“Innovation lies at the heart of our company: it is our fundamental premise,” says Hugh Griffiths, CEO of Inzpire, a small British company going places in a hurry in the training and mission support systems domain.
At Farnborough 2016 this week Inzpire revealed it was one of only two companies to have won phase 2 funding from the MoD’s Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) and the UK Defence Solutions Centre (UKDSC) for the Agile Immersive Mission Training competition. For the next 11 months the company will be working on developing their GHOST project – with which they successfully competed in the first phase of the CDE competition – to a higher technical readiness level.
GHOST focuses on moving quantitative forms of training and learning assessment to a more qualitative assessment process, enabling individuals, units and even entire forces to recognise and act upon the ‘lessons learned’ in almost any training environment – though the company admits that the initial optimum usage of GHOST will be in the synthetic environment.
Inzpire is a company that embraces an entirely military ethos and in something less than a decade has come from practical invisibility and “A Good Idea” to become a company with a sizeable turnover (some £11 million, according to Griffiths) and one in which over 80% of its staff – which enjoys a very low turnover rate – has a recent military background. “In aggregate, we have over a thousand years of relevant military and operational experience,” Griffiths told journalists during a briefing at Farnborough.
Showcased on the company’s exhibit was GECO (originally Graphical Electronic Cockpit Organiser), a mission support system and planning/rehearsal tool that achieved initial operating capability with the UK Puma Force earlier this year. Squadron Leader Chris Greenwood, second in command of 230 Squadron RAF, explained that Puma crews use GECO “for mission planning, navigation and as an alternative for all our airborne paper products.”
Housed on Panasonic tablets – a 7 inch display version for the flying pilot and a larger 10 inch version for the non flying pilot, GECO provides instant, intuitive and comprehensive situational awareness for an aircraft that currently has no moving map display but for which potential wire strikes are a significant safety hazard.
Inzpire’s customer base is largely UK centric currently, though the Royal Jordanian Air Force makes use of GECO in F-16 training. Griffiths, however, indicated the company, which is far from a ‘single product marvel,’ “will be going global very soon.” Which makes it a company to watch closely as it leverages considerable expertise – and carefully honed vision – in the training domain.
Photo shows Inzpire’s GECO in use in a Royal Jordanian Air Force F-16.