by Michelle Henderson 2/21/17
Meggitt at IDEX: Wireless technology changes the shape of training for the Middle East
In our previous IDEX blog, we discussed how U.S. military superiority stems in a large part from the emphasis on training. As Sun Tzu put it in the world’s oldest military treatise, when you are deliberating military conditions in terms of your enemy, among the seven questions you must ask is “On which side are officers and men more highly trained?” Furthermore, as the quality of training differentiates forces, today training quality depends on technological innovation.
For example, previous generations of simulation have often suffered from rigidity dictated by the training platforms. Each of these restrictions puts a distance between the trainee and actual fighting conditions. With the goal of “train as you fight,” Meggitt Training Systems is using new technologies to close that gap. Not surprisingly, several of those innovations involve the use of wireless.
Visitors to IDEX 2017 in Abu Dhabi, Feb. 19 to 23, will have a first-hand look at these advances, some of which are making their debut appearance in the region. In this blog, we will discuss wireless weaponry. In the one that follows, we will discuss new advances, including wireless, that are changing the dimensions of live fire training.
BlueFire® wireless weapon simulators: the highest level of realism
Meggitt Training Systems’ BlueFire wireless weapon simulators provide the technology to take realism in simulation to the next level. By maintaining form, fit and function, BlueFire weapons use commercial wireless technology to communicate with the fire arms training system (FATS), thus giving the same control as tethered weapons but with full range of motion. Without cords or tethered operations hindering actions, BlueFire weapons enable collective and judgmental training in an unprecedented way. Yet they are completely compatible with your present investment. These patented firearm simulators can be used in conjunction with other tethered weapon simulators without modification.
For still more enhanced, realistic visuals, Meggitt’s tetherless BlueFire weapon simulators now feature a 3-D Marksmanship Training environment such as the FATS100e, discussed in our previous blog. The after-action review (AAR) allows engagement and shot assessment in a 3-D virtual environment, while providing detailed trainee diagnostics for skill reinforcement or correction.
A broad range of weapon simulator types
Meggitt Training Systems continues to increase the line of BlueFire weapons accessible for military forces, having added the H&K G36 assault rifle, Glock pistol, M4 carbine, M32 Multiple Shot Grenade Launcher, SRS Rifle (M16 type) and the Carl Gustav 84mm. BlueFire weapons are similarly available in many configurations including Picatinny Rails, allowing for the use of optics in training.
Fully sensored weapons reinforce the fundamentals of marksmanship training by providing sensor feedback for butt pressure, trigger squeeze and cant. Both modes retain full smart-weapon capabilities and sensor feedback. Should it be desired, “less lethal training” is offered through X26 Taser® and chemical (OC) spray wireless simulators. These training accessories are supported with specialized courseware.
Realism in action: recoil and refill
Weapon recoil is achieved with a rechargeable magazine of compressed gas, delivered via a proprietary fill station. Even though they are not tethered, BlueFire weapons retain full-sensor feedback for robust diagnostics and after action review. You can refill magazines in just a few seconds with either compressed air or nitrogen. The refilling station is designed to accept any of our BlueFire magazines and refill each one with a quick depression of the handle. Nitrogen gas for refilling can be obtained from your local gas supplier, or you can use a SCUBA (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus) tank easily refilled at any SCUBA shop.
To summarize, Meggitt’s innovative BlueFire technology thus combines the largest inventory of weapon simulators in the world with the most ballistically accurate wireless smart weapon simulators in the industry. Fully sensored, convertible BlueFire weapon simulators provide the same accurate, real-time training diagnostics as tethered weapon simulators, featuring two-way, weapon-to-system communication and continual laser operation that only records when the trigger is pulled. The operator controls the round management via smart software, allowing real-time sensor feedback for viewing weapon status.
As a result, Meggitt’s BlueFire wireless weapons meet the form, fit, function and accurate ballistics of live weapons without the full burden of maintenance and ammunition costs. Not only is there a benefit from cost savings, but multiple studies have shown the value of marksmanship and full immersion training where personnel experience the same stress realized in theatre, all within a simulated training environment.
Rely upon proven simulation systems
Meggitt’s FATS® systems continue to be the go-to training systems for the U.S. Army, U.S. Marines (USMC), U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD), U.S. National Guard and the U.S. Air Force (USAF), as well as the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force, Australia Defence Forces (ADF), Italian Army, Singapore Army and Singapore Police Coast Guard. IDEX offers you an opportunity to see how these systems can work within your training program.
In our next blog, we will discuss how Meggitt brings the same high quality to the live fire systems that will be at IDEX 2017. Demonstrations for all of these offerings will be available throughout the day at booth 03-A22 or by appointment at our appointments page.