Sponsored by Meggitt Training Systems
19 Feb 20. Meggitt Training Systems To Expand Small-arms Training Exhibits. Based on a strong showing in 2019, Meggitt Training Systems will expand its display of small-arms training products at back-to-back 2020 trade shows in Nuremberg, Germany: Enforce Tac (stand 12-129) on March 4-5 and IWA Outdoor Classics (stand 3-211) on March 6-9. The company, unique in the market for offering the full range of virtual and live-fire products for seamless training, has seen increased interest from military, law enforcement and commercial customers across Europe since last year’s co-located events.
“Meggitt Training Systems looks forward to reconnecting with our government and commercial customer communities at Enforce Tac and IWA Outdoor Classics and showing them a wider array of products,” said Mark Mears, managing director for Meggitt Training Systems Ltd. “Enforce Tac visitors will see how we’re leveraging our position on virtual and live-fire programs of record not just for other allied armed forces, but law enforcement departments too, while IWA allows us to emphasize our unrivalled expertise in the design and construction of new and upgraded commercial shooting ranges.”
Specifically, attendees can see the following Meggitt products on display:
- The FATS® 100LE simulator leverages state-of-the-art technology developed for and delivered to the US Army and Marine Corps, then customized for law enforcement training. Police-specific features include 3D marksmanship training, wireless tablet control with auto-coaching, and an intuitive unified interface across all training modes – for ease-of-use and reduction in training requirements. Consistent with its premium positioning, the FATS 100LE also features multi-screen capability, enhanced visuals and multiple weapons per trainee, including wireless BlueFire® ones. On-site installation and training are provided by Meggitt personnel to ensure the industry’s most sophisticated use-of-force simulator is ready for optimal use.
- The XWT GEN4 wireless target carrier builds on the industry’s first wireless, 360º turning system. The XWT GEN4 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. Programmable distraction lighting now integrates red, blue and white LEDs with four times the brightness of previous models. 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 revolutionizes image and video targets for indoor shooting ranges. An industry first, the system is a compact video projector and camera system that 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) offers a fixed target head configuration that can respond to hits or a pre-programmed scenario, ensuring that the trainees do not anticipate target actions. This provides a realistic environment for urban operations and specialized training. The system is operated through radio frequency, hardwire or Ethernet controls that enable great flexibility in range design and usage.
- The GranTrap™ granulated rubber bullet trap utilizes soft media to stop incoming rounds and capture them predominantly intact. This minimizes airborne lead dust, averts back-splatter and ricochet, and minimizes impact noise. The result is a cleaner and safer environment for shooting ranges, maximizing bullet recovery and recycling processes. A model of this product will be on display.
To see a demonstration of Meggitt’s products, plus speak with a company representative, visit Enforce Tac stand 12-129, IWA Outdoor Classics stand 3-211 or schedule an appointment at https://meggitttrainingsystems.com/about/request-a-meeting-with-meggitt-training-systems/ (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
20 Feb 20. Engineering & Computer Simulations to Provide Training Solutions for the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence in Support of the U.S. Air Force. Mick Golson, Chief Operations Officer of Engineering & Computer Simulations (ECS), announced that the company will be providing training coursework for the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence (PACE). Awarded by the USAF as a one-year contract, this innovative PACE project supports organic learning and innovation within United States Air Force (USAF) squadrons and develops newly appointed command team members for their leadership roles. Joanne Barnieu, ECS Director of Instructional Science, and Joe Neubauer, ECS Project Manager/Subject Matter Expert, will lead the project.
This project supports the training initiatives of the Secretary of the Air Force (AF), Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force by delivering innovative training solutions to develop leaders and to support organic learning within AF squadrons. The course targets newly assigned members of the command team, such as AF Squadron Commanders, Superintendents, and First Sergeants, so that important concepts and principles are taught early and can be applied throughout their assignment.
Golson states: “Strengthening the skills and experience of our U.S. Air Force squadrons is critical and, for over 23 years, ECS has been honored to help train those who serve and protect our country. As an Air Force veteran, I’m very excited; new projects, such as this one for PACE, allow our team to grow as we look forward to the future.”
In the early stages of development, this program will present a high-level overview of Emotional Intelligence, Empathetic Listening, Team Building, and Followership. Hosted on an Air Force learning management system, it will include stand-alone micro learning content, facilitator guides, and lesson plans to support an integrated multi-disciplinary solution for a Squadron Command Team Product Line. The PACE course will include four 50-minute, online lessons and will be reinforced with stand-alone microlearning content that will be used following the initial course. Each of the lessons will teach necessary skills, using a structured framework, to inspire, change mindsets, motivate, and educate squadron leadership.
Barnieu adds: “It is rewarding for our instructional team to provide organic learning opportunities that will achieve positive outcomes for our military service members. This type of project-based learning allows for the squadrons to train to their highest potential in order to successfully perform their missions throughout the world. As a “proof of concept” project, we are delving into innovative solutions for leadership skills and look forward to the client’s feedback in order to deliver future solutions for leaders at all levels.”
21 Feb 20. RAF offers media training to African peacekeepers. The RAF has helped deliver vital training in East Africa to peacekeepers before they are sent to Somalia. Two officers were part of a team teaching media skills to soldiers from Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Burundi.
Flight Lieutenants Robin Griffiths and Martin Wade were based in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where they gave training to personnel from the African Union (AU) which runs the peacekeeping mission in Somalia, called AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia).
The three-man team was led by Lieutenant Colonel Hamish MacMillan, Commanding Officer of the Joint Information Activities Group (JIAG) a tri-service media and information operations training unit based at RAF Halton. He said: “Having served with the UN in a peacekeeping role myself in Somalia, I know how important it is to get your media operations right. The students have really been enthusiastic learners and I’m sure the training will help them when they deploy with AMISOM.”
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Armitage MBE is the Military Advisor at the Peace Support Training Centre in the Ethiopian capital. The centre is part-funded by the UK Government and helps build regional capacity for UN/AU Peace Support Operations.
He said: “It’s been great to have the team from JIAG here over the past two weeks. Judging by the feedback from the students, they have worked really well together, across languages and nationalities and they are that much more prepared for their mission as a result of that training.”
One of the students is Major Come Ndayiragije of the Burundi Army. He said: “I’m very pleased to have had this training from the UK. When we go to Somalia we will have to make sure we keep people informed about what we are doing and the work we have done over the last two weeks will help us do that.”
Lt Col MacMillan and Flt Lt Griffiths of JIAG regularly teach Media and Info Ops both to the UK military and to allied forces. Flt Lt Wade is a reservist who is a journalist in civilian life and is a member of the RAF Media Reserves. He has been to Ethiopia before as a reporter and speaks some Amharic, the main language of the country and French, the language spoken by the contingent from Burundi. (Source: Warfare.Today/RAF)
20 Feb 20. Cape Henry Associates (CHA) and KOVA Global (KOVA) have formally partnered in pursuit of enhancing and modernizing the United States Navy’s training curriculum. CHA and KOVA came together to form Tanya Faye Kocha, LLC (TFK), a joint venture company that leverages the talents and technology of both CHA and KOVA.
CHA and KOVA have worked closely together for more than a decade in support of defense contracts. This gives the partnership a unique perspective steeped in experience to bring to the defense contracting world. KOVA is a Woman-Owned Small Business comprised of over 80 percent surface Navy Veterans while CHA is a Veteran-Owned business whose employee base is 58 percent Veterans and has a 99.5 percent on-time product delivery rate. The two companies together form an entity uniquely qualified to understand the intricacies of naval training demands as well as the challenges of content conversion as the Navy progresses toward its Sailor 2025 vision.
TFK was formed specifically to compete for a Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division contract for development of training requirements analysis and curriculum modernization products, and program management for the U.S. Navy. The fact that CHA and KOVA have worked closely on similar contracts, such as the Carrier-Advanced Reconfigurable Training System (C-ARTS), speaks to their ability to successfully navigate the often-complicated waters of training transformation initiatives. Both parties are steeped in the systems and processes of this specific type of contract, work well together, and have a demonstrated understanding of what it takes to successfully deliver superior products. TFK combines the high-speed agility and technical capabilities of KOVA and melds them with the sophisticated systems and processes of CHA to offer a focused, purpose-built joint venture with proven performance in high-volume production pipelines of diverse training analyses and content development.
About Cape Henry Associates:
Founded in 2004, Cape Henry Associates (CHA) is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) specializing in Manpower Analysis, Personnel Analysis, and Training (MPT) products and services. CHA maintains a DEKRA-certified ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System, holds multiple prime contracts, and has developed award-winning technology under the Small Business Innovative Research Program. Veterans comprise over 58 percent of our team. With on-time product delivery of 99.5 percent, we take pride in the reputation we have built as the go-to company for all things MPT.
20 Feb 20. ALION to demonstrate ‘Virtual Sandbox’ MR tactical wargaming system. Alion Science and Technology has been selected to demonstrate its ‘Virtual Sandbox’ mixed-reality (MR) tactical wargaming system. The Alion technology will participate in the US Air Force (USAF) Future of Wargaming challenge. The wargaming showcase will be held from 25 to 26 February in Las Vegas, Nevada, US. This phase focuses on a game development environment that will allow emerging technology concepts testing on the battlefield in a short period of time.
Alion is one of 24 companies selected to present its solutions to AFWERX, USAF and the US Joint Forces.
Alion’s ‘Virtual Sandbox’ MR tactical system is designed to combine many data sets to form live virtual simulations for wargaming.
The system and the Navy Continuous Training Environment (NCTE) will aid the development of Cloud-based, DevSecOps driven, wargaming Novel Distributed Integrated Concept Environment (NoDICE).
Alion manages and operates the NCTE. Some of these data sets include intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), radio frequency (RF), live, virtual, and constructive (LVC), and full-motion video (FMV).
Integration of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) with artificial intelligence (AI) has allowed the team to utilise real-world experiences along with real-time model development.
Alion Cyber Network Solutions senior vice-president Katie Selbe said: “Alion’s solution for wargaming aligns to the DoD’s DevSecOps reference design while pulling in lessons learned from the DoD’s Big Data Platform (BDP) and the Navy Continuous Training Environment.
“Alion pairs off-the-shelf technology from the government and commercial sectors with Open Source Software (OSS) to take advantage of innovations and best practices for wargaming.
“This has allowed the team to rapidly create 2D, 3D, AR, VR, and other solutions for wargaming and training.”
The MR AFWERX Challenge includes $150,000 initial award budget. So far, six companies have been awarded an additional $4m of prototype funding. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
19 Feb 20. Joint Exercise to Test Tactical Forces in Cold-Weather Environment. Some U.S. forces stationed in Europe will head north March 2 to participate in Cold Response 2020, a biennial exercise hosted by Norway focusing mostly on operations at the tactical level in cold-weather environments.
“All U.S. military services will participate to sharpen our military capabilities and allied cooperation in high-intensity warfighting in a challenging Arctic environment with rugged terrain and extreme cold weather,” Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Hermesmann, commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa, said yesterday during a news conference at NATO headquarters in Belgium.
Between 15,000 and 16,000 service members from the U.S., Norway, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Sweden are expected to participate in Cold Response 2020, said Norwegian Rear Adm. Sverre Engeness.
This is “an exercise designed for and focused on the tactical units,” Engeness said. “They are the primary training audience.”
He said the exercise will predominantly involve land and amphibious forces, but sea and air forces also will participate.
While the exercise has been in the planning stages for months, the units at the lowest levels will not get a real sense of that planning, he said. Instead, he explained, “they will have all the challenges they require for tactical interoperability and integration and so forth.”
Hermesmann said Cold Response 2020 will exercise the ability of American forces to deploy large numbers of service members inside Europe in support of NATO allies and European partners.
“By aggressively training and conducting these realistic exercises in some extremely harsh environments, these participating U.S. forces, alongside forces from Norway and allies and partners, will hone their lethal skills, fine-tune their interoperability, nurture key working relationships and acclimate to the challenges posed by fighting in extreme cold and in rugged mountainous terrain,” Hermesmann said.
While the U.S. military has areas available for cold-weather training, Hermesmann said, the environment in Norway is unlike anything else on Earth. But that’s not the only reason the U.S. wants to participate in Cold Response, he said.
“We have a critical ally, which is the Norwegian military and Norwegian people. For those reasons, that’s why we are here in Norway,” he said. “Exercises such as Cold Response 2020 exhibit the capabilities and cooperation, the strength and steadfast commitment, as well as the determination and dedication of the U.S. and allied and partner nations have for maintaining the secure and stable Arctic.”
The Cold Response 2020 exercise takes place in an area of northern Norway that stretches from the town of Narvik to the Finnmark district. The main part of the exercise will be located in the district of Troms. (Source: US DoD)
17 Feb 20. Meggitt Training Systems to Display Live-Fire and Virtual Solutions in SimTex Section of UMEX 2020. Meggitt Training Systems (stand #05-A20/05-A40) will highlight four of its leading live-fire and virtual training products in the SimTex simulation and training section of UMEX 2020. The event for Middle Eastern and North African customers and exhibitors will be held in Abu Dhabi, Feb. 23-25, 2020.
“Realistic simulation and training are more important than ever, and Meggitt Training Systems delivers through our unrivaled virtual and live-fire product portfolios,” said Andrea Czop, vice president of strategy, sales and marketing for Meggitt Training Systems. “I encourage SimTex attendees from throughout the Middle East to visit our stand and see how we can help their military and police forces be more effective in conflict situations thanks to the most innovative and proven simulation and shooting range systems in the industry.”
Meggitt Training Systems has an extensive Middle Eastern customer base for its small-arms simulators, as well as firing range equipment and support. This business is supported by the company’s regional office in Abu Dhabi, as well as six other offices around the world. All are staffed by those with extensive experience in the defense and law enforcement industries.
Meggitt’s solutions on display for SimTex will include:
- The FATS® 180MIL virtual system is one of Meggitt’s newest offerings for the defense market. Immersion is provided via three borderless 16×9 flat screens that can be arranged in any configuration from flat to wrap around, 5.1 surround sound audio, plus effects in any direction added by the operator for increased realism. The system also has ultra-short-throw projectors that allow the trainee unprecedented distance to the entity being engaged, all while maintaining a smaller footprint than rear-projection systems. The system utilizes the same high-fidelity ballistic engine validated by the US Army, Marine Corps and other military customers.
- The FATS 180MIL interfaces with a variety of firearms, including Meggitt’s BlueFire® wireless weapons and BlueRailTM devices to convert live-fire weapons for training purposes. A variety of training firearms will be demonstrated at SimTex.
- Multi-Function Stationary Infantry Target (MF-SIT) offers a fixed target head configuration that can respond to hits or a pre-programmed scenario, ensuring that the trainees do not anticipate target actions. This provides a realistic environment for urban operations and specialized training. 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) 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 information needed to accurately display shot grouping and zeroing of weapons more effectively, resulting in improved marksmanship skills. LOMAH can be installed easily via a retrofit kit or on new, LOMAH-capable Meggitt targets such as the MF-SIT.
To speak with a Meggitt representative during the event, visit stand #05-A20/05-A40 or schedule an appointment at https://meggitttrainingsystems.com/about/request-a-meeting-with-meggitt-training-systems/. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
18 Feb 20. Official inauguration of the first ALX in South America. The ATO Flying Pro, located in Quito, Ecuador, has officially launched its Alsim ALX simulator on January 22nd 2020. The flying school has presented its new device to local and national press, as well as governmental authorities.
The ALSIM ALX provides single engine piston, twin engine piston up and twin jets (generic B737/A320). The device is designed and approved for ATPL, CPL/MCC in compliance with all current regulatory standards. It has a proven track record for cost-effectiveness and helps save numerous aircraft hours.
This is the first time that such a device is installed in South America. Flying Pro thus becomes a pioneer in the region and aims to place its students in the best airline companies. This innovative project will benefit local economy but also national aviation industry in Ecuador as the ALX will be used by national forces, such as Police and Civil Aviation.
18 Feb 20. UK attack helicopters join US brigade for exercise ‘Defender Europe.’ A UK attack aviation battlegroup is to operate for the first time as part of a US Army combat aviation brigade during exercise ‘Defender Europe’.
The British Army’s 3 Regiment Army Air Corps (AAC) is to deploy from its home base in Wattisham in Suffolk to exercise in Poland and Germany this spring.
Some 2,500 UK armed forces personnel are to perform various roles in ‘Defender Europe’, which involves US forces deploying to Europe from its home bases in the United States in the first half of 2020. The US 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade started to deploy to Europe in January to provide the attack aviation element for these exercises.
The 3 Regiment AAC held a preparatory training exercise in the Stanford Training Area in Norfolk, involving Apache AH1 attack helicopters of 622 Squadron AAC operating from forward arming and refuelling points established by Royal Air Force Chinook helicopters. Wildcat helicopters from 1 Regiment AAC at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton in Somerset will also be attached to the 3 Regiment AAC battlegroup for ‘Defender Europe’.
The British Army on its website on 13 February quoted 3 Regiment AAC commander Lieutenant Colonel Nick English as saying, “We are deploying as an aviation battlegroup with Apache attack helicopters, Wildcat reconnaissance helicopters, and Chinook support helicopters, to bring the full range of find, strike, and lift capabilities provided by helicopters. (Source: Jane’s)
17 Feb 20. Defender-Europe 20 Begins. U.S. exercise Defender-Europe 20 begins. First equipment – track and wheeled vehicles as well as other equipment from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division – from the continental U.S. will arrive in German port Bremerhaven on February 21. “Defender-Europe 20 demonstrates the U.S. military’s ability to rapidly deploy a large combat-credible force from the U.S. to Europe to support NATO and respond to a crisis,” U.S. Army Europe said on desired outcome. “Once in Europe, U.S. service members will spread out across the region to participate in various annual exercises with our allies and partners. Defender-Europe 20 will conclude with the redeployment of U.S.-based forces and equipment.”
In a conference held previously, Brigadier General Sean Bernabe, Deputy Chief of Staff, G3, U.S. Army Europe, explained: “The exercise Defender-Europe 20 is a Headquarters, Department of the Army-directed, U.S. Army Europe-led exercise designed to build strategic readiness for the United States Army. Defender-Europe 20 will bring 20,000 U.S. Army soldiers with their assigned equipment from the United States to Europe, and then move those soldiers to training areas throughout Europe to participate in other, smaller exercises. These other exercises have names you may recognize – for example, exercise Swift Response, the annual exercise featuring multinational parachute operations across Europe; or exercise Saber Strike, the biannual exercise featuring ground maneuver in Poland and the Baltic states; exercise Allied Spirit, focused on interoperability at the brigade level and below between allies and partners; or exercise Dynamic Front, the annual exercise designed to improve interoperability between allied and partner artillery units. Of course, once these smaller exercises are complete, Defender-Europe 20 will redeploy those 20,000 U.S. forces back to the United States to prepare for their next mission.”
Even though this exercise has no direct link to the NATO Readiness Initiative, the United States are “not only building strategic readiness by moving these 20,000 forces from the continental United States to Europe and then moving them across the continent to training areas, but then we are also building tactical readiness with every one of these smaller exercises,” Barnabe said. “As we build that tactical readiness, as we give all of these units a chance to practice tactical tasks, and as we allow some of the key headquarters from the NATO force structure – for example, the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, or Multinational Corps Northeast – as we allow them to practice commanding and controlling large-scale ground combat operations in simulation or in microcosm live exercises, we are certainly building readiness for NATO as a whole.”
Germany will be the main transit zone, due to it being in the center of Europe. “Germany will see the transit of convoys moving from the seaports to the training areas in Poland or in the Baltic states, the arrival of forces into airports and then the movement of those forces by ground convoy or by bus to those training areas,” Barnabe said. “We have four main avenues moving from those ports to the various training areas in Germany and Poland. We are coordinating those with the local authorities and, in fact, we will very much appreciate the assistance that the local authorities will provide in escorting wheeled convoys, for example, across those routes and then especially through the most congested parts of those routes. One key note, I think, is that we’re planning those movements for night time to minimize the friction that those movements could cause for normal civilian traffic.”
So on February 21 this biggest deployment and logistic exercise since the end of cold war will start in Bremerhaven, Germany. 20.000 soldiers and their military equipment will travel through Europe, mainly Germany. It is necessary to conduct such large scale exercises, the outcome will be interesting for whole NATO. Defender-Europe 20 also shows the still strong U.S. commitment to Europe, despite European countries not reaching their promised investment in defence for decades. But it is also a test how much support American troops could expect from their European Allies in case of real war threat. Therefore Defender-Europe 20 is much more than “just” 20.000 soldiers roaming Europe, it is a political statement, a commitment test and a readiness evaluation of almost every NATO member. Let it be troop provider, logistic supplier or transit zone. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
17 Feb 20. ADF to receive additional RAIDER mobile moving target systems. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is set to receive additional robotics-driven mobile target systems for training. An order valued at more than A$1m ($0.67m) has been placed with Geelong’s Deakin University. The mobile target systems contract will be supported by 23 small Australian businesses, 14 out of these have originated from the native community of Geelong.
Under the deal, six RAIDER mobile moving target systems will be delivered. The target system is designed to imitate light armoured vehicles and tanks, along with thermal targets and trailers.
Australian Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said: “This project has already injected more than A$1.5m ($1m) into the community through partnering with Australian small businesses.
“This is leading technology developed here in Australia, which is not only creating opportunities for the local industry but also keeping our soldiers safe.”
The enhanced target systems such as robotic moving targets and ‘Raider’ ARH vehicle targets were pitched during Army Innovation Day.
RAIDER is a modular, upgradable and expandable training system that will allow Australian soldiers to perform live-fire day and night training in a realistic environment.
Capable of travelling up to 40km/h, the multiple semi-autonomous self-driving systems require only one person to remotely control it.
Victorian Senator Sarah Henderson said: “The Morrison Government’s A$200bn ($134.6bn) investment in the defence industry is creating opportunities like these rights across Victoria.
“I congratulate Deakin University on pioneering this technology and helping to ensure the ADF has the best capability to defend Australia’s interests.”
Last month, two small Australian businesses were awarded contracts to deliver new defence capability to safeguard the ADF. (Source: army-technology.com)
13 Feb 20. NH90 HFTS pilot training centre adapts latest helicopter standard to all four flight simulators. The good cooperation conducted since 2004 between the German forces and the Helicopter Flight Training Services consortium for NH90 aircrew training will continue until 2028, thanks to the recent signing of the contract to modernize the four Full Mission Simulators on three sites. This contract complements the initial 14-year private finance agreement (PFI) signed in 2004.
The HFTS consortium which brings together Airbus Helicopters, CAE, Rheinmetall and Thales, in equal parts, will upgrade the simulators to the latest helicopter standard called MR-1. This upgrade is accompanied by a renovation of the computer configurations, the replacement of the instructor station and the tactical situation animation software (CGF) and includes Level C certification with the European authority EASA.
Thanks to this program, German Armed Forces will be able to provide state-of-the-art training services for their NH-90 crews in a virtual environment. In addition, the networking capacity of all the simulators spread over the Bückeburg, Fassberg and Holzdorf sites, and the opening up to the German Army’s other training facilities will enable crews to train collectively for complex missions.
This major refurbishment combined with the excellence of the HFTS consortium teams will further improve flight safety and ensure first-class training and development.
“All NH90 pilots of the German Armed Forces have exclusively used the simulators of HFTS GmbH in the past decade, totalizing 200 000 flight hours. International customers such as Sweden, Belgium, Finland and New Zealand have also successfully trained in the NH90 simulators in recent years.” Peter Halbig, director of the consortium
17 Feb 20. USAF Columbus AFB integrates VR technology into pilot training. The US Air Force’s (USAF) 14th Flying Training Wing (FTW) innovation flight in Columbus Air Force Base (AFB) has integrated virtual reality (VR) technology into pilot training. A flexible syllabus has been developed to swiftly train quality pilots for the airforce. The syllabus does not replace conventional training methods but includes all the crucial basic mission elements that accommodate each soldier’s learning habits.
The training process integrated with the technology has produced pilots with only 42 sorties in comparison to traditional training with 47 sorties.
41st Flying Training Squadron chief pilot and director of the innovation flight Christopher Harris said: “The VR does not replace actual flight training, but what we do here at innovation flight is to try and leverage the things that it is good for.
“We then place it into the appropriate spot in the syllabus, continue to evolve as the technology develops and create better pilots faster.”
It provides pilots with significant skills such as risk management, situational awareness and decision-making, and prepares them for the complete process from take-off to landing.
The innovative technology uses VR tools such as Oculus Go to provide visuals and increase efficiency.
USAF 14th Student Squadron student pilot Matthew Demarco said: “Being a new pilot in training, visual references are a big part of doing patterns. My flight got into the VR flight simulations early, so we had a head start going into things.
“Even though VR does not simulate the feeling of the aircraft, the way you can see the visual references and getting to interact with the instruments used in departures and landings made it easy to progress throughout the rest of the training.
“You can see real-life problems that might occur in the sortie, this gives insight to what you can expect while in a real flying training exercise.”
In January 2020, the US Air Force announced the use of VR technology for C-130 maintenance training. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
14 Feb 20. RAF flies the flag on US Exercise. Since its inception in 1975 Red Flag, the giant air combat exercise held annually in the United States, has tested participants to the limits. This year has been no exception; Typhoon, Voyager, Air Operations staff and, for the first time, Lightning have spent three weeks in Nevada honing their skills with American and Australian counterparts.
The training exercise was born from US Air Force (USAF) experiences in the Vietnam War where statistics showed the survival rate for fast jet aircrew improved significantly once they had flown 10 operational missions. Through Red Flag the USAF sought to replicate real combat conditions as closely as possible in order to improve survivability.
The breadth and scale of the exercise is breath-taking, it takes more than an hour simply to launch the aircraft taking part in each of the two daily training missions. But whilst this is no different to the original exercises, the pace of progress is such that once airborne the realism and complexity is unrecognisable even to those who participated five years ago.
“Red Flag is one of the pinnacle exercises of the Royal Air Force calendar. Fundamentally it helps that we integrate with our American partners, the Royal Australian Air Force and our other coalition partners, so when we actually deploy on operations it’s not the first time that we’ll have worked with our partners in close proximity.”
For the exercise the RAF deployed Lightnings from 617 Squadron, Typhoon FGR4s from 41 Test & Evaluation Squadron (TES), a Voyager jointly operated by 10 and 101 Squadrons, and an Air Operations Centre together with all the support required to operate 5,000 miles from home.
“The Exercise builds incrementally” explained AVM Duguid. “The first week is a little bit of crawl, then the second week a walk and then finally into the last week which is very a much high threat scenario. This has lots of complex operating environments, with electronic warfare and electronic jamming which plays havoc with our GPS.” Group Captain Jim Beck
“This is my sixth Red Flag Red Flag and the bar has not only been raised a matter of inches, it’s feet higher now. This is now multi-domain which means we can really put the jets and our people through their paces.
“This is invaluable, there is nowhere else we can get this level of training, assessment and qualification of our tactics.” Group Captain Jim Beck, UK Detachment Commander, RAF Marham Station Commander.
RAF Coningsby based 41 TES are no strangers to the US, arriving at Nellis from California where they conduct trials and development work on Typhoon. Squadron Leader Andy Milikin said: “The training you get here is really peerless. To be able to operate with the Voyager, with F35 and the deployed support unit brings us together in a way that you cannot do when you’re at your own base in the UK. Coming to Nellis to take part in Red Flag gives you the best real-world training without actually going to war.”
He added, “We’ve got a huge expanse of airspace in which we can fly. The threats which the Americans provide are highly realistic and you really can’t go anywhere else in the world other than to come out to Las Vegas to get this sort of training.”
The sole air-to-air refuelling aircraft on the exercise was a Voyager KC3 operated by a crew drawn from both 10 and 101 Squadrons at RAF Brize Norton. With a dozen Royal Australian Air Force Super Hornets and Growlers in addition to the RAF Typhoons and Lightnings the RAF tanker was a popular port of call throughout the exercise. The RAF also contributed personnel to the Air operations Centre who provided mission planning in support of the live fly exercise.
The conclusion of flying activity at Nellis heralds the next crucial phase of the exercise as AVM Duguid explained: “The first thing we do when we return from an exercise or a deployment on operations is to write a report. That covers everything from how we learn lessons on how we looked after ourselves in terms of food and accommodation and whether we had deployed at the right times to the tactical and operational lessons we learned from the exercise.”
“The key lessons in particular are the ones that we really need to close out and address before we then do subsequent deployments with the same capabilities. Before Lightning deploys on HMS Queen Elizabeth all of the hard and really important lessons that we learn from this exercise will have been taken forward.”
In the weeks leading up to the three-week exercise over 250 tons of equipment required to sustain and support the exercise arrived at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada via land, sea and air in a complex logistical move.
Flight Lieutenant Tom Williams is the Detachment Logistics Officer. He said: “We had a surge of Movements personnel at the beginning to set up the exercise, taking delivery of over 50 ISO containers containing equipment for the three aircraft types deployed and for 90 Signals Unit.
“Lightning and Voyager equipment had been shipped by sea from the UK and then taken overland to Nellis, and the Typhoon equipment was transported from China Lake in California. In addition, kit was transported by air including an aircraft tow tractor and a 90 Signals Unit Man SV Support Truck. There will be a further surge for the pack up and recovery when the equipment and personnel return to the UK.” (Source: Warfare.Today/RAF)
14 Feb 20. Multilateral military exercise COPE North 2020 commences. Annual multilateral military exercise COPE North 2020 has started at Andersen Air Force Base (AFB) in the US territory of Guam. Participants include the US Military, Japan Air Self-Defense Force (Koku Jieitai) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The trilateral field training exercise started on 12 February and is set to run until 28 February.
More than 2,000 military personnel and over 100 aircraft are taking part in this year’s exercise, which will exhibit the combat readiness and interoperability. The 17-day event will see humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) exercises, along with strike mission training taking place in the first week. This will be followed by air combat tactics and large-force employment training in the following week.
The HADR operations and a large-force employment exercise will help promote stability and security throughout the Indo- Pacific territory. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
14 Feb 20. Alion wins navy contract to develop advanced warrior training. US-based defence contractor Alion Science and Technology has secured a $248m navy contract for the development of advanced warrior training.
The company noted that the contract is for the Navy Continuous Training Environment (NCTE), Integrating Architecture Development.
Alion Science and Technology senior vice-president and general manager Katie Selbe said: “Alion is dedicated to delivering cutting-edge software, simulations, networking and virtual technology that supports the navy’s tactical training environment.
“We are honoured to continue to provide world-class solutions to our mission partners. It is imperative that live and synthetic training environments excel at providing real-world mission rehearsal support for our warfighters.”
The company will provide test and engineering services in addition to research and development. These services will help to develop and integrate new and improved training architecture and systems for advanced warfighter training at various fleet warfighting and training commands.
For advanced warfighter training, Alion’s focus will be on the development and integration of the NCTE Live, Virtual and Constructive (LVC) architecture and systems. (Source: naval-technology.com)
14 Feb 20. Allied ministers agree to enhance Nato training mission in Iraq. Allied ministers have agreed to enhance Nato’s training mission in Iraq, secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg has said.
The defence ministers have agreed in principle and reaffirmed their support to Iraq. This comes after US President Donald Trump called for more action from allies in the Middle East.
Stoltenberg said in a press conference: “Ministers also agreed to explore what more we can do, beyond this first step. Our aim is to increase the capacity of the Iraqi Armed Forces so that they no longer require our support. Together we are committed to fight terrorism and ensure that ISIS does not come back.
“Over the past years, the Iraqi people and the Iraqi forces have demonstrated great courage and commitment in the fight against terrorism. We commend them for their sacrifices.”
The decision to support also includes agreeing to take over certain activities that are currently being performed by the US-led Global Coalition to defeat ISIS.
The secretary-general also noted that work is yet to start on details regarding the kind of activities to be taken over from Global Coalition forces or number of troops. He also stated that Nato’s mission aims to train and increase the Iraqi Armed Forces’ capacity. (Source: army-technology.com)
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