04 May 22. Comprehensive integrated training: Rheinmetall supplying the Bundeswehr with training rigs and state-of-the-art augmented reality systems for A400M maintenance training. The German Air Force has turned once again to Rheinmetall’s simulation and training expertise for training its personnel in the A400M military transport aircraft. In December 2021 Rheinmetall won the tender from Germany’s Federal Agency for Bundeswehr Equipment Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) for advanced training rigs and augmented reality (AR) systems for training maintenance and repair personnel for the A400M. The order is worth a figure in the lower two-digit m-euro range.
The plan currently calls for equipping the Technical Training Centre of the German Air Force’s Department North at Wunstorf Air Base with several high fidelity training rigs, including an AR capability. Developed specially for this user, they will enable effective, highly realistic training of maintenance and repair personnel, without tying up the actual aircraft. As a result, training operations will not adversely affect the availability and readiness of Germany’s A400M fleet.
By combining the training rig with supplementary AR, the concept developed by Rheinmetall Electronics enables a comprehensive, integrated approach to training that encompasses the relevant maintenance procedures, including all work steps. It is also possible to use the training rigs without the AR system.
The training rigs are detailed replicas of various parts of the A400M aircraft. Thanks to an integrated concept comprising the training rigs and supplementary AR system, maintenance personnel can practise maintenance procedures just as if they were working on a real aircraft. This includes pre- and post-operational activities in and around the aircraft as well as the actual mechanical procedures. The AR system is able to depict activities that cannot be practised on the training rig, ensuring better overall comprehension in each training situation, while simultaneously placing tasks conducted on the individual rigs into the proper context.
Instruction conducted with the training rigs is certifiable in accordance with DEMAR, Germany’s military airworthiness regulations.
This training concept for the A400M platform is a beacon in the modern training of maintenance personnel pointing the way forward not only for the Bundeswehr but also for the armed forces of other A400M user nations. Moreover, the concept can be adapted for use with other platforms.
Representing a well-aimed expansion of the Group’s comprehensive A400M Rear Crew Training product line, the training rigs and AR system significantly widen the spectrum of Rheinmetall training assets.
Besides the training rigs and AR, Rheinmetall supplies additional cargo training devices to various A400M user nations. These include the A400M Cargo Hold Part Task Trainer (CPTT), different advanced Cargo Hold Trainer Enhanced (CHT-E) systems as well as the Load Master Working Station Trainer (LMWST).
03 May 22. US PACAF-led exercise RED FLAG-Alaska 22-1 commences. The exercise is designed to provide realistic training to participating airmen in a simulated environment. The US Air Force’s (USAF) Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) has commenced the first iteration of the multilateral exercise, RED FLAG-Alaska (RF-A) 22-1. Conducted on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), the RF-A 22-1 exercise began with primary flight operations at the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex on 28 April. The exercise will conclude on 13 May. The first iteration of the exercise is witnessing participation of around 2,200 service members from the US.
Service members from Great Britain and Canada were also a part of the exercise.
During this iteration, the participating members will support more than 90 aircraft from nearly 25 units.
The aircraft will be based at and fly out of JBER and Eielson Air Force Base (AFB), in Alaska.
The joint training will allow the service members to exchange several techniques, procedures and tactics with each other, as well as improve interoperability skills.
USAF 354th Operations Group Detachment 1 operations assistant director major William Hock said: “We are excited to welcome Great Britain and Canada to this iteration of RF-A.
“Their participation allows the opportunity to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures while we train for full-spectrum engagements and large-scale joint engagement.”
RF-A 22-1 aims to provide realistic combat training to the airmen in a simulated condition.
In addition, the exercise will enhance international engagement with the US allies and other partner nations.
Hock added: “I am excited to integrate with our international and joint partners to train within a realistic threat environment.
“This RED FLAG drives participants to push their capabilities and sharpen their lethality with every sortie.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)
02 May 22. Nato’s MARCOM-led SAR exercise Dynamic Mercy begins.
The exercise aims to enhance search and rescue collaboration procedures between Nato and non-Nato countries. Several personnel and units from ten Nato and partner nations have commenced the annual multinational maritime search and rescue (SAR) exercise, Dynamic Mercy, in the Atlantic.
Led by the Nato’s Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM), the exercise is being held in the Norwegian Sea and will conclude on 17 May. It began on 19 April.
Dynamic Mercy is witnessing the participation of Nato’s SAR units and facilities along with the member nations of Nato’s Partnership for Peace programme.
The ten nations are France, Iceland, the UK, the US, Norway, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Faroe Islands.
Dynamic Mercy 2022 iteration will take place in three different areas including Atlantic North, Atlantic Middle and Atlantic South.
The exercise in the Atlantic North region is scheduled to take place on 19 and 20 April and on 11 May in the northern part of the Norwegian sea.
The Atlantic Middle region exercise was conducted on 26 April in and around the southern part of Norwegian Sea, Skagerrak and the northern parts of the North Sea.
Meanwhile, the exercise in Atlantic South will be carried out on 16 and 17 May in the middle and southern regions of the North Sea and the English Channel.
Throughout the exercise, the personnel and units from the participating countries will train together, in compliance with the procedures and standards mentioned in the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) manual.
Dynamic Mercy exercise offers an opportunity for the participating nations to develop cross-boundary and inter-regional cooperation between the Rescue Coordination Centres of Nato’s allies in the Northern region.
The exercise also strengthens the coordination between the Nato’s partner nations that have similar Search and Rescue Region (SRR) boundaries. (Source: naval-technology.com)
29 Apr 22. RAN unveils new Maritime Intelligence and Information Warfare School. The school is designed to support the Royal Australian Navy’s capabilities in intelligence and information warfare, training the next generation of officers across electronic warfare, intelligence, cryptology and imaging. According to Defence, the Maritime Intelligence and Information Warfare School based at HMAS Watson was based upon the Training Authority – Maritime Warfare’s School of Maritime Warfare bringing together information and intelligence specialists from across Navy. The new school aims to centralise the training of these warfighting capabilities in one location, according to Lieutenant Commander Rich Morris.
“Navy had established operational and strategic agencies for intelligence and information warfare, but there was no dedicated organisation to deliver centralised training on the waterfront,” LCDR Morris told Defence News.
“The opening salvoes of the next conflict will be in the information domain and, therefore, our trainees are the vanguard, but the tools of our trade and the vectors of attack are constantly evolving.
“We must be agile to ensure that our trainees are ready for the worst-case scenario.”
The school is expected to continue growing over the coming years, while working closely with Australia’s intelligence agencies.
Electronic intelligence instructor Leading Seaman Jacob Wiremu explained how the new school would benefit the next generation of intelligence and information warfare officers.
“It will allow the free flow of information and integration of specialisations within the Navy and will improve information warfare in terms of understanding the roles and responsibilities of fellow category members,” LS Wiremu explained to Defence News.
“The reliability of such a new and modern training precinct is what was needed for a long time here at HMAS Watson. (Source: Defence Connect)
29 Apr 22. Two RAF Typhoon FGR4s deploy to Portugal for fighter integration training. The training allowed deployed aircrew to learn from each other’s tactics and procedures. The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has deployed two Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 fighter aircraft to the Iberian Peninsula for fighter integration training. The RAF multi-role jets conducted the training with their counterparts in the Portuguese Air Force. The deployment will project UK’s airpower over the Western Mediterranean and Atlantic region along with its commitment to defend the airspace of the Nato allies. As part of the air integration training, the two Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 flew from the RAF’s Lossiemouth airfield in Elgin, Scotland, and transited north towards the Monte Real Air Base (AB) in Portugal.
The Typhoons are operated by the RAF’s 9th Bomber (B) Squadron.
The Monte Real AB also houses the Portuguese Air Force’s 201 and 301 Fighter Squadrons, both of which are responsible for operating F-16 Falcon aircraft.
Recently, the multi-role F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft fleet has also achieved the 100,000 flying hours mark.
An RAF Lossiemouth Typhoon FGR4 pilot said: “It is always a privilege to work alongside international colleagues.
“This deployment has provided an opportunity to develop training and tactics with our Nato partners and demonstrates the strong bond and operational understanding between the two Air Forces.”
The operation provided several training opportunities and allowed the deployed aircrew to learn from each other’s tactics and methods.
The training also allowed the RAF’s pilots to fly alongside the Portuguese Air Force’s squadron to carry out various fighter manoeuvres.
RAF Brize Norton’s Voyager aircraft supported the journey of the Typhoons to and from Portugal by conducting air-to-air refuelling of the jets. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
29 Apr 22. Colombia chooses South Korea’s TA-50, FA-50 as next jet trainers, officials say. Colombia’s Air Force has chosen a mix of TA-50 and FA-50 Golden Eagles as its next jet trainers, military sources told Defense News. The Air Force plans to acquire at least 20 advanced jet trainers with air-to-air and air-to-ground combat capabilities under a project estimated to be worth $600 m.
The Air Force has denied negotiations are underway to procure the Golden Eagle variants, made by Korea Aerospace Industries. But local sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press, said the Colombian government has acknowledged the Air Force’s preference for the South Korean aircraft and has insisted negotiations with KAI also involve Leonardo.
The Italian firm was shortlisted during the competition process and had offered its M-346 advanced jet/lead-in fighter trainer. The inclusion of competitors is meant to help Colombia negotiate the best deal.
Colombia is buying new aircraft to replace its Cessna A-37B Dragonfly twin-engine, light-attack jets, which were retired in June 2021. They were used in both counterinsurgency missions and as tactical trainers. The new aircraft are also expected to temporarily fill a capability gap left by the aging fleet of Israeli-made Kfir jets, Colombia’s main combat aircraft. The Air Force is to begin retiring its Kfirs in 2023, most likely without a replacement on hand.
Fitted with ELM-052 active electronically scanned array radars from Israeli firm Elta Systems and armed with beyond-visual-range Derby missiles from Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Colombia’s Kfirs are among the top operational fighters in South America. But maintenance and operation costs have grown too expensive, leading to limits on flight hours and forcing the Air Force to decline invitations to international exercises, such as Red Flag in the U.S.
This would not be the first time Colombia and South Korea work together. Colombia was one of the countries that contributed troops to United Nations efforts in the Korean War.
In 2012, the Colombian Navy ordered an undisclosed number of South Korean-made SSM-700K anti-ship missiles to upgrade its four German-built Padilla-class ships. And in 2014 and in 2020, the South Korean Navy donated secondhand corvettes to its Colombian counterpart.
The Golden Eagle was developed in collaboration with Lockheed Martin in the late 1990s and first introduced into service in 2005. It is powered by a General Electric F404 turbofan, can reach speeds of Mach 1.5 and has a flight range of 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles). It can be armed with short-range, infrared-guided air-to-air missiles and air-to-ground weapons. There are plans to integrate the beyond-visual-range missiles AIM-120 and Derby as well as light AESA radar technology. (Source: Defense News)
28 Apr 22. Winner-Takes-All for U.K. Army’s Training, Simulation Contract. The British Army on April 28 revealed its game plan for its new training and simulation program — it will award a single-source contract worth more than 600m pounds that will run for 10 to 15 years.
The Collective Training Transformation Program is the British Army’s long-term program that intends to modernize its currently out-of-date training with live, virtual and constructive systems.
Service officials for the first time revealed their plans to roll out the program over the next decade and a half at the IT2EC trade show in London, the continent’s largest annual training and simulation confab.
With a guarantee of hundreds of ms of pounds and work that will endure for up to 15 years, the contract will be hotly contested by major defense contractors involved in training and simulation.
Mike Cooper, senior responsible owner of CTTP in the Ministry of Defence, said the U.K. Army has 600m pounds to spend over the first 10 years of the contract plus an additional £200m in investment money to get the program going.
“With the program running 15 years, clearly the final contract value will be greater than that,” he said in a panel discussion.
Officials at the conference laid out a timeline that will end with a contract award in the later part of 2025. Prior to that, in phase one, requests for information will be released around January 2023. Phase two will result in several companies receiving contracts to develop and submit their ideas.
The next phase will whittle down candidates further while officials research the company’s ability and capacity to do the work. The next phase will cut the competitors down to two candidates with the winner revealed in 2025.
“There is a balance being struck between wanting to get on with this as quickly as we can, but also having sufficient information and confidence — both in terms of the numbers and to get the relationship [with the contractor] right. Because at the end of the day, this is going to be a massive commitment of taxpayers’ money,” Cooper said.
CTTP has air and maritime versions as well with the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy on their own paths to modernize what they believe are outdated training and simulation systems. Earlier in the conference, a navy representative said the sea service had only received authorization to kick off its version of the program about two weeks ago. The Royal Navy is approximately two years behind the RAF, he said.
The British Army, meanwhile, wants a flexible system adaptable to changes in technology that are sure to happen over the next 15 years, officials on the panel said.
“Flexibility is multifaceted. It is the ability to train in different places linked to an expeditionary [force] but also about timing. When do you want to train? What do you want to train?” Cooper said.
The Army wants “the ability to analyze and deliver training in a more data-informed, evidence-based approach,” he said. It wants to train wherever soldiers are in the world and to move data around quickly.
It also wants to be interoperable so it can train with partners and allies, he added.
“Clearly synthetics … will play a massive part in this,” he said, referring to computer-based simulations. “We’re looking at a whole, massive, immersive and rich and complex environment.”
The system will also emphasize training in complex, urban environments, Cooper said. That is a factor the U.K. Army has known about since before the current conflict in Ukraine, he added.
Cooper said, while this will be a single source contract, and the British Army will consider the winner a strategic partner, “this is not about outsourcing training. We cannot transfer that ultimate risk” to industry, he added.
“This is about a strategic partner supporting us, having a system that works, but is still under the direction and control of the army,” he said. (Source: glstrade.com/National Defense)
29 Apr 22. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has inaugurated the SPYDER Defense System Simulation and Training Center in the Philippines in a ceremony held in the facility at an Air Base in Floridablanca, Philippines.
“This is yet another milestone in the ongoing Ground Based Air Defense System project and it is definitely a very important one. Certainly, the launchers and the missiles are a valuable asset, but the materiel is worth little without the air defender. It is not enough to hold the best systems, we have to train hard and maximize our potential as well as that of the systems. This training center comes to build the future generation of Philippine air defenders, their resolute spirit and professionalism.”
Executive Vice President, Brigadier General (Ret.) Pinhas Yungman, Head of the Air & Missile Defense Directorate, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems
In a ceremony held on April 26, 2022 RAFAEL’s Executive Vice President Pinhas Yungman, Head of the Air & Missile Defense Directorate. Secretary of National Defense of the Philippines Delfin Lorenzana, Commanding General of PAF Lt. Gen. Connor Anthony Canlas Sr., SIBAT Director for Asia and the Pacific Eytan Levi, and other officials took part in the official opening of the training center. During the ceremony, Secretary Lorenzana along with PAF Senior Leaders were able to see first-hand, the missile engagement simulation and the training capabilities provided by the center. The SPADS Simulator – Training Center is the Philippine Air Force’s first missile training center which will serve as a training ground for future air defenders to prepare them for real-time threats as well as enhancing personnel knowledge and skills. The training center is part of the GBADS Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force which will further enhance the nation’s defensive capabilities.
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