22 Oct 20. Largest RAF exercise in the UK for many years begins. The largest military exercise to be run by the Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom for over a decade has begun. Exercise Crimson Warrior will see RAF, Royal Navy, United States Marine Corps and United States Air Force fast jets, multi-engine aircraft and helicopters operating from a number of RAF stations across the country.
At its peak Crimson Warrior will see over 70 aircraft conducting high intensity tactical training together over the North Sea and North East of England.
The exercise is a development of the regular Cobra Warrior exercises, widely regarded as the most challenging training for aircrew and the final step for those seeking to qualify as Qualified Weapons Instructors (QWI), Qualified Multi-engine Tactics Instructors, QWI Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and Qualified Space Instructors Course.
The expanded Crimson Warrior includes land based training scenarios for the Lightning stealth fighters and helicopters that will form the Carrier Strike Group Air Wing for next year’s operational deployment of the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The Exercise will develop and test the tactical leadership skills of aircrew and supporting personnel within highly complex training scenarios. The aim is to develop their abilities to devise, plan and practice tactics and procedures in a realistic environment against a capable simulated adversary.
“Exercise Crimson Warrior is the largest and most complicated flying exercise we have held for many years and it is a vital part of the preparation for HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first operational deployment”.
“The Exercise will challenge participants from both the UK and the USA’s air forces in the full range of Air and Space power roles, and it has been just as much of a challenge to organise and run, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, I am confident that the precautions we have taken have reduced the risks to participants and the public as much as practicable.”
Group Captain Rob Barrett, Exercise Director.
The exercise began on the 19th October and will run until 5th November 2020 and is being controlled by specialist directing staff from 92 Squadron at RAF Waddington. (Source: Warfare.Today/RAF)
21 Oct 20. Ghanaian Navy opens new training complex. Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo inaugurated a new Naval Training Command (Navtrac) facility that aims to be a regional centre of excellence for West Africa.
“The establishment of this ultra-modern training facility is one of the most important decisions taken by government, through the Ministry of Defence and the Military High Command,” the president said during the opening on 20 October.
The new facility is located at the site of a defunct fruit processing factory on the eastern bank of the Volta estuary in the South Tongu District of Volta Region.
In his televised speech, Chief of the Navy Staff Rear Admiral Seth Amoama explained how this location “offers opportunity for waterborne training on the river and easy access for training boats to sail out to the open sea, along the same concept as the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, UK, where most Ghanaian naval offices were trained”.
The initial development consisted of a floating jetty, obstacle course, recruit accommodation, and dining facility and began training in 2016, with the first recruits graduating the following year.
Rear Adm Amoama subsequently suspended the training “to develop this training command into a world-class training facility that accommodates all navy training schools that are currently located in operational commands and also develop the command into a maritime training centre of excellence for the sub-region”.
Work on the first phase began in September 2019 and included the construction of a command headquarters building, school for maritime operations, recruit training school administration block, instructors’ accommodation, medical centre, library, and mosque. (Source: Jane’s)
21 Oct 20. South Korean navy receives first dedicated training ship. The Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) received on 20 October its first dedicated training ship, according to an announcement made the following day by South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).
Named Hansando (pennant number ATH 81), the 142 m-long vessel, which had been launched at Hyundai Heavy Industries’ (HHI’s) Ulsan shipyard in November 2018, is expected to enter service in early 2021 and be based at the Jinhae Naval Base in South Gyeongsang Province.
Built under the RoKN’s Training Ship Experimental (ATX) programme, the vessel, which has a standard displacement of 4,500 tonnes and incorporates stealth features in its design, will have a crew complement of 120 and enough room to accommodate more than 300 trainees, according to DAPA.
The vessel features a computer-based training system that can simulate combat situations as well as operations aboard various RoKN ships, including frigates and destroyers.
Hansando also has three classrooms and lecture halls and is fitted with dual stern ramps for launching rigid-hull inflatable boats, as well as a hangar that can accommodate up to two medium-sized helicopters.
It also features a sick bay, three operating rooms to deal with patients in critical condition, and a negative-pressure room to handle outbreaks of infectious diseases on board. This will enable the vessel to also carry out disaster relief missions and provide medical support in case of incidents out at sea. (Source: Jane’s)
20 Oct 20. Ravenswood establishes subsidiaries in UK and Kenya. Ravenswood Solutions has established two new subsidiaries, Ravenswood Technologies UK Limited and Ravenswood Technologies Kenya Limited, after winning a five-year contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to execute the Tactical Engagement Simulation in Kenya (TESIK) program.
Ravenswood created the subsidiaries to better serve both the UK MoD client and the TESIK program’s end user, the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK). Ravenswood Technologies UK is set up in Bath close to the MoD’s Bristol office, while Ravenswood Technologies Kenya is based in Nairobi near two BATUK installments.
“Our new subsidiaries will facilitate closer ties with the TESIK program’s stakeholders,” said Ravenswood President and CEO Dan Donoghue. “Through Ravenswood UK, we will provide better direct support to our MoD customer and be more accessible to our Europe-based subcontractors. Ravenswood Kenya will strengthen our relationship with the BATUK and our Nairobi-based training staff.”
About Ravenswood Solutions
Ravenswood Solutions, a subsidiary of SRI International, provides government agencies and commercial clients with technology and services for combat training, test and evaluation of vehicles and equipment, and policy analysis events. Our field-proven packages include high-fidelity instrumentation, advanced global positioning and mapping, realistic training effects, and turnkey support services that are customized for each client.
Ravenswood leverages more than 20 years of experience in technology insertion, training support, and sustainment services. This heritage of world-class technology and dedication to customers has made us the leading provider of mobile instrumented training and performance assessment for military ground troops and other security forces, while opening the door for industries such as civil response, logistics, and behavioral research to explore new applications for the technology. (Source: PR Newswire)
20 Oct 20. CAE delivers flight training simulator to New Zealand Air Force. CAE has officially delivered a helicopter flight training simulator to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). CAE has officially delivered a helicopter flight training simulator to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).
The Canadian company was contracted in 2018 by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) to deliver a CAE 700 Mission Reality (MR) Series NH90 flight training device (FTD) for RNZAF.
The simulator was installed at RNZAF Base Ohakea with remote virtual support from CAE staff in Montreal and Australia. The on-site installation works were carried out by a range of teams, including local CAE staff.
The device is now ready for use and will enable RNZAF crew to undertake military helicopter flight and mission training.
Specifically, the system will allow the crew to rehearse ship deck and confined area landings.
The CAE 700MR Series NH90 simulator comes with an extreme field-of-view visual display system (240° horizontal by 88° vertical) with imagery generated by the CAE Medallion-6000MR image generator.
It is also equipped with a dynamic seat to support vibration and motion cueing.
CAE Asia / Pacific managing director Matthew Sibree said: “This advanced NH90 simulator means Royal New Zealand NH90 aircrews can train safely and cost-effectively in New Zealand.
“The realistic training capability provided by the NH90 simulator will enable the RNZAF to maximise the availability of the NH90 fleet for operational taskings while ensuring aircrew are prepared for the wide range of missions they are called on to perform.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)
20 Oct 20. Joint US-Aussie training marks full operational status for RAAF F-35 capability. While Royal Australian Air Force pilots and maintenance trainers based at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona wrapped up much of the training presence in 2019, the joint capability developed by the US Air Force and RAAF has meant Australia’s F-35 capability is now fully operational.
The Royal Australian Air Force has returned a majority of its F-35A Lightning II pilots, maintainers and aircraft to RAAF Base Williamtown, NSW, in December 2019, but still maintains a joint pilot-training and maintenance presence at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.
Luke AFB plays a central role in fulfilling Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s national defence priority of strengthening alliances and partnerships by training alongside the RAAF.
Major Christopher Baker, 61st Fighter Squadron instructor pilot and graduate of the F-35A pilot training program at Luke AFB, attests to the importance of the training partnership between the US Air Force and the RAAF.
He explained it is extremely rewarding to reinvest and train both nationalities in the same aircraft with the same tactics: “I feel like we contribute something to the US Air Force training mission by bringing our own unique perspectives, configuration, roles and environments to the mission, just like the US Air Force mission brings that to us as well. I think that’s what’s really useful about it being combined.”
According to US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Tom Hayes, 61st FS commander, three components enable the successful integration of the RAAF and the US Air Force: the platform, common tactics and the objective of training the world’s most capable fighter pilots.
“Other than the way the aircraft is painted, they’re all exactly the same, so we have that common platform of flying the F-35. The common tactic is sharing the same training strategies between the RAAF and the US Air Force,” Lt Col Hayes explained.
MAJ Baker said the COVID-19 delayed some of the RAAF student pilot training but the student pilots are determined to complete their requirements swiftly and efficiently.
“I am continually amazed at how the students learn so quickly. They come in the door knowing very little or nothing about the F-35 and four or five months later, they’re flying high-end, large force-employment exercise missions with multiple aircraft involved in a dense surface-to-air missile threat scenario,” MAJ Baker explained.
The chances of the RAAF and the US Air Force working together in a deployed environment is very likely according to MAJ Baker.
Lt Col Hayes added, “Most of the Australian pilots that have come through here at Luke (AFB) have worked with the US Air Force before in the Middle East. I don’t think you’d meet many RAAF or US Air Force pilots that haven’t interacted with each other before in some capacity, either operationally or in an exercise somewhere.”
MAJ Baker explained that the RAAF established one operational and one training F-35A squadron at RAAF Base Williamtown and plans to establish another operational squadron in January 2021. As of October 2020, five RAAF F-35s are assigned to the 61st FS.
The first F-35 was delivered to RAAF Base Williamtown in 2018 and the 30th F-35 is scheduled to return to Australia by December 2020. Seventy-two F-35s are ordered and the last one is projected to be delivered to Australia by 2024.
MAJ Baker said the RAAF is aiming to declare initial operational capability – when a capability achieves its minimum threshold to support operations – by December 2020, ahead of the timeline. The RAAF’s first B-course for student pilot training is scheduled to launch in January 2021 and will be taught by instructor pilots who trained at Luke AFB.
In 2019, 34 fighter pilots were assigned to the 61st Fighter Squadron and 17 were RAAF pilots. As of October 2020, there are five RAAF instructor pilots, seven student pilots and two maintainers who continue to execute the joint training partnership mission.
Lt Col Hayes added that Luke AFB will continue to maintain an alliance with the RAAF in the future through exchange programs. The joint pilot-training at Luke AFB makes RAAF’s F-35 mission fully operational in Australia.
“To be able to keep those formal connections, we’re heavily looking into exchange programs where we’re actively trying to get one of our pilots to get an exchange assignment at RAAF Base Williamtown. They would serve over there for two or three years, just like we have exchange assignments with other partners. The Air Force Personnel Center is actively seeking applications to send,” Lt Col Hayes added.
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is billed as a catalyst for the fifth-generation revolution, changing the face and capability of the RAAF and the wider Australian Defence Force.
For the RAAF, the F-35A’s combination of full-spectrum low-observable stealth coatings and materials, advanced radar-dispersing shaping, network-centric sensor and communications suites – combined with a lethal strike capability – means the aircraft will be the ultimate force multiplying, air-combat platform.
The F-35A – the variant chosen by the RAAF – will have with a projected life of 30 years in service. 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/A-18A/B Classic Hornets that have been in service with the RAAF since 1985. (Source: Defence Connect)
19 Oct 20. Inzpire Limited Delivers Space Training to NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. A team of training experts from Inzpire Limited has recently delivered the company’s Military Use of Space Capabilities course to 42 NATO personnel from the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC).
42 students from the UK, US, Netherlands, Turkey, Germany and France attended the three-day course which covered a range of space-based subjects including orbits; earth observation; satellite communications; and deterrence and counter-space operations. The multi-national training cohort contained personnel ranging from SNCO up to Lt Gen, including Commander ARRC Lt Gen Sir Smyth-Osbourne and Deputy Commander Maj Gen D’Addario.
Inzpire’s non-executive director Air Marshal Philip Osborne (retd) closed the course by providing a UK 3* commander’s perspective on the space domain and its importance.
Kelly Bindemann, Inzpire’s command, control and space subject matter expert, who assisted in the design and delivery of the training said: “we are delighted to be supporting our NATO partners and helping them to develop their understanding of the space domain. The Military Utility of Space Capabilities course provided a comprehensive three-day foundational package in a domain of warfare that NATO has recognised to be critically important. The enthusiasm and engagement of the HQ ARRC audience demonstrated a clear commitment to enhancing their understanding of space”.
Gp Capt Martin Cunningham, Chief of the AOCC at HQ ARRC said: “as NATO and HQ ARRC develop their understanding of space, we need to understand what it delivers to the modern warfighter and how we need to adapt in order to exploit it. This immersion training of the HQ staffs is part of the development of a ‘Virtual’ space team, by having everyone understand what space can do for them rather than a singular specialist team. It has significantly increased our operational effectiveness and is all part of our multi-domain concept”.
Brigadier John Oldroyd, Chief of the Joint Fires and Integration Branch (JFIB) at HQARRC said: “the Military Use of Space Capabilities Course was fantastic. Our staff are now better equipped to exploit the domain to our advantage and enhance our resilience against those that may seek to disrupt this warfighting domain. Space is everyone’s business and must be fully considered in the plan. This training is another step towards the ARRC genuinely being 5-D by design”.
Inzpire’s Military Use of Space Capabilities course – which is part of Inzpire’s Training Academy – gives students an understanding of the principles behind the space environment, space weather and the orbits currently used by satellites. Trainees graduate with the ability to identify the roles in which space-based capabilities support terrestrial activity and a full understanding of the command, control, and coordination of space-based activity.
Inzpire’s Training Services Division
Inzpire’s training services division provides integrated, sustainable and cost-effective training solutions for military and civilian customers. The company’s operationally experienced instructors design and deliver bespoke training in simulated, live and collective environments and provide full training analysis services.
Inzpire’s Training Academy
Inzpire’s Training Academy provides classroom-based study and practical training across a wide range of subject areas including: electronic warfare; cyber; intelligence; and human factors. With over 70 commercial-off-the-shelf subjects to choose from, each course can be delivered flexibly to suit the customer’s training requirements.
19 Oct 20. Airbus Unveils AFJT Concept for the Spanish Air Force. The Spanish unit of Airbus has unveiled a new advanced jet trainer concept that it intends to offer to the Spanish Ministry of Defense to replace the C-101 and F-5 aircraft currently in service for advanced pilot training.
Called Airbus Flexible Jet Trainer (AFJT), the project is now just a paper study, and was presented to Spanish media last week by Fernando Peces, head of the Spanish Eurofighter program for Airbus Military Aircraft, and Javier Escribano, head of Future Combat Programs.
Images released by Airbus depict the AFJT as a single-engine, tandem two-seater, with a fuselage of conventional design not unlike the Mako light combat aircraft designed by Airbus predecessor companies in the 1980-1990s.
Airbus says that the AFJT project was designed by and for Spain, and is positioned as the operational, industrial and technological development solution that would allow the country to continue with its position as a leading player in the aerospace and defense sector.
AFJT would be entirely managed by the Spanish unit of the company’s Military Aircraft division, the former CASA, which already makes the C295, A400M and A330MRTT aircraft, produces the Eurofighter’s right wing and assembles Spanish Eurofighters. Airbus Spain would be in sole charge of the design, integration and assembly of AFJT, with Spanish subcontractors providing as much as possible of the necessary components and subcomponents.
To make the project even more attractive for the Spanish government, Airbus says additional variants could follow from the AFJT, possibly including a light attack fighter or and an aggressor-type combat training aircraft.
Airbus claims that every 100m euros invested in the AFJT would generate between 2,100 and 2,500 jobs in Spain, returning about 36m euros in taxes and social contributions to Spanish coffers of. In addition, Spain would receive royalties if the aircraft was exported to other countries.
The cherry on the AFJT cake, however, is the Airbus suggestion that Spain, like its FCAS partners France and Germany, will need a similar trainer for the future New-Generation Trainer. If all three countries were to participate in the AFJT project, development costs would be shared among the three, although it is not clear what role Spain could play if it became the very junior partner.
Airbus estimates that the Spanish Air Force will need 50 to 55 aircraft to replace the F-5 and the C-101 in the training role as well as those in its aerobatic teams. On the export market, Airbus estimates that between 500 and 800 trainers will be required until 2029, without counting possible light attack and aggressor variants. (Source: defense-aerospace.com)
16 Oct 20. CAE USA close to securing first international full-spectrum fixed-wing training customer. CAE USA expects to contract its first international customer for a full fixed-wing flight training programme by the end of 2020 or early in 2021, according to a company official.
Ray Duquette, CAE USA president and general manager, told Janes on 15 October during the Association of the United States Army’s (AUSA’s) annual trade show that this customer will train on the company’s Grob G 120TP twin-seat turboprops before returning home to fly on its own platforms. The Grob G 120TP is the same aircraft CAE USA uses to train US Army fixed-wing pilots before they go on to fly the service’s Beechcraft C-12 Hurons.
The customer will train at CAE USA’s Dothan Training Center in Alabama. The company owns and operates six G 120TPs at Dothan.
A full fixed-wing flight training programme includes academic, simulator, and live flight training. The deal will be a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) arrangement through the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) Security Assistance and Training (AFSAT) programme. CAE USA, along with Wyle Laboratories, is on the Multi-Aircraft Flight Training 2015–20 indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) federal contact vehicle.
Under the FMS programme, the US uses the Pentagon’s acquisition system to procure defence articles and services on behalf of its partners. The Department of State approves individual programmes on a case-by-case basis. (Source: Jane’s)
16 Oct 20. Cubic Wins Contract to Supply F-35 P5 Ground Subsystem for UK Ministry of Defence Training. Cubic Mission and Performance Solutions to support Royal Air Force training and Royal Navy Carrier Strike Group training exercise.
Cubic Corporation (NYSE:CUB) today announced its Cubic Mission and Performance Solutions (CMPS) business division was awarded a contract to deliver a P5 Combat Training System (P5CTS) ground subsystem with live monitoring to support Royal Air Force (RAF) training and a Royal Navy (RN) Carrier Strike Group (CSG) exercise, taking place in the United Kingdom this fall.
“Used in more than 30 ranges worldwide, our advanced and interoperable P5CTS sets the standard for joint, multiservice and coalition training,” said Jonas Furukrona, vice president and general manager of LVC Training, Cubic Mission and Performance Solutions. “We look forward to providing additional training capability via our P5 ground subsystem for the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force F-35 training.”
P5CTS provides secure, tailorable and scalable instrumentation solutions that best support warfighter needs in air-to-air, air-to-ground and surface-to-air combat training missions. All partner F-35s are equipped with the P5 Internal Subsystem (IS), that provides encrypted Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation (ACMI) for coalition military forces to train on a common platform. To date, over 600 F-35 P5 IS have been delivered to Lockheed Martin, with the majority of those currently installed and flying on U.S. and partner F-35s.
A key component of the P5CTS, Cubic’s P5CTS ground subsystem is the first to be exported for training for the F-35, allowing multiple range service providers the ability to integrate the RN and RAF F-35 into its range training systems. The P5CTS ground subsystem enables the live monitoring and management of P5-equipped aircraft with a single ground station and remote range unit. These ground stations can be upgraded with an encryption module for the live monitoring of F-35s carrying P5 IS. The P5 ground station upgrade, referred to as Block 4A in the U.S., has been installed at six U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy bases. The Block 4A fielding plan currently includes an additional 18 encryption modules (EM) for the U.S. Air Force and 15 EMs for the U.S. Navy for training range upgrades.
The ground subsystem is a foundational element for air combat training exercises as it will enable combined training for squadrons from the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and U.K. partner nations. It incorporates the Individual Combat Aircrew Display System (ICADS), which supports individual pilot debriefs at homestations or mass debriefings in theater environments. The ground subsystem will be installed by Cubic at the MOD Hebrides Range and will add another training range to P5CTS’ global network. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
About InVeris Training Solutions
InVeris Training Solutions combines an agile approach with an unmatched expertise in training technology to design and deliver customized, cutting-edge, first-rate training solutions that keep military, law enforcement, private and commercial range clients safe, prepared and ready to serve – Because Seconds Matter™. With a portfolio of technology-enabled training solutions, and a team of more than 400 employees driven to innovate, InVeris Training Solutions is the global leader in integrated live-fire and virtual weapons training solutions. With its legacy companies, FATS® and Caswell, InVeris Training Solutions has fielded over 15,000 live-fire ranges and 5,100 virtual systems globally during its 90-year history. The Company is headquartered in Suwanee, Georgia and partners with clients in the US and around the world from facilities on five continents.