions, such as air interdiction, combat search and rescue, close air support, dynamic targeting and defensive counter air.
These forces use various tactics to attack NTTR targets such as mock airfields, vehicle convoys, tanks, parked aircraft, bunkered defensive positions and missile sites. Targets are defended by a variety of simulated “Red” force ground and air threats to give participant aircrews the most realistic combat training possible.
Exercise Red Flag was established in 1975 as the brainchild of Colonel Richard “Moody” Suter and one of the initiatives directed by General Robert J. Dixon, then commander of Tactical Air Command, to better prepare our forces for combat.
Lessons from Vietnam showed that if a pilot survived his first 10 combat missions, his probability of survival for remaining missions increased substantially. Red Flag was designed to expose each “Blue 4” pilot to his first 10 “combat missions” at Nellis AFB, allowing him to be more confident and effective in actual combat.
2019 saw the F-35 return to Exercise Red Flag to participate in a series of high-intensity, complex and peer adversary aimed air combat missions, testing man and machine to the limits, particularly in “contested or denied environments”, which employ active electronic attack, communications jamming and active GPS denial, severely hindering the modern warfighter.
During this phase of the testing, the F-35 positioned itself as one of the key “combat battlefield” coordinators, responsible for collecting, managing, analysing and distributing intelligence data to the Blue Force all while prosecuting attacks against threats, returning to an advanced information collector and distributor for older fourth and 4.5 generation fighter aircraft via Link-16.
Lieutenant Colonel Yosef Morris, US Air Force 4th Fighter Squadron commander, said, “Those situations highlight the fifth-generation capabilities of the F-35. We’re still able to operate and be successful. In a lot of cases, we have a large role as an integrated quarterback. Our ability to continue to fuse and pass information to the entire package makes every aircraft more survivable.”
As part of the first week of exercises, F-35s flew as part of a large force in a counter-air mission against more than 60 “aggressor” aircraft, which leveraged advanced electronic attack capabilities to blind the Blue Force fleet of fourth-generation aircraft to both air and surface-based threats.
The F-35’s unique blend of low-observable stealth technologies, combined with the airframe performance and “sensor fusion” enabled the pilots to reshape both the battlespace and the battles themselves: “With stealth, the F-35 can get closer to threats than many other aircraft can. Combined with the performance of the fused sensors on the F-35, we can significantly contribute to the majority of the missions,” LTCOL Morris added.
Red Flag is not a rolling campaign, the exercises are made up of different scenarios that increase in difficulty as the weeks go on. This allows the integrated force to learn how best to capitalise on the strengths and protect the weaknesses of each platform in very specific mission sets.
The evolving nature of the exercises has demonstrated the capability of the F-35 to operate and survive in complex, high-intensity combat situations, seemingly addressing capability concerns about the aircraft, raised throughout the history of the world’s largest defence project.
“Even in this extremely challenging environment, the F-35 didn’t have many difficulties doing its job. That’s a testament to the pilot’s training and the capabilities of the jet,” said Colonel Joshua Wood, US Air Force 388th Operations Group commander.
For Australia, the success of the fifth-generation fighter aircraft comes as a vote of confidence in the Royal Australian Air Force’s future fighter fleet. Over the coming years, Australia will purchase 72 of the advanced fifth-generation fighter aircraft as part of the $17bn AIR 6000 Phase 2A/B program – which is aimed at replacing the ageing F-18A/B Classic Hornets that have been in service with the RAAF since 1985.
Ten nations are currently flying F-35s, including the US, UK, Italy, Norway, Israel and Japan. More than 340 F-35s are operating today with partner nations, more than 700 pilots and 6,500 maintainers have been trained, and the F-35 fleet has surpassed more than 170,000 cumulative flight hours. (Source: Defence Connect)
20 Feb 19. Abu Dhabi plans to build underwater training centre. Thales Group and Atlas Elektroniks said project aims to help combat submarine attacks. Thales Group and Atlas Elektroniks have announced the launch of plans for a new underwater training centre in Abu Dhabi. The launch followed an agreement with Tawazun Economic Program, one of the key drivers of the Tawazun Economic Council, which was signed at IDEX 2019. In a joint statement, Matar Ali Al Romaithi, chief economic development officer at Tawazun Economic Council, said that the project aims to launch an underwater training centre for anti-submarine counter attack, and the operation and management of mine-sweeping mines.
He said the centre will feature state-of-the-art technologies, and will provide professional training on countering hostile submarines, as well as on operating marine radar detectors which use ultrasound for detecting underwater objects.
“Tawazun, once again, showcases its role as a key contributor to the empowerment and sustainable development of the defense and security sector in the UAE. We work closely with our strategic partners to ensure a seamless process of technology transfer to the local market, in line with our strategic needs and requirements. This centre is considered the first of its kind in the region,” he added.
Pascale Sourisse, senior executive vice-president Thales International Development said: “Thales enjoys a deep-rooted partnership with the United Arab Emirates Navy. The launch of the training centre stems from our commitment to contribute towards the development of sovereign capabilities, and talent in the UAE.”
Michael Ozegowski, chief execution officer Atlas Elektroniks, added: “We are committed to supporting the operational needs of the UAE Navy, and are delighted to work with Tawazun Economic Council to launch a one-of-a-kind training centre.” (Source: ArabianBusiness.com)
19 Feb 19. Boeing’s T-X could be coming to the Middle East — and not just as a trainer jet. Boeing and Saab’s T-X trainer jet, fresh off of winning the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation trainer competition, could be bought by nations in the Middle East for a variety of different missions, according to a Boeing executive at the International Defense Exhibition in the United Arab Emirates.
“We are seeing quite a bit of interest in the T-X,” said Mark Ballew, director of sales and marketing for International Government Services at Boeing Global Services. “We are getting quite a few inquiries about T-X and when would it be available.”
Ballew declined to comment about which countries were interested in the aircraft–or what type of missions those countries were looking at.
The T-X is a clean-sheet, two-seat trainer aircraft that will replace the U.S. Air Force’s aging T-38 Talons. It’s a joint program between Boeing and Saab, and beat out competing bids from Lockheed Martin and Leonardo DRS.
And while it’s widely assumed that foreign militaries, particularly those that operate the F-35, could potentially buy the T-X, its been assumed that it would likely be in the trainer role. But in Boeing’s media briefing at IDEX, Ballew indicated that the company sees a much wider market for the jet, in things like aggressor training and even as a lightweight fighter.
“Part of that is talking to customers about what they really need us to go through and do. What do they need the platform to do?” Ballew said in the briefing. “As we’re out flying it, we’ll add more capabilities to it, and we’ll see what those world needs are.”
Before the T-X can hit the international market, it has to finish development and enter production, which its set for the early 2020s.
“There’s a little bit of a wait and see, how’s it going to work,” Ballew added. “But we’re convinced that this is going to be a very popular solution and much desired throughout the world, including this region.” (Source: Defense News)
18 Feb 19. Multilateral military exercise COPE North 2019 begins. Annual multilateral military exercise COPE North 2019 (CN19) has commenced at Andersen Air Force Base in the US territory Guam. Participants in CN19 include the US, Japan and Australia. Set to run until 8 March, the exercise focuses on enhancing multilateral air operations among the US Air Force (USAF), US Navy, US Marine Corps, Japan Air Self-Defense Force (Koku Jieitai) and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). This year’s exercise will involve more than 2,000 US troops, as well as approximately 850 combined Koku Jieitai and RAAF service members. In addition, more than 100 US, Japanese and Australian aircraft from 21 flying units will take part in the US Pacific Air Forces-sponsored exercise.
During CN19, personnel will participate in a week-long humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event to strengthen the militaries’ ability to support the region, including Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Following the event, they will proceed to large-force employment to increase readiness among the allied nations.
COPE North started in 1978 as a quarterly bilateral exercise held at Misawa Air Base, Japan.
The exercise was later shifted to Andersen AFB in 1999. The USAF sees the annual event as an important part of maintaining peace and security throughout the Indo-Pacific region by increasing the readiness of regional forces.
COPE North involves a scenario to develop multilateral interoperability in air power missions, such as air superiority, close air support, interdiction, electronic warfare, tactical airlift, and airborne command and control. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
18 Feb 19. Mirach 40 conducts first live training missions. Leonardo announced in a press release on 17 February that its Mirach 40 (M-40) target drone had flown its first live missions during a recent training exercise, simulating missile attacks against naval vessels and fighter jets in air-to-air combat scenarios. The exercise involved the Italian Navy aircraft carrier Cavour with its complement of AV-8B+ fighter aircraft training alongside the destroyer Mimbelli. Alberto Pietra of Leonardo’s Airborne & Space Systems Division said privately funded development of the M-40 began four years ago as a more cost-effective solution to the larger Mirach 100/5 for simulating a range of radar, infrared, and visual threats. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
19 Feb 19. US, UK and Australia conclude Exercise Red Flag 19-1. The airforces of the US, UK and Australia have concluded the multinational advanced aerial combat training exercise Red Flag Nellis 19-1 at Nellis Air Force Base (AFB) in Nevada, US. Exercise Red Flag aims to prepare the US and its allies to peer-level adversaries in any combat environment. More than 2,900 personnel assigned to 39 units participated in Red Flag 19-1 along with 95 aircraft.
For the three-week intensive exercise, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) sent six F/A-18A Hornets, one E-7A Wedgetail aircraft, one AP-3C (electronic warfare) Orion aircraft, and up to 370 personnel. The British Royal Air Force’s Intelligence, Surveillance, Targeting and Reconnaissance Force (ISTAR) deployed personnel, a Sentinel R1 from V(AC), an RC-135 Rivet Joint from 51 Squadron and Sentry AEW 1 (E-3D) from 8 Squadron. The US Air Force’s (USAF) 79th Fighter Squadron served in an air superiority role. During the exercise, the aircraft flew day and night missions, covering a range of conditions in the training scenarios.
As part of the exercise, defence personnel established a Task Group Headquarters and a Control and Reporting Centre. Additionally, they provided support to the Combined Air Operations Centre and partnered cyber capability. The Australian contingent received assistance from Medical, Security Forces and Number 1 Combat Communications Squadron in the form of vital support functions.
Task Group Headquarters commander group captain Hinton Tayloe said: “The training our personnel received while on Red Flag has been integral to developing their skills to operate in a hostile battlespace.
“The missions were created to test our aircrew in realistic situations and challenge them in training scenarios that they don’t have access to back home.
“It was also an important experience for our ground staff, who have had to move our personnel and aircraft to the other side of the world and maintain the aircraft in conditions we rarely see in Australia.”
Exercise Red Flag, which is overseen by the USAF 414th Combat Training Squadron, was established in 1975. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
14 Feb 19. Finnish Defence Forces secures Small Arms Indoor Training Simulators. The Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command was authorised by the Ministry of Defence to acquire Small Arms Indoor Training Simulators (SAITS) from Saab AB. Under the contract, Saab will have to provide equipment, software licences and maintenance for three years. The defence forces are intending to offer firearm training for conscripts and reservists through SAITS in 2019. It is aiming for a new learning environment in full training use by 2021. This learning environment consists of computers, a classroom with a video projector and weapon replicas. Troops can be trained in virtual scenarios through an effective, safe and environmentally friendly way.
Procurement of SAITS by the defence forces for approximately €9m is part of the Training 2020 Programme. This programme will impact the way both conscripts and reservists are trained. The contract also includes options for further procurements.
Meanwhile, Saab has signed a four-year framework agreement for a live fire training system for the Norwegian Armed Forces.
This agreement covers all branches of the Norwegian defence. The agreement was signed in January with Norway’s procurement organisation, the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (FMA). Deliveries will commence in October 2019. Under the contract, Saab will provide targetry equipment such as fixed and portable target lifters, moving infantry and armoured vehicle targets, control systems, and Location of Miss and Hit (LOMAH) sensors. Furthermore, the system can be easily configured according to each user’s requirements. Training is also included for users and personnel from the customer’s technical workshops.
Saab Dynamics training and simulation head Åsa Thegström said: “Saab has a solid relationship with the Norwegian Armed Forces stretching back to the 1960s, and during the years, targetry equipment has been supplied to multiple firing ranges.
“This new contract covers training sites across Norway, from the south all the way to the Barents Sea. Norway is receiving a cost-effective, flexible, and user-friendly training system.” (Source: army-technology.com)
14 Feb 19. China signs decree to increase training of PLA troops. Chinese President Xi Jinping has signed an order to step up the training of the country’s two million military personnel to enhance combat readiness. According to media reports, the country’s top military body has not only deployed inspectors but also has a new oversight system to boost the combat readiness of its People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Xi Jinping, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission, signed the decree for a new regulation on the supervision of military training. The regulation will take effect from 1 March.
This kind of military training is claimed to be first of its kind for the country, reported state-run news agency Xinhua.
The regulation has formulated measures that need to be taken to correct practices that are not in line with the requirements of actual combat. Furthermore, it also elaborates the criteria for identifying malpractices and discipline violations during military training of the personnel.
It also details the responsibilities, power and priorities of military training supervision in addition to regularising the methods for performing these works.
This regulation will help strengthen the management of military training.
The country’s military has an annual budget of more than $175bn and is heavily investing in modernising its navy. China’s Navy is being bolstered with aircraft carriers, submarines and battleships. The new training order follows reports of criticism on the lack of stringent training of the PLA troops with new hardware. Retired Chinese naval officer Wang Yunfei commented that training and not hardware is essential for combat readiness as it is the people who use the weapons matter.
Meanwhile, media reports say that China is developing four new nuclear aircraft carriers, which will be deployed to the South-China Sea. (Source: army-technology.com)
Meggitt Training Systems, makers of FATS® and Caswell technologies, a division of Meggitt PLC, is the leading supplier of integrated live-fire and virtual weapons training systems. Following the acquisition of FATS® virtual training systems and Caswell International’s live-fire ranges and services, Meggitt Training Systems continues to grow its capabilities based on the legacy of these two industry leaders. Over 13,600 Meggitt live-fire ranges and 5,100 virtual systems are fielded internationally, providing judgmental, situational awareness and marksmanship training to the armed forces, law enforcement and security organizations. Meggitt Training Systems employs more than 400 people at its headquarters in Atlanta and at facilities in Orlando, Canada, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, UAE, Australia and Singapore. It can deploy service personnel anywhere in the world for instructor training, system installation and maintenance. Learn more at https://meggitttrainingsystems.com/