Sponsored by Meggitt Training Systems
14 Jan 20. SHOT SHOW 2020 – Will YOU Be There?
Now beginning its tenth year at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) and Conference will run from Jan. 21 to 24, 2020. This year’s theme is “FULLY LOADED”, which expresses the broad range of exposition, networking and educational opportunities available.
In keeping with the theme, Meggitt Training Systems, at Booths #12267 and #6602, will display its industry-leading live-fire and virtual training products. Meggitt has fielded more than 13,600 ranges worldwide since 1926 and is the industry leader in turnkey shooting range design, equipment and installation for law enforcement and commercial shooting ranges. In addition, we have become the undisputed leader in virtual training systems chosen by the world’s most demanding military and law enforcement customers. As a result, a visit with Meggitt Training Systems at SHOT Show is a must!
Building a Gun Range? We’re Your One-Stop Shop at Booth 12267
Meggitt Training Systems offers a reliable and comprehensive array of shooting range equipment, with a proven track record of over 90 years. Building a gun range, looking to upgrade your existing range or simply doing your homework on what it takes to build a range? Visit Meggitt at booth 12267 to discover our equipment offerings, how we can help with your range design, installation and after-the-sale customer service and warranty questions. We’ll have a vast array of products on display at our booth, including:
The XWT GEN4 wireless target carrier: the latest advance in the industry’s first wireless, 360˚ turning system. The XWT GEN4 extends the availability of the target system for your range. For example, it uses a lithium ion battery with a positive locking connection and ergonomic placement. This technology provides a 50% increase in battery watt hours. The new docking system improves contact design for faster, more reliable charging; that means more time using the XWT GEN4 and less time charging it. The chassis features a new side cover design for wheel overhead protection and prevention of brass drivetrain damage. Anti-static wheels eliminate grounding tinsel and reduce electrostatic discharge.
The XWT ProImage® projected target system: Revolutionizing image and video targets for indoor shooting ranges. If you haven’t seen the XWT ProImage system in action, you’ll appreciate this industry first. A compact video projector and camera system attaches to Meggitt’s XWT target carrier and can move downrange to any distance on the track. Wirelessly connected to a 10” lane control unit mounted to the shooting stall, the system projects interactive games, digital videos and images that a shooter can upload onto white paper or cardboard targets. The onboard camera provides a streaming, close-up view of the target for instantaneous feedback, including bullet hole tracking displayed on a tablet. The XWT ProImage is a simple addition to any XWT GEN3 or GEN4 carrier, uses lithium batteries, and with the XWT, it docks and charges while in operation.
Multi-Function Stationary Infantry Target (MF-SIT): A more realistic experience for urban operations and specialized training. The MF-SIT is the go-to in stationary target systems. It offers a fixed target head configuration that can respond to hits or a pre-programmed scenario, ensuring that the shooters do not anticipate target actions. This feature increases the realism for officers who must face the unexpected in urban environments. The MF-SIT system is operated through radio frequency, hardwire or ethernet controls that enable great flexibility in range design and usage.
The LOMAH (location of miss and hit): a better way to measure accuracy. The LOMAH system adds shot scoring by measuring the precise time of a bullet’s supersonic shock wave passing over a ballistically protected microphone sensor array. Triangulation of sound waves for hit location makes Meggitt’s offering unique in this market, determining the bullet’s location and presenting a graphical image on the shooter’s firing point computer. The bullet’s measured location provides the shooter the accurate information needed to display shot grouping and zeroing of weapons more effectively. The result, of course, can be significantly improved marksmanship skills. LOMAH can be installed easily via a retrofit kit or on new, LOMAH-capable Meggitt targets such as the MF-SIT.
In addition, Meggitt will have models on display of the GranTrap™ rubber bullet trap, LE5000 escalator steel bullet trap, our SHOTT™ House tactical environment and the Road Range™ mobile indoor range.
If you’re looking for virtual weapons training, see us at Booth 6602
Located in the Law Enforcement Pavilion, Meggitt Training Systems will exhibit one of our latest advances: the FATS® 100P portable virtual training system. A compact simulator that features advanced functionality for both instructor and trainee, the FATS 100P delivers everything you would expect from our larger simulation systems. Weapon handling and shot placement analytics. Marksmanship automatic coaching tools. Video-based judgmental training for escalation and de-escalation. Enhanced graphic capabilities. Portable and light, the FATS 100P comes in two rugged hand-carry cases the size of a large range bag that allow easy transportation, set-up and operation by one person. In addition to remote training, it is also ideal for law enforcement sharing resources or conducting public affairs for citizen groups. Up to six weapon simulators, including wireless BlueFire® ones on display, which resemble in form, fit and function as the actual weapons, can be run simultaneously.
14 Jan 20. Ecuador orders Grob G 120TP trainer aircraft. The Ecuadorian Air Force has ordered eight Grob Aircraft G 120TP twin-seat turboprops to bolster its fleet of basic trainers. The aircraft will be assigned to the ‘Cosme Renella’ Military Aviation Academy at Salinas, and will join a fleet of Diamond DA20C1, A150L Aerobat, and Cessna T-41A/D Mescalero aircraft performing primary and basic flight training. The deal, announced by the air force in late 2019 and confirmed to Jane’s on 14 January, includes a simulator, as well as logistics support for maintenance and operations. No contract value or delivery timeline was disclosed. Grob Aircraft has developed a G 120TP Training System consisting of computer-based training, virtual and augmented reality, a desktop trainer for the Electronic Flight Instruments System (EFIS), and a G120TP Simulator. (Source: Jane’s)
14 Jan 20. Leonardo Will Provide Navy’s Next Training Helicopter. The U.S. Navy has awarded aerospace company Leonardo a $176m firm-fixed price contract to replace its TH-57B/C Sea Ranger helicopters.
Leonardo, through AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corp., will build and deliver an initial 32 TH-73A aircraft and associated equipment based on the company’s singled-engined TH-119 design, the Defense Department announced Monday. The service expects to buy 130 aircraft, for a total contract value of $648m, Navy officials said.
The Sea Ranger helicopters, operational since the 1980s, are used to train pilots in the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
The Pentagon expects deliveries to begin in October 2021 and continue through 2024, the Navy said.
Related: The Navy Is Buying Equipment that Makes it Easier for Female Pilots to Pee
“The new Leonardo TH-73A helicopters are the cornerstone of AHTS, which is the planned replacement to address the capability and capacity gaps of the current aging TH-57 Sea Ranger helicopter training platform,” said Capt. Todd St. Laurent, Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems (PMA-273) program manager, in a news release..
“The TH-73A will provide a modern helicopter training platform that will serve rotary and tiltrotor training requirements into the foreseeable future,” he added.
“Our plan since day one has been to offer the U.S. Navy the training capabilities they asked for, without compromise,” said William Hunt, managing director of Leonardo Helicopters in Philadelphia. “We are honored to deliver on that promise, build the new fleet in Philadelphia and maintain it from Milton, Florida.”
The service trains several hundred aviation students per year at Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton.
The Navy chose the TH-119, a derivative of the commercial AW119, over Airbus’ version of the single-engine H135 and Bell Helicopter’s 407GXi. Five proposals in total were submitted for the contract, the service said. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Military.com)
14 Jan 20. The UK’s first dedicated, purpose designed wargaming centre has been unveiled by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). The Defence Wargaming Centre (DWC) on Dstl’s Portsdown West site near Portsmouth will host wargames for all three services, with the RAF having conducted the first exercise, Eagle Warrior 19, last month (December 2019).
Dstl has a long history of delivering successful wargames on behalf of MOD and other government departments, conducted both at Dstl and at other sites in the UK and overseas. Wargame participants experience the rigour and implications of decision making in a “safe to fail” environment, without the risk, expense and disruption of live exercises or real operations.
The DWC has been established to respond to the increasing demand for wargaming as a tool both to support decisions and to develop insight into complex issues faced by Defence and Security now and in the future. The DWC will become MOD’s only dedicated, purpose designed wargaming facility, and will bring together expertise and technology from across Dstl, wider Defence, industry and other partners.
The DWC can be configured to deliver a wide variety of wargames of different types and sizes for a range of purposes. The DWC is also intended to be a focus for research into wargaming methods, tools and techniques. Future upgrades are being planned to the physical space, computing and communications, as well as further expansion to the wargaming teams (including greater integration of industry) and the range of tools available to them.
Exercise Eagle Warrior 19 was designed and developed by Dstl and involved staff from across the RAF and other services. Eagle Warrior 19 initiates a series of wargames to evaluate warfighting Command and Control at the operational level and will provide a test bed for assessing structural, process and/or technological improvements. Eagle Warrior 19 also demonstrated the ability of the RAF to hold rapid and agile wargames which will be developed further in future years.
The Head of the Defence Wargaming Centre, Mike Larner, commented: “The DWC brings together the people, expertise, infrastructure and technology needed to develop and deliver a wide variety of wargames. It represents a significant step up in capability and signals our intent to keep developing in response to growing MOD and wider government demand for wargaming – which is, in turn, a response to the increasing complexity of conflict. Wargaming enables commanders to anticipate and rehearse future conflicts which, ultimately, increases the UK’s capability to deter aggression and protect its interests.”
Group Captain Christopher Platt, Dstl’s Senior Air Advisor, commented: “Eagle Warrior 19 was a genuinely ambitious experiment that challenged participants to think about Command and Control of the Next Generation Royal Air Force. Staying one step ahead of an information savvy adversary is a constant challenge: we will need to embrace a combination of information technologies such as cloud computing, edge processing, machine learning and automation, so this wargame was a good step towards understanding the pros and cons of different approaches.”
14 Jan 20. New contracts awarded to support Australian CBRN training capabilities. Contracts worth AUD24.4m (USD17m) have been awarded to two Australian companies to supply equipment as part of a major chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) defence project for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price announced on 8 January that Cairns-based company J3Seven had won an AUD17m contract to provide radiation detectors and incident response kits to Leidos Australia, which had been awarded an AUD238m contract in 2018 for the ADF’s Land 2110 Phase 1B CBRN defence capability facilities project.
Separately, Melbourne-based company Point Trading was awarded an AUD7.4m contract to provide chemical detection equipment to Leidos for the same project. (Source: Jane’s)
14 Jan 20. Australian Navy’s training centre expansion at Randwick complete. St Hilliers has successfully completed the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) training systems centre expansion at Randwick Barracks.
The $24m training facility extension has concluded in time for the first navy training course set to begin this week.
A two-storey extension of the current Navy Training Systems Centre has resulted in developing almost 3,500m² of extra floor space.
The new facility would accommodate training for crews of the RAN’s two new Supply Class auxiliary oiler replenishment ships. It will be used by the Military Operational Speciality Code (MOSC) personnel and will house specialist training rooms and equipment.
Australian Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said: “The training centre extension includes specialist training rooms and simulators to train navy’s crews in how to operate and maintain the new Supply Class vessels.
“These works are the first to be completed under the Navy Capability Infrastructure sub-programme, which involves approximately $2bn of new facilities and infrastructure works to be delivered across Australia over the next seven years.
“Under the government’s defence policy for industry participation, St Hilliers was successful in exceeding its 75% target for a local industry participation rate, using local businesses for 84% of the sub-contract work.”
The first supply-class vessel HMAS Supply is scheduled to enter service this year and will reach its full operational capability in 2022.
The second vessel, HMAS Stalwart, is also expected to enter service in 2022. The two new vessels will replace HMAS Success and HMAS Sirius. The navy training systems centre was officially opened in 2016. (Source: naval-technology.com)
13 Jan 20. ‘Red Air’ providers prep for a big year of war games. Last year, the Air Force tapped seven defense companies for a $6.4bn opportunity for “Red Air” training where contracted pilots pose as aggressors in air-to-air combat. With the fiscal 2020 budget finally approved, those firms are hungry to hear for more information about when and where they start flying.
The companies — Air USA Inc., Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC), Blue Air Training, Coastal Defense, Draken International, Tactical Air Support and Top Aces Corp. — currently find themselves waiting for the next phase of the competition, when the Air Force will issue individual work orders for a total of 22 bases that will allow contractors to begin flying this year.
“I think we’ve all watched the Air Force program develop over the last two years kind of in awe at the size of it and the ambition, the commitment they’re making to have enough adversaries out there to challenge their pilots,” said Russ Bartlett, CEO of Textron Airborne Solutions, which is the parent company of ATAC. “That’s great for industry, because the Air Force knows they need to do that.”
Unlike major programs for weapon systems, which have a dedicated line item in the budget, the work orders for adversary air services will be paid out of the operations and maintenance account, which is more flexible. While the Air Force’s FY20 budget request flags a $151m increase for “contract air training,” it’s unclear how much of that amount will ultimately be set aside for that adversary air services.
It will be up to Air Combat Command “to decide how much money they’re going to put against the adversary air budget. So we’re really just waiting to figure out how that all works,” said Russ Quinn, president of Top Aces. “We and the program office are looking very forward to hearing how Air Combat Command is planning on funding the contract.”
Draken International is already conducting aggressor flights at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., as part of a five-year contract awarded in 2018. That work is helping the company keep its Red Air planes ready ahead of work at other bases, said Sean Gustafson, Draken’s vice president of business development.
“We’re flying 6,000 to 7,000 hours a year out there right now,” he said. “We’re excited for the task orders to come out shortly, looking to expand and set up operations on the East Coast and then supporting those bases.”
The Draken pilots, who currently fly the Aero Vodochody L-159E Honey Badger and Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, regularly deploy from Nellis AFB and visit other installations, including Hill AFB in Utah, Eglin AFB in Fla., and Holloman AFB in N.M.
The company will begin adding Mirage F1s to the mix next month, Gustafson said.
“We’re very excited about that, because that will be the first radar-equipped, supersonic aircraft in the industry. We have the first three [of 24 total] going out there in February,” he said. The company has also purchased 12 radar- equipped, supersonic Atlas Cheetah fighters that will help cover Air Force requirements outside of Nellis.
Meanwhile, the other companies are doing training and modifications necessary to get their aggressor fleets ready to fly whenever the U.S. Air Force decides it needs those planes.
Top Aces has purchased 29 used F-16s from an undisclosed user specifically for the Air Force’s adversary air contract. Those aircraft are not yet in the United States, but Quinn is confident that the company will have the aircraft in hand in early spring, he said.
After that, Top Aces will begin modifying each jet with an open architecture system that will allow the company to more easily outfit the aircraft with a range of radar, sensors, electronic warfare pods or other technologies that increase the capability of Red Air forces, he said.
Depending on whether the company wins a contract with Germany for adversary air services, it may also have excess capacity with its Douglas A-4N Skyhawk fleet, which it could also offer to help supplement the U.S. Air Force’s needs, Quinn said.
ATAC plans to use its new fleet of Mirage F1 jets to meet the Air Force’s requirements. So far, the company has fully trained one F1 pilot, who flew the first ATAC Mirage in August. Another two pilots were set to begin training in December, Bartlett said late last year.
“On the airplane side, we’re in really good shape. Sixty-three airplanes is a huge win for us. There are a lot of economies of scale that we intend to capitalize on,” he said. “The challenge is going to be — of course — hiring and retaining pilots. The services are trying keep their pilots and grow their pilot cadres; the airlines are hiring aggressively and paying lucrative salaries, and this industry is growing by leaps and bounds with just this Air Force program.”
So far, recruiting pilots has not been a problem for Draken, Gustafson said. The company has employed 52 aggressor pilots to meet the demands of its contract with Nellis, and has a “stack of resumes” from pilots that jobs as the company expands to other bases.
“We’re doing well on [hiring],” he said. “Some folks, they don’t want to go to the airlines. They recently retired from the military and they want to keep flying fighters.”
The company is looking to grow its fleet with new aircraft, as well, he added.
“We should have some pretty exciting news about five to six months from now,” he said. (Source: Defense News)
10 Jan 20. CSCS launches first training event inside US Navy’s combat simulator. The Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) has launched its first training event inside the On-Demand Trainer (ODT), the US Navy’s newest combat simulator.
The ODT will be located onboard Naval Base San Diego and Naval Station Norfolk until the end of March prior to its transportation to follow-on fleet concentration areas.
Delivered to both coasts, the 40ft portable AEGIS simulator doubles down efforts to increase combat lethality across the waterfront.
The new virtual trainer was initially tested by the combat watchstanders of USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) and USS Gettysburg (CG 64).
Designed to provide high-end tactical training to sailors, like those aboard Paul Hamilton and Gettysburg, it is also capable of keeping combat watchstanders proficient during extended maintenance availabilities.
Additionally, the ODT provides the opportunity to train and qualify new watchstanders in preparation for upcoming patrols.
CSCS commanding officer Dave Stoner said: “At CSCS, our primary mission is to train sailors how to fight and to win.
“Tactical proficiency requires year-round preparation and the ODT is a portable training tool designed to keep those tactical skills sharp and in turn, improve combat readiness by providing better trained, better-qualified sailors to the fight.”
The ODT consists of six mounted consoles and a pair of large-screen displays and is capable of virtualising the combat suite of existing cruisers and destroyers.
It can also be reconfigured between the various AEGIS baselines and builds of the current surface inventory.
In the process of upgrading AEGIS Speed to Capability (ASTOC), follow-on builds will be introduced to the fleet and the same tactical codes will be installed in the simulator for immediate use.
Paul Hamilton completed a curriculum comprising realistic air defence scenarios in the US 5th and US 7th Fleet areas of operation for two days.
Last December, the US Navy completed acceptance trials of its tenth Freedom-class littoral combat ship (LCS) in Lake Michigan. (Source: naval-technology.com)
16 Jan 20. SimCentric develops new range-planning software. Training with live ammunition is a critical element of ground forces training, but live-fire training has an inescapable risk factor and there is a small but steady worldwide casualty rate from live-fire training accidents. The risks can be mitigated by careful planning of danger areas and supervision, but the former is a laborious manual process and the latter is not infallible.
SimCentric Technologies has developed a system that it said automates the planning process and can be integrated with the tracking capability of instrumented training areas to provide safety information in near real time. The system, called SAF-Foresight, is the result of a three-year collaborative project with the Australian Defence Force (ADF), with a spiral development process since the initial version was presented at the Australian Army Innovation Day in November 2017. (Source: Jane’s)
16 Jan 20. RAAF transfers F-35 training to Australia. The RAAF announced on 15 January that it was transferring pilot training for the F-35A from the United States to Australia. Source: US Air Force
Australia has transferred pilot and maintainer training for Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft from the United States to home territory.
The move, which took place in December 2019 and was announced by the US Air Force (USAF) on 15 January, saw the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) end its international training mission participation with the 61st Fighter Squadron (FS) and Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU) at Luke Air Force Base (AFB) in Arizona.
Having achieved the training goals it set out in 2014, Australia will now pass its future F-35A pilots and maintainers through the service’s own 2 Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) at RAAF Base Williamtown in New South Wales.
“Luke AFB is the RAAF’s F-35A delivery point, and Australian pilots will return several times a year to ferry the country’s new fifth-generation fighters to Australia,” said Wing Commander Jordon Sander, 61st Fighter Squadron Australian Senior National Representative and new commander of RAAF 2 OCU. The RAAF currently owns 20 F-35As and the ferrying missions will continue until it receives the last of its 72 aircraft in 2023. (Source: Jane’s)
11 Jan 20. Pentagon gets ‘big win’ on cyber forces. From 2013 to mid-2018, U.S. Cyber Command built its cyber mission force — the 133-team, roughly 6,200-person cadre of personnel that conduct cyber operations. Following the build out of those teams, Cyber Command asserted that the focus would shift to readiness, or maintaining the teams and ensuring they remained fully capable of performing missions.
Now the Department of Defense has taken a critical step with its cyber teams by establishing metrics that define work roles and readiness, a top official said Jan. 9.
“We now have a signed document from the secretary that defines what a cyber operating force is,” Maj. Gen. Dennis Crall, deputy principal cyber adviser and senior military adviser for cyber policy, said at an AFCEA hosted lunch.
And these metrics are “big wins,” Crall said.
Crall said that — unlike in the air, ground and maritime space — processes for defining and understanding readiness and concrete work roles, especially for defensive cyber teams known as cyber protection teams, did not exist prior. Cyber, despite being around for over 20 years, is still a relatively new discipline within the military for which the force, capabilities, processes and authorities are still evolving.
“We have for the first time defined what a cyber protection team is. We know what the work roles are. We know exactly what those teams’ mission are … [and] how to evaluate them,” he said.
Doctrine for defensive cyber has been constantly evolving since DoD formalized cyber operations, though officials note the department has continued to struggle with what defensive cyber should look like. Why defensive cyber lags behind offensive in many cases is due mainly to the fact they had to create the defensive framework from scratch, unlike with cyber offense, where there was a template from years of National Security Agency operations.
Additionally, through lessons learned in operations, cyber protection teams operate differently now than they did years ago. Cyber Command is still working to figure out the standards the services must teach to, meaning schoolhouses teach the old model because that is the official doctrine and students are learning one way to conduct operations before learning a different method once they get to their unit.
Crall told Fifth Domain following his remarks how the document signed begins to address how these teams should look.
“Exactly what these individuals do, how we report readiness, at what level and what those readiness metrics look like by team build,” he said. “There’s a level of execution and then reconstitution where teams will go after a certain level of execution, they’ll go back to a building phase … Looking at standardized ways and what’s the basic element of a team. What does that look like and what readiness levels would you expect.”
Reconstitution is the action of getting teams back to full readiness levels following deployments and operations.
Officials have explained in the past that cyber protection teams, which are 39 person teams, don’t all have to deploy at once. This allows them to not only be more efficient in splitting up resources, but it allows parts of the team to reconstitute and conduct training while the other portion is engaged in operations, thus creating a more ready force. This is similar to how other military forces operate, such as fighter squadrons. Crall added that now the team definitions for cyber protection teams are done, the next piece is capacity.
“We know that we can provide a repeatable deployment of these individuals and their associated equipment set, how many of them do you need,” Crall said.
Crall also said that while the tools and equipment used by cyber protection teams were also agreed upon, there is still some flexibility for the teams to use certain equipment based on certain conditions.
Congress in its most recent annual defense policy bill directed the Pentagon to brief members on the abilities of the force to conduct cyber operations based on capability, capacity of personnel, equipment, training and equipment condition. Next in line for similar definition are the offensive and support teams within the cyber mission force. (Source: Fifth Domain)
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/.