20 Apr 21. Partnership for Peace nations join NATO for Baltic Air Policing training. Partnership for Peace (PfP) nations, Finland and Sweden, have joined NATO for Baltic Air Policing (BAP) training for the first time, the alliance announced on 20 April.
NATO Allied Air Command said that the two PfP nations joined Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland for the first joint iteration of Exercise ‘Ramstein Alloy 21-1’, running from 20 to 21 April.
“The exercise will cover two days of training, practicing real-world scenarios faced by personnel deployed in support of BAP. The scenarios covered will be a slow-moving intercept of an [Antonov] An-2 and civilian communication loss with escort. Focus on other areas such as a simulated crew ejection with activation of the search-and-rescue chain, air-to-air combat training and air-to-air refuelling and others will occur in the later iterations,” NATO said, adding, “It is important to consistently drill and practice procedures and co-ordination processes among allies and partners.”
NATO air policing is conducted above all allies in Europe. The BAP mission is one of several such endeavours whereby nations with the capability provide protection for those without it. Another is the recently constituted Southern Air Policing mission based in Bulgaria and Romania, as well as similar missions that cover Albania, Iceland, Slovenia, and the BENELUX nations of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. (Source: Jane’s)
22 Apr 21. RAN tests new meteorological equipment. Personnel have undertaken a training exercise to test newly acquired deployable meteorological equipment.
The Royal Australian Navy’s Maritime Geospatial Warfare Unit (MGWU) has tested deployable meteorological equipment recently brought into service, as part of Exercise Sparrow.
The exercise, which took place on 8 April in a field adjacent to HMAS Penguin in Sydney, was led by Lieutenant Matthew Bell, a member of the unit’s Mobile Meteorology and Oceanography Team Two.
The aim of the exercise was to test and familiarise personnel with the components and capabilities of the equipment, used to conduct rapid environmental assessments during Defence exercises and operations, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and amphibious operations.
“The ability to collect in-situ meteorological data in these scenarios significantly enhances our awareness of the battlespace,” MGWU Commanding Officer Commander Jo Haynes said.
“Geospatial information is a key enabler to providing a comprehensive and superior understanding of the operating environment to inform command decision-making.”
Several branches of the unit’s team were involved in the exercise, including logistics, communications and engineering elements.
As part of the exercise, a remote aviation forecasting centre was set up, comprising of an automatic weather station, an upper air sounding system to launch weather balloons, and a portable weather radar.
“Exercise Sparrow was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the capability we can provide with meteorological aviation support to defence operations,” LEUT Bell said. (Source: Defence Connect)
21 Apr 21. Turkey’s indigenous sniper simulator set to make its debut. Canada: Campaigners continue the fight against French anti-religion law
The development will allow for a more seamless and cost-effective basic sniper training for Turkish security forces.
Leading Turkish defence giant Havelsan has developed a sniper simulator that is ready for use and will first be put into service at a commando training centre in Turkey’s central-western Isparta province.
Developed in a short period of time to meet the demands of urban operations, and following the feedback of Turkish security forces, the simulator has been upgraded and its effectiveness reached its peak.
The development is another contribution towards Turkey’s Vision for 2023 project, which consists of a list of goals that includes ranking among the top ten economies and becoming self-sufficient in defence.
There are many private companies and public enterprises working on producing high-tech military equipment such as ASELSAN, Turkish Aerospace Industries, Roketsan, TUBITAK, Baykar, Tusas and FNSS Defence Systems.
Among them is Havelsan, which has been providing software-based solutions within the Turkish defence industry and develops technological products that meet the training needs of security forces.
The recently developed simulator allows security staff to practice aiming, distance determination, binocular adjustment and shooting techniques in a training environment with real equipment without using live ammunition.
By using the simulator, basic sniper training will be conducted cost-effectively and will be carried out with much more ease than previous systems.
One of the most important features of the simulator is that it eliminates the need for providing a secure area for training and also enables safe training with real weapons and equipment in desired environmental scenarios.
By using real equipment and ballistic models in the simulator, Havelsan’s product differentiates itself from other existing technology.
Havelsan also manufactures flight simulators, the Virtual Maintenance Training System, the F-16 simulator and the Airbus A320 full-flight simulator, all developed under the Simulation, Autonomous and Platform Management Technologies Center.
The company has also been playing a vital role in Turkey’s TF-X National Combat Aircraft (MMU) programme — a joint project by the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and SSB — which will be ready to launch its maiden flight using a domestic engine in 2029.
Based on the programme, Havelsan will develop the turbofan jet fighter engine for the craft and will ensure the establishment of the design and test verification infrastructures of plant, control models and the development of computer-based design tools to meet quality assurances.
19 Apr 21. QinetiQ’s progressive investment sets new standard in Training, Test and Evaluation. Three new helicopters join the QinetiQ fleet at MOD Boscombe Down to deliver unrivalled capacity and industry-leading capabilities –
Providing test pilots and flight test engineers with cutting edge resources and the very latest learning tools has helped to keep ETPS at the forefront of flight test training for both military and civil customers for over 75 years. QinetiQ’s latest £multi-million investment in three new helicopters will further extend the fleet of aircraft available to ETPS and trials customers and give talented pilots, engineers and aircrew access to the most advanced and systems-rich helicopters of any test pilot school.
Due to achieve initial operating capability this summer (2021), the new aircraft comprise two Agusta A109S Grand helicopters and a Leonardo AW139 helicopter fitted with an integrated Electro-Optical and Infra-Red (EO/IR) camera turret and a modern, complex avionics suite. Every airframe in the QinetiQ fleet based at MOD Boscombe Down will also benefit from additional enhancements including comprehensive Flight Test Instrumentation suites.
The latest expansion to the QinetiQ fleet takes the investment in new training, test and evaluation capabilities to well over £100m over the past three years and, significantly, will provide unprecedented operational capacity and service capabilities for QinetiQ’s customers training at ETPS or in delivery of test and evaluation projects.
Delivering such advanced Test and Evaluation capabilities will be of particular value to customers from both the military and civil sectors. They will also offer considerable benefits for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and form a key part of QinetiQ’s one stop shop for Aviation Special Mission Services through the Aircraft Engineering Centre (AEC) and the QinetiQ Civil Flying Organisation (QCFO) capabilities.
“Staying ahead of the curve is absolutely vital in the challenging world of Test and Evaluation – both here in the UK and on the international stage,” says Simon Tate OBE, QinetiQ’s Director of Operations Air and Space. “This substantial new investment will ensure we do just that. And it will provide all ETPS customers and students with the additional assurance that comes from using the very best learning resources available. We are now also in a position to provide a complete Test and Evaluation solution for customers by providing aircraft, design, production, installation, test and evaluation training as well as ongoing flight operations for any Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance mission. That all amounts to a very significant service and capability advantage for mission-led innovation and operational agility.”
As the world’s first test pilot school, ETPS has trained over 1500 students from no less than 32 different countries over the past 75 years. Building on its heritage as the premier school for military flight test professionals, it is now also providing dedicated and fully accredited courses for civilian customers. QinetiQ is a world leader in the field of testing and evaluation and works with the Air Warfare Centre (AWC) under the Long Term Partnering Agreement with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to deliver ETPS. All courses at ETPS comply with EASA regulations and it one of only three flight test schools in the world – and the first in the UK – to be recognised as an EASA Approved Training Organisation.
10 Apr 21. The Artillery Reservists of the Estonian 2nd Infantry Brigade last week practised combat on TURMTULI 21 in Põlva County in Southern Estonia. The members of the Defence Forces of the 25th Artillery Battalion belonging to the 2nd Infantry Brigade practised the duties of TURMTULI in Põlva County during an exercise held this week.
The main goal of the exercise was to check and practice the activities in achieving combat readiness. Until now, the training of the battalion has taken place mainly in the central training ground of the Defence Forces and elsewhere in Lääne-Virumaa, but in terms of both tasks and area, the exercise was very similar to a real military conflict.
“Exercise TURMTULI 21 presented challenges from the individual soldier to the battalion commander and provided a good opportunity for both staffs and units to hone their military skills and practice cooperation between types of weapons,” said Major Meelis Laanemets, Commander of the 25th Artillery Battalion.
Yesterday [9th] the Defence Forces of the 25th Artillery Battalion moved back to Lääne-Virumaa, where they will take part in the combat shootings at the Defence Forces’ central polygon [training area] next week. In addition to the soldiers of the 25th Artillery Battalion, the Defence Forces of the 1st Infantry Brigade Air Defence Battalion, the Intelligence Company and the Rear Battalion also took part in the exercise – a total of nearly 650 people.
The 25th Artillery Battalion is the main indirect fire unit of the 2nd Infantry Brigade, whose main weapon is 122-millimetre howitzers D-30. The main task of the artillery in combat activities is to support the offensive and defensive activities of infantry units from a distance with heavy weapons. The personnel of the battalion will receive training in the artillery battalion of the 1st Infantry Brigade in Tapa, where the artillery competence of the Defence Forces is concentrated in peacetime.
The historical predecessor of the 25th Artillery Battalion is the 2nd Artillery Regiment, the legacy of which is also reflected in the flag and hand emblem donated to the military unit in 2017. (Source: joint-forces.com)
12 Apr 21. US Air Force Special Operations and the US Army mounted a HIRAIN mission into an airbase near Constanta in Romania on Saturday 10th April. USAF Special Operations Forces from the 352d Special Operations Wing and US Army gunners from the 41st Field Artillery Brigade 41st Field Artillery Brigade, coordinated with NATO allies, executed another successful HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) Rapid Aerial Insertion mission, known as a HIRAIN, near Constanta in Romania on Saturday 10 April 2021. HIRAIN activities demonstrate USEUCOM’s (US European Command’s) ability to quickly employ long-range precision fires across the theatre in a time and place of their choosing, using dynamic force employment while employing cross-domain fires capabilities with NATO allies and partners. A USAF KC-135 Stratotanker and aircrew from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, stationed at RAF Mildenhall in England alongside 352d SOW, supported the mission undertaken by Grafenwöhr-based artillery brigade’s 1-77th FAR HIMARS launchers. (Source: joint-forces.com)
15 Apr 21. First E-2D Advanced Hawkeye D-DRT complete Fleet Mission Testing. The US Navy has announced the successful completion of Fleet Mission Testing of the first two E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Distributed Readiness Trainers (D-DRT).
The US Navy has announced the successful completion of Fleet Mission Testing of the first two E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Distributed Readiness Trainers (D-DRT).
Testing was completed at naval air station (NAS) Norfolk in Virginia and are viewed as ‘Ready for Training (RFT)’.
The Delta System Software Configuration 3 (DSSC-3) aircrew trainers were delivered five months ahead of schedule.
According to Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), these are the first DSSC-3 trainers for the fleet.
The trainers offer a low-cost, medium fidelity device for the carrier airborne early warning pilots and naval flight officers to train.
This device enables a full ‘E-2D crew of two pilots and three flight officers’ to practice. It implements a complete set of intermediate and advanced tactics, including mission-critical coordination skills.
Airborne Command, Control and Logistics Wing (ACCLOGWING) deputy commodore captain Chris ‘Mullet’ Hulitt said: “The D-DRT provides a unique capability above other E-2D training devices to support ‘reps and sets’ in execution-based advanced integrated tactical skills, where a medium fidelity device meets the training need.
“The improved operating system gives instructors the ability to push aircrew through more advanced and complex tactical scenarios.” (Source: naval-technology.com)
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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 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 7,500 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.