Sponsored by Meggitt Training Systems
28 Mar 19. Meggitt Training Systems Commences Delivery on US Army Targeting Equipment Orders. Meggitt Training Systems, the leading provider of integrated live-fire and virtual weapons training products and services for armed forces and law enforcement, is fulfilling five delivery orders that form part of a vital US Army combat skills training program for American and allied warfighters.
The $4.26m in orders, awarded by Tank-automotive & Armaments Command during the latter half of 2018 and being installed in 2019, are part of the Army Targetry Systems III indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity, five-year contract. The five orders are for the following facilities:
- Camp Perry, Ohio: An Automated Record Fire range and a Combat Pistol Qualification Course equipped with Stationary Infantry Targets (SITs).
- Camp Grafton, North Dakota: A Combat Pistol Qualification Course and Modified Record Fire range equipped with Stationary Infantry Targets.
- Camp Shelby, Mississippi: Two Modified Record Fire ranges equipped with Stationary Infantry Targets.
- Camp Williams, Utah: An Automated Record Fire range equipped with Stationary Infantry Targets.
- Fort Campbell, Kentucky: An Infantry Platoon Battle Course and a Multipurpose Training Range equipped with Stationary Infantry Targets, Stationary Armor Targets, Moving Infantry Targets and Moving Armor Targets.
“Meggitt Training Systems has won more delivery orders through all three Army Targetry Systems’ contracts since 2002 than anyone,” said Jon Read, Meggitt’s live-fire systems director. “Our success in capturing this business is based on experience of fielding more than 75,000 infantry target systems at 122 military bases around the world.”
Meggitt products are proven to be reliable and flexible to support both skills qualifications events and more complex unit-collective training. The company’s offerings include a variety of multi-function and stationary infantry targets, as well as moving infantry and armor targets, to provide maximum realism during training.
For example, Meggitt Training Systems’ Stationary Infantry Target is a remote-controlled pop-up target actuator, capable of supporting a variety of US and NATO target silhouettes. The target adapts to a variety of range environments, infrastructures and operational constraints, and does not contain hydraulic fluids, contaminants or hazardous toxins. Lightweight and portable, SITs are easily transported and stacked for deployment or storage. The SIT performs all standard target commands such as expose, conceal, hit-fall, hit-hold and hit-bob. The user can easily program any combination of commands in scenario mode without affecting the default settings. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
28 Mar 19. US Army’s ‘Defender Pacific’ drill to focus on South China Sea scenario. The U.S. Army’s major exercise in the Indo-Pacific theater in fiscal 2020 will focus on a South China Sea scenario, Gen. Robert Brown, the commander of U.S. Army Pacific, told Defense News in a March 26 interview at the Association of the U.S. Army’s Global Force Symposium. The service is funding two major exercises in FY20: one in the Pacific and one in Europe.
The exercise is fueled by a rising China, characterized in the National Defense Strategy as a long-term, strategic competitor of the United States. The NDS lays out a world where great power competition rather than counterterrorism will drive the Defense Department’s decision-making and force structure.
While the U.S. Army has 85,000 permanently stationed troops in the Indo-Pacific region and is already conducting exercises such as Pacific Pathways with allies and partners, the service is aiming to practice rapid deployment from the continental United States to the Pacific.
The plan is to bring over a division headquarters and several brigades over the course of a 30- to 45-day period along with their enablers, Brown said.
“They will get the challenge of coming to the Pacific with the Pacific-assigned forces already there,” he said, “and we won’t go to Korea, we will actually go to a South China Sea scenario where we will be around the South China Sea; and another scenario we can do that is the East China Sea.”
The exercise will consist of many things the Army has not practiced at such a large scale, Brown said. Forces will be in countries like the Philippines and Thailand, and they will likely work with other countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. The South China Sea has been a hotbed of contention for several years. China has laid claim to the area, building artificial islands in disputed waters with military facilities on them, with the country claiming it has the authority to restrict international navigation.
The “Defender Pacific” exercise is expected to be complex and have a joint and multinational focus, Brown emphasized.
Meanwhile, the service is also expanding its Pacific Pathways exercises conducted throughout the calendar year for roughly five years. The plan is to extend the time Army units are in countries, which translates to going to fewer places.
Brown said the Army realized staying longer would benefit both the host nation in developing the local military and U.S. units so they can learn complex skills in unique training environments.
The Army recently wrapped up Pacific Pathways exercises in Thailand and the Philippines, spending more than three months in Thailand and four months in the Philippines, as opposed to just several weeks, Brown said.
Thailand wanted to work with the U.S. Army because it plans to buy Stryker combat vehicles, so a Stryker unit was deployed there to help the local military get acquainted with the system. The U.S. Army unit in turn learned how to better employ the vehicle in the complex terrain of Thailand. Thailand should receive Strykers in the fall, Brown noted.
The Army also traveled to the Philippines to help the government develop brigade combat teams, he said. The Philippines are forming BCTs to respond more quickly to a crisis after experiencing a “long, terrible struggle” following the Islamic State group’s takeover of the city of Marawi. ISIS dug into the city before the Filipino army could respond, which led to a five-month-long conflict in 2017, according to Brown.
“Every country in the Pacific wants a ‘Pathways’ except North Korea, I haven’t heard from them, and China,” Brown joked.
The service is actually talking to India about spending more time in the country with a larger number of troops — expanding from roughly just a few hundred up to 2,500 for a duration of up to six months — which “gives us a presence in the region longer as well without being permanently there,” Brown said.
He noted that just because units are staying in fewer countries for longer doesn’t mean they aren’t gaining experience in other places. In many cases, smaller units break off and deploy to countries to participate in exercises or other training events. The Army will send companies to Palau and Fiji, for example, Brown said. (Source: Defense News)
28 Mar 19. Partnership to enhance ADF’s simulation training capabilities. The Australian government, in partnership with Lockheed Martin Australia, has made a significant investment to upgrade the ADF’s simulation capabilities in order to support Defence personnel in future operations.
Lockheed Martin Australia will be supported by NEC Australia and Calytrix Technologies in this important project to provide more simulation-supported training events on a broader scale and ensure that simulation-enabled collective training is conducted in secure and realistic environments as part of JP9711.
Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said the contract Defence had entered into with Lockheed Martin Australia formed part of the government’s total investment of $897m in ADF simulation capabilities.
“The partnership with Lockheed Martin Australia will deliver Defence’s core simulation capability and result in new simulation technologies integrating with existing ADF systems,” Minister Pyne said.
Senator Linda Reynolds, Minister for Defence Industry, said the Lockheed Martin Australia consortium required a skilled workforce, increased by 100 personnel for this project, to deliver this transformative capability.
“I congratulate the consortium for their continued involvement in science, technology, engineering and maths programs. The Core Simulation Capability Project is another example of the government supporting Australian industry by providing opportunities to excel,” Minister Reynolds added.
As a former reserves officer, Minister Reynolds highlighted the importance of enhanced training and simulation capabilities for the modern ADF, saying, “We want our soldiers, sailors and aircrew to be fully prepared for any situation they may face. Simulation is a vital part of that preparation and provides training opportunities that are not always possible in real-world situations.”
Lockheed Martin Australia leads a team of partners providing a uniquely Australian solution for the ADF, creating up to 100 jobs located in Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth. This partnership is at the heart of Lockheed Martin Australia’s enduring commitment and presence in Australia as an industry partner and sovereign capability enabler.
Vince Di Pietro, chief executive of Lockheed Martin Australia, said: “JP9711 will transform the ADF’s approach to training and simulation, ensuring the latest technologies are used to best prepare our service personnel for the complexity and challenges of the future.”
The partnership with Calytrix Technologies and NEC underpins Lockheed Martin’s continued commitment to developing and sustaining relationships with highly innovative high-tech local companies.
Calytrix is a prime example of Lockheed Martin Australia’s commitment to supporting Australian-owned businesses, delivering not just job opportunities but the further development of its cutting-edge virtual 3D training software (Titan), thus enhancing local IP and export opportunities.
This contract is an example of supporting opportunities for local sovereign industry to successfully compete for prime contracts in both local and global supply chains.
Amy Gowder, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Training and Logistics Solutions based in Orlando, Florida, said: “We are very excited to offer this capability to the ADF. Our Distributed Mission Training capability integrates live, virtual and constructive entities into one shared training environment, creating interoperability across all military platforms.”
“We’re going to leverage our proven track record of integrated simulation training system delivery, bringing our very best capability to Australia,” Gowder added.
Calytrix Technologies procides simulation solutions to many defence forces globally. Shawn Parr, chief executive officer of Calytrix Technologies based in Perth, Western Australia, said Calytrix has been instrumental in providing simulation support for the total system.
“Calytrix has been a key developer of the ADF’s current joint simulation capability since 2006. The JP9711 program provides the opportunity for Calytrix to directly leverage this experience and to support the warfighter well into the future with next generation training technologies and services,” Parr said.
NEC Australia demonstrates its commitment to the ADF with the delivery of a world-class training and simulation platform, providing the ICT infrastructure backbone and interfaces for the end-to-end JP9711 solution.
Mike Barber, NEC Australia managing director, said: “We were chosen for this partnership because of our world-leading ICT capabilities and delivery to enterprise and government, including Defence, and to know that this will be used by our present and future Defence personnel in their training is a proud moment for our company.”
Under JP9711, Defence requires Core Simulation Capability (CSimC) services that will meet the demand for Simulation-enabled Collective Training in order to meet ADF’s preparedness directives.
The target CSimC capability sought by Defence is the capability to realise an available on demand, integrated and distributed managed simulation service, including enhancement and sustainment services, which underpin ADF single-service, joint and combined (with allies) simulation-enabled collective training. (Source: Defence Connect)
27 Mar 19. USAF and British RAF take part in joint training exercise Point Blank. Personnel from the US and UK airforces have participated in the latest iteration of exercise Point Blank in Yorkshire, UK. The exercise involved the US Air Force’s (USAF) 48th Fighter Wing and British Royal Air Force (RAF) personnel. Point Blank is designed to increase tactical proficiency of the US Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa and Ministry of Defence forces. The latest exercise witnessed participation from F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 492nd and 494th Fighter Squadrons, RAF Typhoon, Hawk and F-35B Lightning jets.
48th Operations Group deputy commander lieutenant colonel James Cooper said: “Point Blank aims to simulate threats and scenarios our operators are likely to experience in combat.
“Flying alongside our RAF partners and coordinating with the joint terminal attack controllers on the ground does just that. The realism we achieve by replicating threats and partnering with our allies to achieve shared operational objectives ensures both of our nations are trained and ready to fly, fight and win together, whenever called upon.”
According to the USAF release, this is the first time UK ground controllers integrated with US aircraft during a large-force exercise. The event builds on the existing readiness training partnership between the two countries. Point Blank involved a training scenario developed by UK and US planners to align objectives for both forces. 48th Operations Support Squadron F-15E Pilot captain Andrew Lyons said: “The mission set is highly contested, close-air support with dynamic targeting involving a high-value individual.”
Lyons noted that this iteration involved a focus on contested or degraded operations as a component of the training as against dynamic and changing targeting scenarios in the past. He further stated that the multi-role F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation stealth aircraft enabled pilots to take part in more complex and contested operations. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
27 Mar 19. Royal Marines finish Arctic training with fierce test in Sweden. Months of intensive training for Britain’s winter warfare specialists reached its climax as Royal Marines went into battle with their Scandinavian counterparts in the Arctic snow. Some 350 Royal Marines from 40 Commando in Taunton joined Norwegian troops and US Marines in a week-long mock battle trying to invade Swedish territory – with the hosts and Finnish troops blocking their way.
Exercise Northern Wind is the largest military exercise involving NATO and partner nations this winter, played out by upwards of 10,000 troops around the town of Haparanda at the head of the Gulf of Bothnia.
The Royal Marines – Britain’s experts in cold weather warfare – have spent the opening weeks of 2019 acclimatising to conditions in the Arctic around Bardufoss in northern Norway, before learning how to fight in sub-zero temperatures.
With the Norwegians and Americans, they helped form a 5,000-strong force which then had to be shipped 800km from Norway to the exercise area on the Swedish-Finnish border; it took 17 trains, 59 vehicle convoys and 75 buses to ship all the troops and their equipment ready for ‘Battle of Eastern Norrbotten’.
The exercise was intended to enhance the Swedish Army’s ability to defend the country from an attack in the high north.
Swedes stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Finnish troops, using armour and motorised infantry to fend off the attacking Norwegian-led battle group in sub-zero temperatures.
“The forces were ‘fighting’ in some of the most challenging conditions in the world,” explained Lieutenant Simon Williams of 40 Commando, based at Norton Manor, near Taunton.
“The snow was waist deep, conditions were freezing and the alpine forests dense. So movement was tough – but the Royal Marines are trained to exploit this environment.”
On skis or in their Viking armoured vehicles, they tried to outflank their foes, ‘fighting’ alongside Norwegian reconnaissance specialists.
The commandos have also spent much of this winter passing on their Arctic knowledge and experience to the US Marine Corps – something which paid off as the two marines corps ‘fought’ side-by-side in the Swedish snow.
“I think it is extremely import training out here in these harsh conditions; you see the United States Marines Corps and your first thought of them is as hot weather specialists,” said Corporal Brandon Burrows of the United States Marine Corps.
“Our transition towards working in cold weather is vital. It has also been great as leader to learn from our allied forces.”
Lieutenant Williams said the 350 marines would return to Somerset at the very top of their game after their extensive – and intensive – Arctic workout.
“Northern Wind tested everything we have learned over the winter and added some new challenges. It also gave us the opportunity to see how other military survive and fight in such a harsh environment,” he continued.
“Above all, Royal Marines have demonstrated their ability to fight side-by-side with NATO and European allies in the High North. This will reinforce the fact that the UK and its partners are committed to deter any military aggression in the region.” (Source: U.K. MoD)
25 Mar 19. Field Aerospace completed the first flight of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) T-1A aircraft with the modernized flight deck on Friday, March 22. The first fully modified Combat System Officer (CSO) aircraft flew two successful consecutive check flights from Field Aerospace’s Oklahoma City facility. Last spring, the USAF awarded Field Aerospace a contract to modernize the avionics on the entire T-1A trainer fleet of 178 aircraft plus 30 training devices. The fleet comprises CSO and Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT) aircraft. Working with subcontractors Nextant Aerospace, Collins Aerospace, HEBCO and FlightSafety International, Field Aerospace is the prime for this flight deck modification program. Field Aerospace’s modernization updates the avionics suite and adds Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) Out, eliminating avionics obsolescence issues for the aging aircraft.
“These first two flights were a success and a very important step toward providing future USAF aircrew with access to modern avionics for aviation training and simulation,” said Brian Love, Field Aerospace’s Chief Commercial Officer. “This milestone would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our Oklahoma team and our partners.”
The modernization includes updating the fleet to the Collins Aerospace Pro Line 21TM system and enables the T-1A fleet to meet the FAA’s ADS-B Out mandate to support the trainer’s standing requirement to access the National Airspace System. The T-1A aircraft are medium-range, twin-engine jets used for advanced-phase training of airlift and tanker pilots. Most of the USAF T-1A fleet supports SUPT, with the balance used for CSO training. They are stationed across five U.S. operating bases.
19 Mar 19. Singapore and German armies conduct bilateral live-firing exercise. The Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) have completed the bilateral live-firing exercise held in Germany. The firing exercise was conducted as part of the Exercise Panzer Strike 2019, which is the 11th in the series.
Carried out at the Oberlausitz Military Training Area (OMTA), Germany, the live-firing exercise saw the participation of nearly 170 servicemen from 1st Company, 48th Battalion Singapore Armoured Regiment (48 SAR) representing Singapore, and personnel from Panzerbataillon 393 representing Germany.
The OMTA allows the SAF to train efficiently by enabling simultaneous live-firing of up to four ranges for armoured divisions. This will enhance the capabilities of the SAF Armour formation.
Approximately 1,200 soldiers from 48 SAR and Armour Training Institute (ATI), 14 Leopard 2SG Main Battle Tanks (MBT) and 16 Bionix Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) participated in Exercise Panzer Strike 2019, which is held in two training sessions each year.
Soldiers will participate in training sessions that will involve live-firings with the Leopard 2SG MBT and Bionix IFV to enhance their gunnery and manoeuvre skills.
Exercise Panzer Strike aims to develop and secure bilateral defence relations between Singapore and Germany that began with the signing of the enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (eDCA) in 2018.
Based on the first DCA signed in 2005, the eDCA focuses on future cooperation in non-conventional security areas between both countries.
This includes military exchanges, high-level visits, policy dialogues and technological collaboration between both countries. (Source: army-technology.com)
21 Mar 19. STS to build second 5GAT demonstrator for US DoD. US-based company Sierra Technical Services (STS) has been selected to build a second demonstrator of the 5th Generation Aerial Target (5GAT) aircraft. The follow-on contract option was awarded by the US Army Corp of Engineers Contracting Office (USACE), Sacramento, US. The initial contract for design, development, fabrication and testing of the 5GAT demonstrator was procured by the company on 24 March 2017. Both contracts are managed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation. As a prime contractor for 5GAT aircraft since 2006, STS has been working with two major subcontractors, Fast and Optimal Engineering (FOE) and 5-D Systems.
The high-performance, unmanned fighter-size 5GAT aircraft will be used for air-to-air and ground-to-air weapon evaluation, pilot and ground forces training.
There are two afterburning jet engines are fitted within the aircraft’s 95% carbon fibre airframe.
US troops will be able to use the aircraft to counter ‘Threat Representative’, ‘Low Observable’ full-scale aircraft adversaries in a combat situation.
The first 5GAT aircraft demonstrator is scheduled to fly by mid-2019. STS completed the critical design review (CDR) for the 5GAT demonstrator in June. STS noted that the second demonstrator ‘is a 21-month to first flight programme’. Design, manufacturing and subsystems integration work for both aircraft will be carried out at the company’s facility in Tehachapi, California, US. (Source: army-technology.com)
21 Mar 19. Iran Holds Massive Drone Exercise over Persian Gulf. Squadrons of unmanned aerial vehicles flown by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps attended a large-scale war game over the Persian Gulf last week to practice an assault operation. In the combat and assault drill, codenamed ‘Ela Beit ul-Muqaddas-1’ (Towards al-Quds)*, the IRGC Aerospace Force flew tens of military drones toward a target on a tiny island in the Persian Gulf. The strike aircraft, including 50 Iranian versions of the US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drones, took off from bases as far as a thousand kilometers away from the operation zone to bomb the target. During the war game, attended by IRGC Lieutenant Commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami and Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the 50 Iranian RQ-170 drones and a number of other combat and assault pilotless planes raided a spot on Bani Farur Island in Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.
All the aircraft in the war game successfully bombed the target at the same time. In comments on the sidelines of the drill, Commander of the Khatam al-Anbia Headquarters Major General Gholam Ali Rashid said the large-scale war game with such a high number of homegrown drones, some of which have reached the target zone from far distances for a precise air raid, should humiliate the US.
In separate remarks, Brigadier General Hajizadeh said the presence of squadrons of drones in the airspace of a small area heralds the rise of new air power in Iran.
He said the drones, belonging to the IRGC units in the provinces of Khuzestan, Bushehr, Fars and Hormozgan, launched the simultaneous air raid on the target on the Bani Farur Island.
The IRGC also employed a number of drones similar to the American MQ-1 Predator, the general noted, describing such a breakthrough as a slap in the face of the US and a reminder that the huge US military spending in the region produces such results.
In December, the IRGC Ground Force launched massive military drills in southern parts of Iran.
Iran’s Armed Forces hold routine military exercises throughout the year.
Iranian officials have repeatedly underscored that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, including its missile power, which are entirely meant for defense, and that Iran’s defense capabilities will be never subject to negotiations.
Back in February last year, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei called for efforts to maintain and boost Iran’s defense capabilities, hitting back at the enemies for disputing the country’s missile program.
“Without a moment of hesitation, the country must move to acquire whatever is necessary for defense, even if the whole world is opposed to it,” Ayatollah Khamenei said on February 18, 2018. (Source: UAS VISION/Tasnim News Agency)
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/