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26 June 19. QinetiQ signs new contract with the Royal Navy to optimise gunnery training. QinetiQ has signed a new 5 year contract with the Royal Navy that will see the introduction of a dedicated training variant of QinetiQ’s Pointer system to optimise the effectiveness of Anti-Surface Warfare training on a wide range of weapon systems. Developed in partnership with the MOD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), the Pointer data analytics and measurement system provides an effective link between the Command and Control function and weapon operators to counter threats from Fast In-shore Attack Craft (FIAC). The adoption of Pointer T in Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) exercises for the Royal Navy will improve situational awareness and performance evaluation on a range of platforms, while also providing immediate and objective training assurance for all non-firing FP serials.
Featuring a weapon-mounted Laser Range Finder, Pointer T uses encoders to establish the precise position and attitude of weapon systems as well as the location of GPS-tracked threats and determines the nature and impact of ‘hits’. This data is recorded and displayed in real-time on a portable situational awareness tool, providing trainers with accurate and measurable performance data to maximise the effectiveness of training exercises.
“The introduction of Pointer T will provide invaluable feedback and data analytics for FOST trainers while also helping to engage and motivate gunnery teams,” says QinetiQ’s Stuart Hider, Maritime Programmes Director. “Countering the current and emerging threats of piracy, terrorist attack and threats from more capable nations, is vital for all platforms, and this advanced training solution will not only improve situational awareness but also help to determine the most effective tactics to employ for any given threat.”
“We’re delighted to be working with QinetiQ to ensure our FIAC training benefits from the most advanced data analytics and measurement technologies,” says Lt Cdr Richard Dobson, Royal Navy Surface Warfare trainer. “Pointer T will provide us with a highly responsive and cost-effective system to optimise our training capabilities and performance in FP training against small boats and SWARM (coordinated multi FIAC) serials.” (Source: ASD Network)
28 June 19. US Air Force orders more MJAT MQ-9 Reaper simulators with MetaVR image generators. MetaVR announces that the US Army Joint Technology Center and Systems Integration Lab (JSIL) has purchased an additional 86 MetaVR Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG) licenses to provide visuals for the continued rollout of US Air Force MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) simulators.
The VRSG software is used in the Air Force’s MALET-JSIL Aircrew Trainer (MJAT) – a plug-and-play training capability that converts an operational MQ-9 ground control station (GCS) into a training simulator.
Within the MJAT, VRSG is part of the Air Force Synthetic Environment for Reconnaissance and Surveillance (AFSERS) software to stimulate the tactical vehicle control software to emulate GCS functions: air vehicle control, payload control, weapons control, communications, video data transmission and mission planning. VRSG simulates the RPA camera payload by streaming real-time HD-quality H.264 video with KLV metadata.
With its force-multiplying ability to enable RPA operators to train on actual aircraft GCS hardware, using real ISR systems and interacting with networked Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) simulators, the embedded MJAT provides the US Air Force a flexible and cost-effective method to ‘train as it fights.’ The MJAT also provides RPA operators the ability to conduct simulation training as part of their qualification and continuation training. VRSG shares a common baseline with Battlespace Simulations’ Modern Air Combat Environment (MACE), which is used by all MJAT simulators for scenario creation and fully/semi-automated enemy force generation. This coupling enhances interoperability and correlation between MJAT and the large number of fielded VRSG-MACE-based JTAC simulators. This interoperability is critical in the simulated training environment, in order to emulate the joint force interaction and collaboration between Reaper sensor operators and JTACs during real-world missions.
“MJAT allows the US Air Force to maximize the use of its MQ-9 Reaper GCS at all times, to direct existing resource into deployed operations or training capacity in line with shifting demand,” Garth Smith, President of MetaVR commented. “The MQ-9 Reaper joins the growing list of US military UAV/RPA training platforms we support, including the Grey Eagle, Shadow, and Aerosonde.”
These new licenses will extend the roll-out of the MJAT simulator across US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper GCS sites. To date 56 MJATs have been fielded by the Air Force.
28 June 19. IAF to take part in bilateral exercise with French Air Force. The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to take part in a two-week bilateral exercise with the French Air Force to enhance interoperability between the two forces. Known as ‘Garuda-VI’, this is the sixth edition of the exercise. The upcoming exercise will be held between 1 and 12 July at French Air Force Base Mont-de-Marsan. The IAF will be represented at the exercise by 120 aircrew troops, four Su-30 MKI and an IL-78 flight refuelling aircraft. The Indian contingent that has already left for France includes C-17 strategic lift aircraft for logistic support during the induction and de-induction phase. During Garuda-VI exercise, the Su-30 MKI will operate in a simulated operational combat scenario along with the French Air Forces’ Rafale multirole aircraft. In a statement, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said: “This is one of the biggest air exercises that are being planned between the two airforces.
“This will enhance understanding of interoperability during mutual operations between the two airforces and provide an opportunity to learn from each other’s best practices.”
The Garuda-VI exercise will help boost bilateral relations between the IAF and the French Air Force.
The MoD added that IAF air troops will have an opportunity to operate in an international environment.
‘Garuda V’, the previous iteration in the series, was conducted at Indian Air Force Station Jodhpur in June 2014.
India is acquiring 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from France’s Dassault Aviation. The first aircraft under this project is expected to be inducted in September this year. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
25 June 19. Vricon to build One World Terrain for US Army training capability. The Army Contracting Command-Orlando has awarded a prototype other transaction agreement (OTA) to Vricon to build the One World Terrain (OWT) capability of the US Army’s Common Synthetic Environment (CSE). The CSE serves as the platform enabler of the Synthetic Training Environment (STE), which is the army’s future training capability. Units and soldiers will be able to perform realistic multi-echelon collective training in any part of the world using the STE.
CSE architecture allows for interoperability with future capabilities of the STE such as Next Generation Constructive and Live Training Environment. OWT is one of the three foundational components of the CSE. The other two are Training Management Tool and Training Simulation Software. It has the ability to provide an accurate and realistic 3D global terrain that is capable of simulating the army’s operational environment.
Vricon Systems US Government business unit president and CEO Eric von Eckartsberg said: “We are honoured that the army chose the Vricon solution for its OWT capability.
“Because OWT is a pillar of the army’s STE, our solution will help the army to train like it fights and fight like it trains.”
To deliver the prototype project, Vricon will use its Globe in 3D solution to support military training across the world.
The Globe in 3D commercial foundation data layer will enable the development of a geo-specific, high-resolution whole-Earth representation to replicate operational environments.
“The army will be able to train every soldier in the exact same digital environment that they will have at their disposal when it comes time to deploy.”
Vricon’s OWT solution will help align future STE training operations with actual operational requirements in areas such as geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) analysis, mission planning, mission rehearsal, and sensor fusion. Vricon vice-president Isaac Zaworski said: “We see the potential in OWT to spark major innovations for scaling the solution to meet growing demands across the military.
“For the first time in history, the army will be able to train every soldier in the exact same digital environment that they will have at their disposal when it comes time to deploy into active operations anywhere on the planet.”
The contract was awarded under the Training and Readiness Accelerator programme. The award has a potential value of up to $94.76m if all options are exercised. Earlier this week, the army awarded an OTA to VT MAK to provide simulated software solutions for the STE. (Source: army-technology.com)
25 June 19. US Air Force looks to small businesses for an AI-integrated simulator. The U.S. Air Force is hosting an innovation contest for small businesses to improve simulators with technology like artificial intelligence. The Air Force released a list of areas in which it’s interested, including interoperability among networked simulators; cloud-based simulators; and performance-based training, data collection and analysis.
Maj. Patrick Kawonczky, who will lead the Simulators Pitch Day event Dec. 4, told Defense News that artificial intelligence can be used “within a learning management system to suggest techniques, tactics or procedures, which need to be practiced more for proficiency.”
Kawonczky added that AI could benefit the service by improving data analysis, conceptual developmental ideas and predictive analysis in maintenance.
“AI bridges the gap between the human and machine interface,” Col. Philip Carpenter, the senior materiel leader with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Simulator Program Office, said in an email. “It helps orchestrate the interaction with a student and then presents learning material in response to a student’s performance. This allows better customization and can help address the unique needs of each student.”
Proposals from industry are due July 1, after which a two-week evaluation process will occur and then a one-week contracting period, according to an Air Force news release.
The proposal period will be broken up into two phases. The first will involve awards to small businesses, which can then submit proposals for the second phase.
“Select companies with Phase I or Phase II proposals will be invited to present to an Air Force panel at the Simulators Pitch Day event Dec. 4 in Orlando, Florida,” the release said.
After the Simulators Pitch Day, all companies involved can present pitches to defense industry executives and venture capitalists at a media event, the release notes.
“We are not asking small business to go out and invent something new,” Margaret Merkle, program manager in the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Simulators Division, said in the news release. “We are asking if they have technology that we can leverage for the Air Force. Ultimately the idea is to connect with industry which will help us move into the latest technological space faster.” (Source: Defense News)
24 June 19. Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq:KTOS), Unmanned Systems Division successfully completed Swedish Defence Materiel Administration’s (FMV) missile firing exercise with the German Navy. The exercises, hosted by FMV, utilized the jKratos MQM-178 Fireet and BQM-167i aerial target aircraft and support services. During this live-fire exercise in the open water outside of Härnösand, Sweden, 19 Kratos target flights were completed in both high and low altitude patterns allowing the German Navy to run attack scenarios to test multiple weapon systems. Several missions were operated in dual flight configuration, having two target drones flying in patterns and formations to simulate certain ship-defeating threats. Kratos Unmanned Systems is an industry innovator and leading provider of affordable, high performance jet powered unmanned aerial drone systems for tactical missions and target applications.
Steve Fendley, Unmanned Systems Division President of Kratos, said, “We’re honored and excited to be a key part of this important exercise with our allied warfighters around the world. The outstanding multi-year relationship we continue to share with our valued customer and partner, the Swedish FMV, is key to our opportunity and success in both preparation and conduct of critical large-scale missions.” (Source: ASD Network)
25 June 19. Multinational Nato maritime exercise BALTOPS 2019 completes. US 2nd Fleet (C2F) has concluded the Nato joint, multinational maritime-focused exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2019. This is the 47th iteration of the annual exercise designed to improve the safety of sea-lanes and security of the Baltic region. C2F led this year’s exercise that started on 9 June in Kiel, Germany. BALTOPS 2019 marks the first major engagement of the newly established command in Europe. Around 8,600 personnel from 18 nations participated in the naval exercise in a joint operations environment. Assets that took part in the exercise included 50 surface ships, 36 aircraft and two submarines. BALTOPS is aimed at improving flexibility and interoperability between the countries.
Participating nations include Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey, the UK, and the US.
The exercise also involved Nato partner nations Finland and Sweden.
US 2nd Fleet commander vice-admiral Andrew Lewis said: “It is imperative that allies and partners unite to confront today’s challenges.
“Our combined efforts during BALTOPS demonstrate our commitment to regional peace and prosperity. Our presence and professionalism in the region during this exercise will prepare us for future operational commitments and evolving strategic challenges. We are stronger together.”
During BALTOPS 2019, the joint forces completed 389 serials, which is a planning term for a coordinated military exercise.
The exercise also saw the first UK-led maritime deployment of the joint expeditionary force.
In addition, BALTOPS served as the platform for the implementation of the Nato amphibious leaders expeditionary symposium (NALES) concept of multinational command and control of an amphibious taskforce-level capability for the first time. In a joint effort, the German, Norwegian, Danish, and US Navy sailors cleared World War II-era bottom mines near the Bundeswehr Military Training Area in Todendorf, Germany. Another highlight was the US Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Two Eight’s (HSC 28) first use of the Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) and Airborne Mine Neutralisation System-Archerfish (AMNS-AF) in the Baltic region. (Source: naval-technology.com)
25 June 19. Argentina negotiating Pampa sale to Paraguay. Argentina’s FAdeA state-owned aerospace factory and the Argentine government have offered Paraguay six IA-63 Pampa III trainer/light attack aircraft to replace the Paraguayan Air Force’s retired Embraer Xavantes aircraft. The offer, which Jane’s understands was made in late April, specifies that the aircraft would be offered in return for a reduction of Argentina’s debt to Paraguay for electricity from the Yaciretá dam, which is shared between the countries. The value of the contract being negotiated is about USD100m. The deal, if approved by the Paraguayan government, would be the first export contract for the Pampa. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 June 19. Nigerian Air Force reactivates three L-39s. The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) announced on 21 June that it had received three L-39ZA jet trainers that were reactivated in Nigeria by Aero Vodochody, the Czech company that manufactured them, with the assistance of NAF personnel.
“The reactivation will ensure that the NAF increases the number of fighter pilots available to man its existing fighter jets as well as the new platforms, such as the A-29 Super Tucano and JF-17 Thunder multirole fighter, which are to be inducted into NAF inventory soon,” it said.
A ceremony was held to mark the reactivation at NAF 403 Flying Training School, during which Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar said he was very happy with what had been achieved with the Czechs and that he was confident that plans to overhaul another six L-39ZAs would be concluded. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 June 19. Philippine Air Force inducts FA-50PH flight simulator. The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has received and commissioned a flight simulator to train pilots for its fleet of 12 Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) FA-50PH advanced jet trainer/light attack aircraft.
The service said in a statement that an “acceptance, turn-over, and blessing” ceremony for the simulator and its related facility was held on 14 June at the Basa Air Base in Floridablanca, Pampanga province, where the PAF’s 5th Fighter Wing is based. The FA-50PH Flight Simulator was described by the service as a “ground-based simulation training system that can help improve the operational capability of real aircraft through systematic flight training and tactical mission training programs”. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 June 19. US Navy begins anti-terrorism exercise Citadel Pacific. The US Navy has started Citadel Pacific 2019, an annual anti-terrorism force protection exercise intended to increase the readiness of forces.
Running until 28 June, the exercise will involve the participation of US Navy installations in the Pacific, including Joint Region Marianas, Navy Region Japan and Navy Region Hawaii, along with their installations.
Exercise Citadel Pacific is aimed at improving the training, readiness, and capability of navy security personnel so that they can counter threats to installations, commands and units.
Conducted by US Pacific Fleet Commander and Navy Installations Command commander, the exercise will provide realistic scenarios to the participating personnel.
These scenarios will allow the security forces to hone their skills and improve their preparedness to respond to changing and dynamic threats.
The Navy Installations Command consists of around 52,000 military and civilian personnel deployed in 11 regions at 71 installations around the world.
The command provides support services for the military branch’s fleet, fighters and their families.
Officials stated that the exercise is a regularly scheduled exercise and not being held in response to any specific threat.
In a statement, the navy said: “Measures have been taken to minimise disruptions within local communities and to normal base operations, but there may be times when the exercise causes increased traffic around bases or delays in base access.”
Last month, the navy held a multinational exercise in the Western Pacific. The Pacific Vanguard exercisenear Guam also involved warships from allies Japan, Australia and South Korea, including three destroyers and two frigates. More than 3,000 forces took part in the six-day exercise. (Source: naval-technology.com)
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