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30 Oct 19. British and French gunners train together. The British Army’s 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (7 Para RHA) has carried out a joint training exercise with France’s 35e Régiment d’Artillerie Parachutiste (35e RAP) at the Castlemartin ranges in Wales.
Exercise Gallic Marauder tested the British and French gunners’ ability to control and co-ordinate fire from each other’s weapons. Fire Support Teams, who co-ordinate artillery and close air support for troops on the ground, called in fire missions from 7 Para RHA’s 105mm light guns and 35e RAP’s 120mm mortars, as well as airstrikes by French Navy Rafale fighters.
The training strengthened links between 7 Para RHA and 35e RAP as part of the Airborne Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (A-CJEF), a partnership between 16 Air Assault Brigade and 11e Brigade Parachutiste. The two brigades provide the airborne rapid reaction forces for their respective armies, and the A-CJEF has been trained and ready to deploy on operations ranging from combat missions to disaster relief since 2013.
7 Para RHA Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Justin Baker said: ‘Gallic Marauder is our critical training opportunity to develop the partnership with our French counterparts, 35e RAP, developing our understanding and confidence in each other’s kit and procedures.
‘We each bring similar capabilities and unique properties to the relationship, with our light guns and the French 120mm mortars combining to bring additional flexibility to what we can deliver together.’ (Source: Shephard)
01 Nov 19. US Army success for aussie aerospace SME. Queensland-based Ryan Aerospace Australia has been awarded a contract to supply the US Army at Fort Rucker, Alabama – the world’s largest helicopter training facility.
Ryan Aerospace Australia has been awarded a contract to supply more than 30 HELIMOD Mark III helicopter simulators for the US Army at Fort Rucker, Alabama.
The contract is part of the Army’s “Aviator Training Next” or “ATN” Program, an experimental, yet innovative, new way to provide helicopter pilot training during the primary phase using the latest in virtual reality (VR) technology and high-end, commercially available helicopter simulator equipment.
Managing director of Ryan Aerospace, Chris Ryan, said, “Delighted to partner with the US Army and prime contractor SAIC to work on this ground-breaking project.”
The system is supported by an after-action review software package that automatically assesses, grades and logs the student’s performance.
The project is multi-faceted and many teams are working together to ensure the best possible outcome. A dedicated team based at West Point (the US Military Academy) will be conducting a thorough research project to objectively assess the outcomes of the project and report back on ways to improve it even further.
The experiment will run until mid-2020, upon which the US Army will decide if this is a valid means of training.
All 31 systems have been delivered and installed ahead of schedule and the US Army Aviators have commenced the experimental training. Ryan Aerospace (Australia) has been working with Precision Flight Controls (PFC) based in Sacramento to support the project.
The HELIMOD Mark III was designed to teach real helicopter pilots the art of long lining/vertical reference/slung loads and hover training.
HELIMOD Mark III is a VR head-mounted display that puts the user directly in the pilot’s seat of virtually any aircraft. There is a full sense of immersion brought about by the 3D, stereoscopic nature of the VR goggles.
The pilot has the ability to ‘look around’ the aircraft and, more importantly, can lean out the side and look directly underneath the helicopter (such as looking down at your slung load). This is perfect for teaching the basics of vertical reference.
The HELIMOD Mark III is portable and deployable making it ideal for small offices, trailers, shipping containers etc. The main base is just 28 inches wide (700mm) and 51 inches long (1,300mm).
The HELIMOD Mark III enjoys a number of key features and benefits, including:
- Full immersion in the cockpit with the ability to look around (including directly down for vertical reference/long lining operations);
- Modular and reconfigurable (aircraft-specific modules and controls can easily be added/interchanged), including main instrument panels, avionics suites, GPS etc;
- USB “Plug and Play”. Can be used with a variety of software platforms dependent on the training requirement;
- Cyclic has force trim function with stick shaker option available;
- Pedals have high quality hydraulic dampening;
- Collective has high quality hydraulic dampening and friction control;
- Main frame has durable Rhino Coating with recessed, rugged handles for easy movement. Internal parts over-engineered to withstand the harshest of operating environments;
- Retractable wheel system for easy movement available as an option;
- Small footprint. Can fit in a small office, trailer or shipping container and is entirely portable;
- Package deals with PC, configured software and virtual reality headset available;
- Motion platform available;
- Adjustable seat and scalable; and
- Can also be used with LCD screens or projectors for the out-the-window visuals instead of/as well as the virtual reality headset.
HELIMOD Mark III builds on the success of Ryan Aerospace’s Mark II unit, which proved highly successful at the Heli-Expo in Las Vegas recently.
This contract has helped win Ryan Aerospace a Queensland Premier’s Export Award and made it a finalist in the upcoming National Awards. (Source: Defence Connect)
31 Oct 19. AMC opens new maritime training simulation facility in Sydney. Darling Harbour in Sydney is the home of brand new maritime training simulators after the establishment of a new facility by AMC Search. AMC Search is the training and consultancy division of the Australian Maritime College (AMC).
The unique facility is linked to the National Centre for Maritime Simulation in Tasmania and combines replica ship and vessel communications equipment with highly realistic ocean, coast and port backdrops for immersive maritime training.
AMC Search said the simulators are “as vital for Australia’s mariners as they are for its aviators, providing familiarisation and emergency training that helps keep our tens of thousands of maritime workers – and the billions of dollars of goods they transport – safe at sea”.
AMC principal Michael van Balen, AO, said the new Sydney facility would boost safety in the maritime industry by making simulated training accessible to more people.
“Familiarisation with equipment and processes as well as the ability to practice emergency situations in a safe but realistic environment are key to keeping people safe at sea,” van Balen said.
“Our new maritime simulations unit aims to enhance maritime safety across NSW and the rest of Australia by extending the reach of the pedagogical expertise and simulation software developed over decades at the AMC in Tasmania to organisations in the important maritime hub of Sydney.”
The simulators include the latest Kongsberg and Transas simulation solutions for training in vessel navigation, vessel traffic services (like air traffic control) and emergency and distress calls, and also provide access to an “extensive library of vessel and port models developed in-house at AMC and previously only available in Tasmania”.
The new facility was opened by Ports Australia chief executive Mike Gallacher at a function attended by international and national representatives of the maritime industry. (Source: Defence Connect)
28 Oct 19. Defence technology and training company, MASS has successfully supported the UK Joint Force Air Component Headquarters (JFAC HQ) in running exercise Titanium Falcon 19 (Ex TF19) at RAF High Wycombe in October. Over the period 30 September – 10 October 2019, the JFAQ HQ conducted Ex TF19 at RAF High Wycombe. The exercise aimed to train the standing UK JFAC HQ core and augmented staff in Air Command and Control (C2) to help meet the full spectrum of tasks as a result of the changing defence landscape.
The MASS-developed exercise, based on a fictious scenario and countries, was tailored to the client’s objectives to help prepare the JFAC HQ for potential missions in support of an integrated multinational joint task force. While primarily focusing on the operational level of Air C2, the exercise was supported by both land and maritime staffs who provided the vital cross-component interfaces.
MASS also supplied and installed a comprehensive simulation system, Marine Tactical Warfare Simulation (MTWS), which incorporated full details of the joint force and also the opposition elements participating in the exercise. MTWS is a US Marine Corps-developed system which offers a realistic and scalable representation of joint operations and provides exercise control (EXCON) with a 360-degree view as the exercise unfolds through an accurate representation across all environments.
MASS further provided a range of services to help achieve the required level of realism including delivery of supporting products such as target development, to inform both the training audience (TA) and EXCON.
The simulation was carefully controlled by MASS-supplied simulation operators and an exercise director who coordinated the movement, and effective employment, of all simulated forces as well as overseeing the interaction of EXCON with the TA.
MASS Managing Director Chris Stanley commented, “I’m very proud that our experienced Training Support team has delivered another successful military training exercise which has provided an optimum support solution for the UK’s military. Initial feedback from the client has been extremely positive, with Ex TF19 helping to develop and maintain the operational effectiveness of the JFAC HQ.”
28 Oct 19. Thales upgrades French Navy’s E-2C Hawkeye flight simulator. Less than a year after being awarded the contract, Thales has completed a full hardware and software upgrade of the visual system of the flight simulator for the E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft deployed by the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. The contract was awarded in 2018 by France’s military aircraft maintenance service (Service Industriel de l’Aéronautique – SIAé).
The Hawkeye flight simulator now features the ThalesView high-performance image generator, a new projection system and an updated visual database, all integrated seamlessly with the existing configuration.
With the new image generation system, the simulator will provide a more immersive experience for trainees, with high-resolution imagery of the air and maritime environment, offering a more realistic representation of its surroundings, to enhance operator safety during deployments. Pilots can also train in the delicate manoeuvres involved in deck landings and catapult launches in daylight and at night.
The project illustrates Thales’s expertise in flight simulation systems for naval aircraft and its expertise in upgrading earlier-generation systems to the latest levels of realism and performance. Thales provides long-term support for the French defence procurement agency (DGA) and the French Navy on its simulation-based crew training programmes, which also benefit from the Group’s substantial investments in digital technologies (7bn euros invested since 2014).
26 Oct 19. Short Term Training Team in Sri Lanka. The RAF Force Protection (FP) Force support to the Defence Engagement programme in Sri Lanka. The RAF FP Force deployed a team to deliver a bespoke Force Protection Executives Course to Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Regiment.
Defence Engagement is at the heart of strengthening the relationships we have with our international partners. The RAF Regiment can draw many parallels with the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) Regiment. Our common heritages coupled with our common goal of providing world leading Air FP, has provided the foundation of a very fruitful exchange of knowledge, Tactics Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) and methodologies. This key component will help both our forces to better understand how to provide Air FP, to counter current and emerging threats.
“Establishing a bilateral partnership with the Sri Lankan’s has been both rewarding and productive. The similarities in doctrine between both the RAF and SLAF are stark; it has been hugely beneficial sharing our knowledge and training and the experiences we have had in Sri Lanka will not be forgotten.” Flight Lieutenant Orr, RAF Police representative in the team.
Squadron Leader Dunne said: “It’s a real honour to be able to exchange our practises with the SLAF. It is fascinating to see how many operational similarities we share and the opportunity to enhance our bond between our forces has been one of the best experiences in my career to date.”
Squadron Leader Dunne from the Force Protection Centre briefing the SLAF audience on the Complex Air Ground Environment and how the RAF provide Force Protection for its assets at home and deployed. The team from the RAF have spent the last week exchanging doctrine and discussing operational lessons.
In between training, the team were able to pay their respects to the fallen at the Trincomalee Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery.
The team also visited a local commonwealth war graves commission cemetery with the Defence Attaché, Col David Ashman. The gentleman who maintains the site has done so for 11 years and took the role over from his father who spent 27 years looking after the graves. The DA presented the gentleman (Mr Vasantharaja) with a small token of appreciation on behalf of the team for his service. The cemetery was kept in immaculate condition.
Wing Commander N. Kumarasinghe of the SLAF Regiment took time throughout the program to ensure the team were well looked after. The team are standing in front of cultural artwork in the Officers’ Mess at the SLAF Academy China Bay, a former Royal Air Force Mess.
The ability for the team to immerse in the fascinating culture of Sri Lanka has been a once in a lifetime opportunity for them. (Source: Warfare Today/RAF)
25 Oct 19. US Army to test TITAN tactical space tech during Defender-Europe 20. The US Army is planning to test an initial prototype of the Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node (TITAN) tactical space technology during the Defender-Europe 20 multinational exercise. The TITAN technology will allow soldiers to perform mission command on a multi-domain battlefield.
Defender-Europe 20 is a US Army Europe-led US European Command exercise that will see around 37,000 troops training in ten countries across the continent in mid-2020.
TITAN is a scalable and expeditionary intelligence ground station. The system makes use of space and high altitude, aerial, and terrestrial layer sensors to deliver targetable data directly to army fires networks.
In addition, TITAN provides ‘multi-discipline intelligence support to targeting, and situational awareness and understanding for mission command’, according to the US Army.
PEO IEW&S brigadier general Rob Collins noted that the army has a network of 100 tactical ground stations and 13 operational ground stations to ensure delivery of information to battlefield commanders.
Collins said: “Some of those are more specific to the echelon, they’re not necessarily tailorable, easy to use or expeditionary as we want them to be.”
The TITAN system seeks to provide ‘deep sensing’ information using ‘intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors from all domains’.
According to officials, the system will deliver deep sensing data to long-range precision strike options to help the army defeat enemy anti-access / aerial denial capabilities.
The army expects to hold an industry day in December at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, to discuss TITAN.
A TITAN space prototype is anticipated to make its debut by early fiscal year 2022. The system will support battle management command and control. To manage voluminous data, TITAN will use artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.
Collins added: “We just don’t collect this data for the sake of collecting it. We collect it so that we can distribute that to kinetic, non-kinetic weapon systems and for commanders to be able to make decisions on the battlefield.” (Source: army-technology.com)
25 Oct 19. Kratos to develop virtual prototyping holodeck for US Army. Kratos Defense & Security Solutions has received a contract for the development of a virtual prototyping holodeck (VPH) for the US Army.
The applied research contract was awarded by Army’s Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Cyber, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center, Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (CERDEC NVESD). NVESD will use the VPH to assess the physical and psychological performance of troops in simulated real-world equipment and battle conditions.
The directorate will employ Cross Reality (XR) technologies to understand the impact of the technology on soldiers.
Used for training purposes, holodecks allow participants to engage with different virtual and real environments.
NVESD will use the knowledge from the applied research to support future research and capabilities development.
Kratos Training Solutions senior vice-president Jose Diaz said: “Utilising our immersive simulation platform and XR technologies, Kratos has developed simulation environments that can be deployed at the point of need (PoN), be that in holodecks, simulators or even real air and ground platforms.
“Moreover, the XR-based solutions reduce cost, speed development and provide greater ability to evaluate performance outcome.”
In a statement, Kratos said: “Kratos is an industry leader in developing highly immersive environments that combine digital, haptic and biological realities that go beyond virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR) and augmented reality (AR).”
The company develops training solutions to increase learning retention and troop readiness. In July, the army issued a request for project proposal for a cross-reality holodeck prototype capable of emulating real-world battle conditions. The contract was awarded through the Sensors Communications and Electronics Consortium (SCEC) other transaction agreement (OTA). (Source: army-technology.com)
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. 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/.