by Ellis Pines 5/31/17
The Road to Readiness
Meggitt at CANSEC 2017: Providing a proven platform for preparedness.
One hundred years ago, when Sir Arthur Currie commanded the Canadian Corps in World War I, the general gained an exceptional reputation for preparation. As he won every battle under his command, notably without resorting to charisma, he held to this penchant for preparedness. Currie commented, “Thorough preparation must lead to success. Neglect nothing.”
Those words might well serve as a mantra for today’s military. As CANSEC 2017 opens in Ottawa, Ontario, on Wednesday, May 31, most of its 11,000 attendees (including foreign delegates from 60 countries) will have readiness on their mind. From the Far East and the Middle East to Europe and the Americas, defense forces confront constant unpredictability. Preparedness through training has never been more important for individual warfighters, as well as those who command and train them.
To ensure the continued readiness of the Canadian Armed Forces, visitors to Meggitt’s CANSEC 2017 booth will have the opportunity to experience the benefits of virtual training. Meggitt Training Systems is “neglecting nothing” in its exhibits and demonstration at CANSEC that thoroughly cover different aspects of ground combat, including Canadian forces weapons, anti-tank, Stryker BCT, indirect fire and close air support.
The FATS®100MIL: The world’s most advanced virtual small-arms trainer now under test with NATO.
The centerpiece of Meggitt’s simulation technology on display is the FATS 100MIL. The 100MIL leverages key features from the US Army Engagement Skills Trainer II (EST II), on which soldiers now rely for combat readiness, marksmanship and shoot/no-shoot judgement. US Marine Corps trainees have also proven the system’s core capabilities. The simulator is now getting an intergovernmental test by NATO, which has had a long relationship with the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), the organization behind CANSEC.
The 100MIL exemplifies a dependable core technology that has steadily evolved to keep pace with increasingly rigorous training requirements, such as preparing for conventional and asymmetric threats across Europe. In an era of constrained military budgets, it represents the latest training solution for maximum realism.
The FATS 100MIL grew out of a long-term product roadmap informed by Meggitt’s understanding of future training needs. Based on these projections, engineers integrated new features that would benefit the trainee as well as the instructor.
Customers told Meggitt that the more vivid a simulation environment is, the more it calls upon the trainee for situation awareness and focused precision where every second counts. Hence enhanced 3D marksmanship provides highly detailed terrains and targets, including weather, birds in flight and realistic ballistic effects.
Meanwhile automatic coaching tracks the weapon sensor information with shot analysis that recalls customer doctrine and reinforces the fundamentals of shooting. Tablet functionality maximizes session time by allowing the trainer to run the system wirelessly and move as needed.
Trainees can also do a great deal more than ever before, as the system simulates collaborative action. VBS3 (Virtual Battlespace 3)-based collective training draws upon Meggitt’s BlueFire® wireless weapon simulators (a unique untethered repertoire of weaponry) and its full line of indirect-fire mortar simulators as well as close air support and Joint Terminal Attack Controller training discussed in more detail below.
The 100MIL display at CANSEC will feature untethered versions of the major Canadian Armed Forces weapons, such as the Colt C7A2 automatic rifle. Others include the Browning 9-mm pistol for close combat, the Sig 226 pistol, the popular Glock 17 tactical pistol and the M4 convertible rifle.
The premiere of Meggitt’s Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) training system.
The ATGM will make its Canadian debut in Ottawa at CANSEC with demonstrations available by company representatives. The company will also display a broader version of its remote weapons station (RWS) desktop trainer. The RWS and ATGM desktop trainers represent a cost-effective training solution to meet today’s budget constrained training requirements. The RWS and ATGM desktop trainers simulate all critical live functions for the practice and improvement of precision-gunnery skills.
Highlights include a realistic, synthetic 3D environment and state-of-the-art visual effects and sounds. This feature enables the crew to perform tasks, drills and procedures while manipulating actual weapon hand controls and replicated weapon control interfaces. The desktop trainers are pre-loaded with multiple terrain databases and a wide selection of targets, including enemy forces, friendly forces and civilians.
System networking allows full crew training, including a crew commander, gunner and driver stations. The Remote Weapons Station (RWS) supports the .50cal (M2HB), C16 (MK19), C6 GPMG (M240) and C9 LMG (M249) weapons and their ammunition. The ATGM supports the vehicle mounted TOW missile, and can be readily adapted to deliver a multitude of solutions.
New Simulator for Stryker Brigade Combat Teams
Stryker-equipped brigades are increasing in importance where Canada and its allies are threatened. In Europe as well as the Middle East, defense officials are looking to Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCT) that can be in theater in 96 hours.
From the onset, the SBCT was planned to integrate the capacity for rapid deployment with survivability and tactical mobility. Off-loaded from a military transport aircraft, such as the U.S. Air Force’s C-17, the eight-wheeled Stryker combat vehicle provides commanders with a deployable brigade that can move rapidly and be ready for action anywhere on the globe. Carefully designed as a “hybrid” between lighter vehicles and tanks, it offers the right combination of firepower, mobility, flexibility, protection and simplified logistics for today’s fast-paced, often unpredictable combat situations.
Yet these very advantages also make it difficult for a Brigade Combat Team to train stateside. In an unstable world, teams may have to deploy first and complete their training in theater. The closer training takes place to the action, the more simulation equipment must be geared to the circumstances. Consequently, the new Stryker BCT Simulator has been designed around five needs:
- Realism. When one is training a short distance from actual combat conditions, soldiers are practicing for situations they will be facing imminently. This urgency demands that they train with the most realistic scenarios possible, ones they can easily transfer into real life.
- Compatibility and versatility. The simulation system must be fully compatible with the existing U.S. Army Stryker fleet and embedded training system capabilities.
- Comprehensive functions. The system must simulate all functions of a live weapon station.
- Total team training. Crews must be able to practice and improve tactical, gunnery and driving skills for commander, gunner and driver stations respectfully.
- Small footprint. The entire package must be easily transportable to remote locations, hardened for the battlefield and require reduced logistics.
Indirect Fire Simulation: Artillery and mortar simulator plus Pilot in the Loop.
Today’s live training exercises as well as actual combat call for coordination of firepower from differing angles of situation awareness. Ground forces, of course, rely on close air support. But how can one simulate the second-by-second synchronization necessary for accuracy with artillery, mortars and bombs?
The Indirect Fire Trainer (IFT) trains students in all of the critical roles necessary in the operation: Forward Observer (FO). Forward Air Control (FAC). Fire Direction Center (FDC). Mortar crew skills proficiency. An optional closed-loop training capability with appended mortars is also available. Adding a Flight simulator to the Indirect Fire Trainer supports Pilot-in-the-Loop JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller) training. After Action Review (AAR) is available to debrief students and critique their performance at the end of a training session.
For more advanced close air support training, Pilot-in-the-Loop mode allows an individual to pilot the simulated aircraft acting as fixed or rotary wing aircraft. In this mode, ground controllers coordinate directly with the pilot, talking to the pilot about ground-based targets just as they would in the real world. This mode also facilitates mission rehearsals by allowing aircrews to interact with ground control units prior to deployment. The Pilot-in-the-Loop mode represents the highest fidelity full mission capable close air support training outside operations utilizing actual aircraft.
Also for indirect fire, Meggitt provides 81mm simulated mortars to train and test mortar men, command post operators, fire controllers and commanders in their duties regarding mortar operations, tactics, techniques and procedures. The 81mm mortar has the tactical advantage of a high firepower path, which allows it to engage targets from behind cover.
Readiness is a moving target.
Technological and geopolitical threats are constantly changing. Meggitt’s goal is to evolve a core virtual technology, integrated with live-fire training that can be flexibly and resiliently adapted to your present and future needs. Meggitt representatives look forward to discussing your requirements at CANSEC.
Talk to us about your needs at CANSEC 2017.
All technologies discussed here are positioned for direct and foreign military sales. At CANSEC, Meggitt representatives look forward to discussing how we might accommodate your needs. Demonstrations will be available throughout the day at Booth 121 or by appointment at our appointment page