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20 Nov 19. CAE, Jazz and Seneca launch first cadet pilot training program in Canada. The new all-Canadian cadet pilot training program called Jazz Approach comes with a conditional letter of employment from the airline.
CAE, Jazz Aviation (Jazz) (a subsidiary of Chorus Aviation Inc.), and Seneca have teamed up to develop Jazz Approach, an innovative Canadian program to provide Jazz with a pipeline of top-quality first officers. Cadets will receive a letter of employment from Jazz upon selection into the program, allowing for a direct path to join the airline as first officers conditional upon successful completion of the program. The parties involved have signed a five-year partnership agreement and the first cohort is set to begin training in April 2020.
“CAE creates over 1,500 new pilots yearly over 30 cadet training programs globally, and we are thrilled to add a first Canadian cadet pilot training program to our list of curricula,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE’s Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions. “The demand for pilots has never been so high. With over 300,000 pilots needed globally over the next decade, CAE is working closely with airlines around the world to come up with pilot creation solutions. This program is a one-of-a-kind program, and a great example of how the Canadian aviation industry is working closely together to come up with innovative solutions to face that challenge. We thank Jazz for its trust, we are honored to help expand upon its pipeline of future pilots and we look forward to training them alongside Seneca.”
Jazz Aviation’s pilots have been training in CAE’s network in Canada since 2003. Now, under this new agreement, with its partner Seneca, CAE will be assisting Jazz in the selection, training and certification of new pilots.
“We are very excited to partner with two exceptional Canadian organizations, CAE and Seneca, to introduce the Jazz Approach program,” said Captain Steve Linthwaite, Vice President, Flight Operations for Jazz Aviation. “For Jazz, this innovative initiative will be an expansion of our Jazz Aviation Pathways Program (Jazz APP) and provides yet another avenue for future generations of pilots to launch their careers in aviation. The roots of the Jazz APP program go back to 2007 and the addition of Jazz Approach is an important step in growing the program to yet another level. We have worked with both CAE and Seneca for many years and we are delighted to have the opportunity to join together to introduce this program in Canada.”
“We are thrilled to be partnering with CAE and Jazz Aviation through this innovative all-Canadian collaboration. The Jazz Approach program builds on the success of our partnership with Jazz Aviation and will be an excellent addition to the suite of academic and hands-on training offered within our School of Aviation,” said Lynne McMullen, Director of Strategic Partnerships with Seneca’s School of Aviation. “The Jazz Approach program is another opportunity for Seneca to be on the forefront of flight training in Canada.” (Source: ASD Network)
20 Nov 19. US Army breaks ground on training support facility at Fort Rucker. The US Army has officially broken ground on a $32m Army Aviation Training Support Facility at the Fort Rucker installation.
Located behind the US Army Aviation Museum in Fort Rucker, the new training support facility will be used by Army Aviation Soldiers.
The facility will house Army Aviation artefacts such as aircraft, weapons, equipment and uniforms. Historical items will be made available to soldiers for study and research purposes. In addition, the US Army Aviation Training Support Facility will have a classroom and reference library.
US Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker deputy to the commanding general William Kidd said: “Today is a great step forward in our continuing efforts to try to provide the best for the best in the army.
“Like every great effort in the army, it’s a team effort, and we have a great partnership here with the Center for Military History, the Army Corps of Engineers and our US Army garrison here at Fort Rucker as we go forward to provide world-class facilities for world-class Army Aviators.”
The facility will allow aviators to learn from history and apply the knowledge to future operations.
US Army Aviation Museum director Robert Mitchell said: “It will result in better-educated soldiers, and it will also benefit the community through STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programmes.
“In this facility, we’ll have models of helicopters cut away for instruction to soldiers and to youth groups on how helicopters work and basic aerodynamics.”
The construction of the facility is expected to take around two years. (Source: army-technology.com)
20 Nov 19. Indo-Pacific nations begin maritime exercise Pacific Vanguard. More than 1,500 sailors from four Indo-Pacific countries have started the second iteration of exercise Pacific Vanguard off the coast of Guam.
The cooperative multinational maritime training exercise involves forces from the US, Canada, Republic of Korea, and Australia.
Pacific Vanguard allows participating maritime forces to train together and increase cooperation at sea.
The first iteration of exercise Pacific Vanguard was held in May in Guam and around the Marianas Island Range Complex.
The inaugural exercise involved 3,000 personnel from Australia, Japan, South Korea, and the US.
US 7th Fleet commander vice-admiral Bill Merz said: “Building on the success of the previous exercise, Pacific Vanguard continues to serve as an opportunity for like-minded maritime nations to come together based on their shared values and common interests.
“Our forces will use the next few days to exercise and improve our multilateral ability to adapt to ever-changing regional challenges.”
The exercise will allow forces to refine their skills in defensive counter-air operations, anti-submarine warfare, combined manoeuvres, live-fire exercises, and replenishment at sea.
The US Navy deployed Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), dry cargo ship USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7), a submarine, and fleet replenishment oiler USNS Pecos (T-AO 197).
The country will also send aircraft from the ‘Red Lancers’ of Patrol Squadron 10 and the ‘Yellow Jackets’ of Electronic Attack Squadron 138.
Australia is represented by Hobart-class destroyer HMAS Hobart (DDG 39), frigates HMAS Stuart (FFH 53) and HMAS Parramatta (FFH 54), as well as a submarine.
Other assets taking part in this iteration include the Royal Canadian Navy’s frigate HMCS Ottawa (FF 341) and Korea’s destroyer ROKS Choi Young (DDH 981). (Source: naval-technology.com)
20 Nov 19. ECA Group and GDI Simulation announce their partnership in a joint offer for Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) Training Systems: the AKASIM Tactical training for AFV vehicles through realistic and immersive simulation requires complete connected combat simulation systems sharing common virtual environment. ECA Group and GDI Simulation joined decades of their respective experience in driving and combat simulation to address this market and provide a new generation training solution. Today the two partners announce their common offer AKASIM (Architecture for Kinestesic AFV SIMulators) sharing the same information system, sensors, combat means and communication enhancing network centric warfare from the brigade to individual soldiers. The AKASIM allows Armies to achieve full combat readiness while achieving to lower the costs, save ammunition, reduce fuel consumption and optimize maintenance operations. Proven technologies for multiple-networked combat Combining the state-of-the-art technologies and training programs, the new AKASIM solution leverages the best of respective ECA Group and GDI simulation technologies developed recently for Defence applications.
• ECA Group’s Military Vehicle Simulator (MVS) combines a powerful simulation system and a full-scale replica of armoured vehicle, with fully integrated real equipment, placed on a six-axes motion platform in order to simulate with accuracy the behaviour of the vehicle in any kind of environment (urban, rural, desert, off-road, etc.) and driving situation (convoy, escort, pursuit, IED risk, etc.). The training and instruction programs integrated within the MVS were developed in cooperation with military driving experts.
• GDI Simulation Combat Firing Simulator (CFS) is a high-quality replica of any firing platform with faithful reproduction of the tactical effects and complying with standards in force. Toulon, November 20st 2019 A multi-mode military training tool for coordinated intra- and inter-armies training In order to reproduce any ground battlefield situation and offer a realistic military training, the AKASIM AVF Training System is designed as a multi-mode system. Thus, ground combats units will be able to train in the same environment for different use cases:
• Training combat tactical skills
• Drilling procedures
• Manipulating actual hand controls
• Multiple-networked simultaneous training
• Computer assisted training • Performance monitored debriefing The purpose of such a versatile solution is to provide trainees with a progressive learning path on a unique and coherent training system.
On the one hand, the AKASIM will allow to practice on real-life hand control and to get acquainted with the Armoured Fighting Vehicle and then to enhance his skills in a simulated and complex environment. On the other hand, the instructor will be able to recreate complex training scenarios from the individual to brigade level. A tailored and scalable virtual battlespace to face new threats Thanks to interoperable technologies expertise and integrating the High-Level Architecture (HLA) specification, the AKASIM can share the same simulated environment with third-party AFV simulators. Moreover, heterogeneous simulators such as aircrafts or unmanned vehicles simulators can be added in this environment to create a full immersive combat training system.
19 Nov 19. Bilateral exercise to strengthen ties with Indonesia. Australian Army soldiers from Darwin’s 1st Brigade have travelled to Indonesia for Exercise Wirra Jaya 2019. Exercise Warra Jaya is a bilateral training exercise held annually with the Indonesian Army, with this year’s iteration taking place in Asum Bagus, East Java – Indonesia’s premier live-fire field training facility that regularly hosts international exercises.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the two-week training exercise aims to foster co-operation and enhance interoperability between Australian and Indonesian forces.
“Since Exercise Wirra Jaya debuted in 2013, it has grown into a sophisticated Defence partnership, strengthening each year based on our shared interest in enhancing peace and security in our region,” Minister Reynolds said.
“The exercise has grown from a single rifle platoon to both nations now contributing engineers, artillery and military vehicles for training.”
Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Rick Burr, AO, DSC, MVO, said 2019 will be the first time Australian Army Bushmasters will deploy with soldiers as part of the exercise.
“Our soldiers from the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment introduced the Bushmaster to their Indonesian counterparts in the Northern Territory last year and they will now continue that training on unfamiliar ground,” LTGEN Burr said.
The Tentara Nasional Indonesia Army (TNI-AD) strategic reserve force, the 2nd Division Kostrad, will have the opportunity to show the Australian infantrymen their own armoured fighting vehicle capability.
“Familiarising ourselves with each other’s doctrine, equipment, tactics and techniques broadens our knowledge and understanding of each other, which in turn naturally builds trust and relationships that endure,” LTGEN Burr said.
Each year Australia and Indonesia share hosting duty for Exercise Wirra Jaya. In 2018, the Australian Army’s 1st Brigade welcomed around 90 TNI-AD soldiers to Robertson Barracks. (Source: Defence Connect)
16 Nov 19. Israeli exercise Blue Flag tests air defense suppression with allied forces. Israeli F-35 fighter jets practiced with fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft from four other countries over a multi-week period, amid a warning that Israel faces fragile fronts in Gaza and that war could be on the horizon. Blue Flag is a biennial exercise that this year took place at Ovda Air Force Base, southern Israel, and saw drills involving low-altitude flights and the suppression of air defense measures. A total of 725 personnel from Israel, the United States, Greece, Germany and Italy participated.
On the eve of the exercise, which began Nov. 3, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi warned of threats to the country, and about a week into the drills, an Israeli airstrike killed a commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group in Gaza.
The death of the senior militant was followed by 48 hours of fighting and 450 rockets fired at Israel, of which about 90 percent were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system.
For Israel the operation was designed to deter and neutralize a threat in Gaza amid a much wider threat from the north. Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the IDF, said Israel cannot overlook threats from the north, including Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iranian-backed forces in Syria. Israel has carried out more than 1,000 airstrikes in Syria in recent years, and Iraq’s government has accused Israel of carrying out airstrikes against pro-Iranian militias north of Baghdad. Iran and its proxies have fired rockets at Israel three times since February 2018 and launched drones from Syria to target Israel.
“We are on high alert and ready for various scenarios,” Conricus said. “We will focus on the north and stabilize the south.”
Former U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, who attended the drills, said the event shows off Israel’s cutting-edge platforms like the F-35 and its unique warplane tactics. “It reinforces the idea that Israel has partners with whom it could operate cooperatively in extreme circumstances. Israel stands by its ethos of fighting its own battles and defending itself by itself, but it is possible to imagine wider regional conflicts where Israel would operate with friendly nations, and this exercise enhances the capability for interoperability,” said Shapiro, who is a distinguished fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.
Indeed, Blue Flag served as an opportunity to improve interoperability between the air forces of Israel, the United States, Greece, Germany and Italy. Israeli Col. M., whose full name is withheld for security reasons, said the exercise was particularly important for combining fourth- and fifth-gen planes. Israel has had the F-35 since 2016 and used it in combat in 2018.
The U.S. Air Force’s 480th Fighter Squadron from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, brought its expertise in suppressing air defense. Aircraft faced off against Patriot systems, mimicking the threat they might face from enemy surface-to-air missiles. They operated among enemy radars and emitters that simulated surface-to-air and anti-aircraft artillery radar systems. Israel’s 115 Squadron posed as an enemy force in the air and on the ground.
Israel sent 30 fighters jets — including F-15s, F-16s and F-35s — as well as helicopters, drones, a Boeing 707 and Gulfstream G550s. The Gulfstream can be used for airborne early warning. The second-largest component was 12 American F-16s.
Israel and the U.S. also conducted a cyber defense exercise Nov. 7, and Israel practiced with NATO navies to evacuate the wounded from ships during the same week.
And in his first visit to Israel as the head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie met with IDF’s Kochavi on Nov. 11. U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein also visited Israel during Blue Flag, meeting Kochavi and Israel Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin. (Source: Defense News)
18 Nov 19. US and Norway pilots participate in first F-35 basic flight course. US and Norwegian student pilots train together to fly the F-35 as they take part in the aircraft’s first allied basic flight course. The programme sees pilots beginning training in the T-6 Texan II aircraft and over eight months move up to flying the F-35. The pilots are members of the 62nd Fighter Squadron (FS) based at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The squadron was activated as a joint effort between the US, Italy and Norway to train pilots in the F-35.
62nd FS squadron commander Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Hubbard said: “This is the first allied basic course ever in the F-35. Previously, only US pilots learned to fly the F-35 as their first fighter jet straight out of pilot training. Now, for the first time ever, Norwegian pilots are training right alongside American pilots in the F-35 B-course.”
Training to fly the F-35 includes flying smaller aircraft before an extensive classroom period where pilots familiarise themselves with the aircraft’s systems before moving to simulators and finally into the aircraft.
62nd FS fighter student pilot US Air Force (USAF) 1st Lieutenant Nathanael Zilllweger said: “The first flight was awesome; it’s interesting because in the simulator you can’t feel the jet at all. On your first flight, the jet rumbles a little bit so you get a feel for what it’s like to have 40,000 pounds of thrust at your back. That was probably the best thing for me.”
A Royal Norwegian Air Force fighter student pilot added: “When you do the first take-off after only flying aircraft in previous flights with smaller engines, you can really feel the kick of the aircraft accelerating on the runway. It was really fun to achieve the goal of flying a fighter jet for the first time.”
According to the USAF, the pilots who go through the course will participate in exercise Red Flag, an annual exercise where new pilots are tested in combat scenarios. Another focus is increasing interoperability between allied pilots.
Hubbard added: “This interoperability means that all F-35 partners are, or will be, training on the same airplane, using the same syllabus, operating off the same tactics manual and going through the same training pipeline.
“The benefits to this commonality are just starting to be seen, but will undoubtedly give allied combat efforts a huge advantage in future conflicts.”
The F-35 programme includes several allied partner nations buying into the aircraft’s three different variants with joint training allow partner nations to fly together and have a shared understanding of the aircraft’s capabilities.
Luke Air Force Base currently trains three-quarters of the world’s F-35 pilots, being home to 95 F-35A fighter jets; nations training at the base also include Australia, Singapore and the Netherlands. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
19 Nov 19. SEA launches Tailored ASW Training. SEA is launching a tailorable Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Training Service at D&S19. The new training capability, available in 2020, complements SEA’s innovative Krait Defence System, providing a complete cost-effective ASW solution for navies of all sizes, covering training and equipment provision.
The tailored training service, comprised of four distinct packages, utilises the latest training and simulation technologies and is designed using the principles of the UK Defence Systems Approach to Training. This process is used to define and develop UK military training solutions to provide realistic and operationally relevant training scenarios based on a customer’s area of operation and potential threats.
Package one, which focuses on knowledge, will be tailored to the needs, experience and knowledge of the customer and can be delivered in a classroom or accessed online. The second package enables users at all levels of the command chain to train interactively using real applications in a simulated environment representative of the South East Asia region. The remaining packages are focused on the sonar operator and maintainer.
“Launching a cutting-edge ASW training system enables us to be a single provider for equipment and training solutions,” said Steve Hill, managing director, SEA. “Utilising the very latest in simulation technology and delivery methods, our new service not only allows training to be tailored based on each individual customer’s specific needs but enables us to deliver training worldwide. The system is exceptionally realistic and also provides operationally relevant training scenarios to assist the warfighter, whether the training takes place in a classroom, or while deployed on operations.”
The cutting-edge training software is delivered in partnership with Antycip Simulation, who has provided the software licence for VT MAKs VR-Forces Computer Generated Forces (CGF) platform. This will generate the tactical scenario for the Collective Command / Team Trainer package of the service. (Source: AMR)
18 Nov 19. Israel completes multinational fighter exercise Blue Flag 2019. The Israeli Air Force has completed the biennial multinational fighter exercise Blue Flag 2019 in Uvda Air Base. Blue Flag 2019 began on 3 November and involved around 1,000 participants and 70 aircraft from five countries. The participating nations included Israel, the US, Germany, Greece and Italy. Israeli assets in the exercise included F-35I, also known as the ‘Adir’, the F-15, and the F-16I aircraft. The US was represented by 12 F-16C aircraft and around 250 airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.
The fighter exercise offers the participating forces with multi-domain training missions. This year’s exercise saw the forces split into two teams, the red and the blue forces. During the first week of Blue Flag, the blue forces were tasked with protecting Israel’s skies against enemy threats.
An Israeli Air Force Squadron commander said: “Sky defence is not common in Nato countries. We teach the international forces how to protect the country’s skies, just like we see it in our operational day-to-day activity in Israel.”
The blue forces attacked targets in red force territory in the second week. This is the first time the Adir aircraft participated in the Blue Flag exercise.
The commander added: “The F-35 aircraft brings a significant advantage to the theatre, which allows the other aircraft to carry on with their missions while handling oncoming threats.”
As part of the drills, aircraft were pitted against Israeli Patriot batteries, which acted as surface-to-air missiles.
Blue Flag 2019 allowed the aircrews of the five countries to increase interoperability.
For the US, the exercise provided an opportunity to practise low-altitude flying.
USAF 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot captain Andrew Burns said: “Israel provides a great opportunity to fly at a low altitude as well as fly against live emitters, which is great training.”
The combined training drills involved several fourth and fifth-generation aircraft. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
18 Nov 19. Australia concludes submarine rescue exercise Pacific Reach. The Royal Australian Navy has completed the tenth iteration of the multilateral submarine search and rescue exercise, Pacific Reach 2019, off the coast of Western Australia. Pacific Reach 2019, a triennial exercise sponsored by the Asian Pacific Submarine Conference, was conducted at Fleet Base West and in the Western Australian Exercise Area. Participants included Australia, the US, Malaysia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Singapore.
An additional 12 nations participated in Pacific Reach as observers.
Pacific Reach is designed to enhance interoperability among partner nations.
Australia Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said: “During Exercise Pacific Reach the Royal Australian Navy’s Submarine Force and our regional partners demonstrated readiness and the ability to respond to the unlikely event of a submarine incident at sea.
“Each nation’s submarine search, escape and rescue organisations took part in simulated rescues.”
The exercise involved three participating rescue systems, one each from the US Navy, the Royal Australian Navy, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.
The systems performed a total of 31 manned dives.
Australia’s Collins-class submarine, HMAS Sheean, executed nine open hatch mates and personnel transfers with Korea’s submarine ROKS Lee Sunsin.
Submarine Squadron 11 commander captain Patrick Friedman said: “This exercise is an example of the importance of operating with international partners.
“Being able to successfully conduct rescue operations with multiple nations not only increases rescue efficiency, but it also builds the foundation for joint operations necessary to achieve common theatre security objectives.” (Source: naval-technology.com)
17 Nov 19. Training Event Postponed to Encourage North Korea to Return to Negotiations. The U.S. and South Korea are postponing a combined flying training event that was scheduled to start tomorrow in South Korea, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday.
“The reason we’re doing that is to give the North Koreans an opportunity to reconsider some of their recent provocations and come back to the negotiating table,” Army Gen. Mark A. Milley told reporters traveling with him.
Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo made the official announcement of the postponement during a meeting of defense ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Bangkok. Both nations discussed postponing the training event during recent talks in Seoul. President Donald J. Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in approved the postponement.
The flying training event is a wing-sized event with aircrew from the United States and South Korea. President Donald J. Trump cancelled the predecessor event — Exercise Vigilant Eagle — in 2018.
All nations want North Korea to give up nuclear arms and the means to deliver them. Trump has met twice with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to fully denuclearize the peninsula. North Korea has been needlessly provocative launching short-range missiles.
“The military stands firmly in support of diplomatic efforts to resolve the situation on the ground peacefully,” Milley said. (Source: US DoD)
15 Nov 19. U.S., South Korean Defense Leaders Talk Military Exercises. Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper and South Korean National Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo discussed their nations’ combined military readiness exercise program during the 51st annual Security Consultative Meeting in Seoul, South Korea, today.
The two defense leaders spoke informally about the General Security of Military Information Agreement between Japan and South Korea that is set to expire Nov. 22.
Defense officials have said the exercise program ensures that U.S. and South Korean forces are ready. Exercises have a deterrent value, officials have said, and they ensure the combined force can defeat an enemy if diplomacy fails.
“I also shared with the minister — and I think he agrees — the purpose of our armed forces and exercises is not only to buttress our diplomacy, but to enable and empower it,” Esper said during a press conference after the meeting.
“We always have to remain flexible with how we support our diplomats to ensure we do not close any doors that may allow forward progress on a diplomatic front,” the defense secretary said.
The two men left the door open to tinkering with or cancelling exercises, if it will support the diplomatic efforts to denuclearize North Korea. Esper said any decision on exercises must be made in a consultative manner, and that the United States and South Korea must “approach it as alliance partners.”
The North Korean regime has for decades objected to U.S. and South Korean military readiness exercises. Alliance officials, through many administrations, have stressed that these exercises are defensive in nature and part of the deterrence effort on the peninsula.
“The U.S. and [South Korean] counterparts will provide active support to make sure that there is support for diplomatic efforts, and make sure that through modified versions of the exercise program, we maintain the most robust defense posture,” Esper said.
The American and South Korean leaders did speak about the General Security of Military Information Agreement between Japan and South Korea. The South Korean defense minister stressed that the agreement is an important instrument in maintaining trilateral cooperation between the U.S., Japan and South Korea. “In the time that is left on the clock, I hope that Japan and the Republic of Korea can come together in a positive direction,” Jeong said through a translator.
“[The agreement] is an effective tool for the United States, Korea and Japan to share timely information, particularly in times of war,” Esper said. “Expiration of GSOMIA would have an impact on our effectiveness, so we have urged all sides to sit down to work out their differences. The only ones who benefit from the expiration of GSOMIA and continued friction between Seoul and Tokyo are Pyongyang and Beijing.”
It is in the interests of North Korea and China to drive a wedge between Japan and South Korea, the defense secretary said, and “that reason alone should be powerful enough for us all to sit down and work together to deal with our common challenges.” (Source: US DoD)
14 Nov 19. US Army leaders test out latest militarised HoloLens AR architecture. US Army soldiers are evaluating the latest iteration of Microsoft’s modified HoloLens 2 headset as part of the service’s effort to inject augmented reality (AR) into how the force trains and conducts combat missions. Under the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) programme, the service is working with Microsoft to militarise the company’s HoloLens 2 AR system to include One World Terrain and Nett Warrior, with the goal of beginning to field the capability to the force by the end of 2021. To get there, soldiers are testing out the second iteration of the technology at Fort Pickett, Virginia, and providing the service and company with advice on ways to improve it.
Jane’s joined senior army and Pentagon leaders – including Army Vice Chief of Staff General Joseph Martin and senior official performing the duties of Under Secretary of the Army James McPherson – at Fort Pickett on 6 November for a technology demonstration. During the event, service leaders strapped on the head-up display (HUD) and associated vest while Microsoft employees controlled the technology settings during mock combat and training missions.
Once outfitted with the technology, service leaders headed through the woods and into a building on a mission to test out the IVAS HUD’s ability to recognise and register faces, pull up maps, and translate foreign characters. Leaders also demoed the integration of the Family of Weapon Sights – Individual (FWS-I) – a thermal sensor mounted on M4 Carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon that provides users with infrared imagery in all weather and lightning conditions – into the IVAS HUD when they faced ‘enemy combatants’.
Potential IVAS HUD training applications were also displayed at the event to give army leadership a peek at a few options for incorporating AR. Wearing the IVAS HUD, for example, soldiers can navigate buildings and outdoor terrain littered with virtual combatants, civilians, goats, and even German Shepherds. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
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