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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

04 December 2014

I/ITSEC 2014: A SWORD for New Zealand

Not, in this case, a replacement for a mere, a wahaika, a kotiate, a taiaha or a toki pou tangata, (all of which, are, in fact, Maori weapons) but a constructive simulation from Paris-based MASA Group.
The story starts at I/ITSEC 2013 – just one year ago – when Major Michael Chivers  from the Mission Command Training School (MCTS) in Linton, New Zealand, had a first hand demonstration of MASA’s SWORD command post training simulation system. In very short order, the New Zealand Army obtained a trial set of SWORD for the school and progressed with it so rapidly they had the confidence to use it to stimulate the existing command and control system in a multinational exerice held in New Zealand last September.

Colin Huston, Executive Officer of MCTS (which is itself fairly new, having been created in October 2012 from the New Zealand Army Simulation Centre, itself established in 2001), gave an audience on the MASA Stand at I/ITSEC 2014 on 3 December a flavour of how quickly and how effectively SWORD was integrated into MCTS activities.

The speed of acquisition in this case is pretty typical of MCTS’ freedom of action, according to Huston, since the School has its own budget and the authority to spend freely up to certain thresholds. This was helped by the fact that the procurement was fairly small – just 12 licenses – and was initially operated on a lease model as the school evaluated the potential utility of SWORD, though Huston confirmed that a more permanent arrangement is now being negotiated.

In September this year, SWORD was deployed by MCTS in support of Exercise SUMAN WARRIOR, an annual land-based tactical level command post exercise held under the auspices of the Five Powerv Defence Arrangements, comprising the nations of Singapore, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. Some 180 military personnel participated in the exercise, hosted by New Zealand at the Linton military base at Palmerston North on North Island.
The SWORD simulation was used at brigade headquarters in combination with Systematic’s SitaWare command and control software, with local firm Eagle Technology providing the middleware to facilitate connectivity and interoperability.

In effect, SWORD was used to stimulate SitaWare and the exercise participants worked off the New Zealand Army’s own command and control system. In fact, the participants found the system so intuitive and immersive that they almost forgot there was a simulation running, according to Huston, focusing on action rather than means. Which is a pretty powerful definition for immersive training, when you come to think about it.

New Zealand uses NATO doctrine, which meat the SWORD needed practically no modification in order to provide immediate and tangible benefits to SUMAN Warrior. Perhaps the proof of the pudding is that in the post exercise report, rather than pages of critiqwue and evaluation of the contribution SWORD made to the event, brigade headquarters limited itself to the apparently laconic but definitely sincere comment “It worked really well.” Four words that speak volumes.
Tim Mahon

I/ITSEC 2014: New Field Artillery Tactical Trainer from Elbit Systems

Elbit Systems Limited announced at I/ITSEC 2014 in Orlando, Florida this week the emergence of a constructive Artillery Tactical Trainer (ATT), which is soon to enter service with the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).

Describing the system as “a complete virtual-constructive and networked solution for force-on-force training of field artillery gun crews ranging from individual weapons to multiple battalion formations,” the ATT allows artillery units to prepare for current and future battlefield challenges, effectively and affordably.

The mobile simulator allows effective training of joint fire real-time decision making – anyplace, anytime – by connecting to the operational C4I and communications backbone of ‘live’ weapons and platforms.

“It is the latest addition to our family of embedded, independent and appended simulation and training solutions for land warfare platforms," said Alon Afik, VP Training and Simulation Business Line at Elbit Systems Aerospace Division.

The simulator incorporates a wide variety of computer generated forces – both friendly and hostile in nature – and accurate models of C4I systems, weapons, munitions and fire control units, embedded in an easily transportable shelter. The system also inegrates seamlessly with existing target acquisition and range determination systems such as Elbit’s own ATLAS LT and the Skylark I unmanned aerial system (UAS).

According to Afik, the simulation system’s principal advantages are twofold: “Firstly, the virtual-constructive training system delivers a realistic and immersive simulation that reduces training costs to an absolute minimum, while enabling artillery crews, teams, batteries and regiments to significantly increase their operational readiness. Secondly, through its use of modular interfaces, gateways and datalinks, the ATT provides a highly flexible and scalable solution that can easily be adapted or reconfigured to meet specific customer requirements and infrastructures. This is perhaps one of the most important considerations for modern armies as the technological capabilities of field artillery continue to evolve.”
TIm Mahon

I/ITSEC 2014: So what have you done for me today?

Like the members of almost any other business to business or business to government community, members of the training and simulation community of developers, designers, creators and – yes – marketeers – spend a considerable amount of time and energy exploiting the networking, group contact and effective discussion facilities offered by conferences such as I/ITSEC. Their parent companies invest significant resources – cash, of course, but also time, effort and human capital in the runup to, participation in and ‘after action review’ of every such show – particularly one as dominant and important in its sector as this one. And that AAR inevitably includes questioning from management as to what the tangible, immediate results of the investment are: “So what have you done for me today?

Sometimes it is difficult to persuade the people who “weren’t there” that the results, though perhaps intangible and needing time to be massaged to full fruition, are real and will have the desired beneficial effect on the business. In our world, where engaging the customer, exercising persuasion and seeking conviction take what may seem to be others to be an inordinate amount of time, the perception the community has of one’s participation in a show like I/ITSEC is a critical component of gauging success. It must therefore be particularly gratifying to a company when its efforts are recognised by its peer group and fellow members of the community. An award – one that is based on meaningful criteria and recognises the success of specific efforts or offerings – enhances the perception (dare one say it creates augmented perception?) of the company among its customers, competitors and partners.

Cubic must therefore be gratified to be able to announce that at I/ITSEC 2014 in Orlando it was awarded Best Tutorial for demonstrating excellence in its entry “Bridging the Gap: How to Build Effective Game-based Training.” The selection of the Best Tutorial represents the culmination of the conference.

Cubic’s tutorial describes how to leverage the vitality of commercial games in serious game-based training to create a more effective learning experience. Cubic’s virtual reality courseware is being developed to help underpin the effectiveness of the U.S. Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) once they are deployed on operations and to enhance the training of the sailors who serve on them. Designed from scratch, the innovative solution fully leverages the latest advances in simulation and learning technology. Studies estimate a 40 percent increase in retention of knowledge by using the experiential learning method found in Cubic’s technologies, as compared to the traditional courseware model that focuses on memorization.

This award is a validation of Cubic’s commitment to creating exceptional training experiences and putting our customers first. We continually strive to deliver innovative, best-in-class solutions and the highest degree of service possible,” said Bill Rebarick, general manager of Cubic Advanced Learning Solutions. “Cubic’s game-based virtual reality courseware is an example of how the use of simulation technology is offering efficiencies and improvements in today's military training.”
Tim Mahon

I/ITSEC 2014: Hard hat of the future – or steel helmet?

Los Angeles based DAQRI is a developer of augmented reality software, applications and devices, providing systems designers with enhanced capabilities, superimposing computer generated graphics on the real world. A first time exhibitor at I/ITSEC, the company has been showcasing its 4D Studio product and a new wearable heads-up display unit, designated Smart Helmet, designed to be worn and operated across a broad spectrum of industrial environments.

Described as “the first true creative tool for augmented reality” by Brian Mullins, DAQRI’s CEO, 4D Studio offers developers access to a variety of tools to create compelling and engaging ‘campaigns,’ whether the subject matter is a new diet soda or the decision-tree process for a tactical situation faced by a platoon commander. The fundamental nature of the system means that, as opposed to virtual reality – in which tools such as headsets and goggles create a specific simulated environment – in an augmented reality application any object can become a ‘target,’ to which augmentation is then applied, building and rendering data in four dimensions.

The potentially game changing technology embodies in Smart Helmet has been a four year ongoing programme since the company was founded in 2010. The principal target market at which it is aimed is the blue collar worker – a potentially huge market and one which has given rise to the sobriquet of “hard hat of the future” being applied to it. But the capabilities for increased realism in mission critical or complex systems training must hold significant interest for the military. It will be worth following up with DAQRI in a couple of months to see whether their investment in exhibiting at I/ITSEC is beginning to pay dividends.
Tim Mahon

I/ITSEC 2014: Saab new mortar simulator

One of the abiding lessons learned from operations in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere has been the importance of organic firepower at the lowest possible level. Although battlegroup or higher level artillery support and close air support are much heralded as providing quick and effective fire support, they never seem to be quite quick enough for a company commander facing an opposed obstacle crossing or a platoon commander finding his egress from a village blocked.

There is therefore a resurgent interest in the humble mortar: humble, but increasingly effective due to the emergence of advanced, capable, multi-pupose ammunition, such as Saab’s 81mm MAPAM advanced mortar round, developed by Saab Bofors Dynamics Switzerland Limited in Thun. Along with the ammunition, which is generating considerable interest, a parallel initiative has been undertaken to develop a new and innovative mortar simulator.

At I/ITSEC 2014, Saab showcased the new simulator, which overcomes some of the limitations imposed by more traditional solutions. In most if not all existing  mortar training solutions, the simulator is a replication of the relevant weapon system, which requires unloading the round after every simulated discharge. In other words, the mortar round is dropped down the barrel – and then needs to be removed before the firing process can be restarted and retaught. Effective for procedural training – but not that effective in instilling the skills required for real life employment of small infantry unit fire support, in which a single round is rarely enough.

The requirement against which the new simulator has been developed – currently on show in its 60mm variant – is for ‘fire for effect’ salvos of between three and five rounds. The rapid nature of seuqwntial firing of a number of rounds is facilitated through the use of a simple but ingenious mechanism. The lower half of the mortar tube is cut away so that the round, once ‘fired’ and reaching the firing pin, can be easily extracted and a fresh round dropped down the tube immediately. Extraction of then ‘fired’ round is achieved automatically, with an electronically activated carrousel accepting the round on a vertical spindle and rotating it to a safe position, while bringing another spindle into position to accept round two – and so on.

Developed by Saab’s Training and Simulation division in the Czech Republic, the mortar simulator currently exists in an indoor training version only, but work is already well under way on an outdoor training version, which will bring increased realism to the ambient environment in which effective training can take place. The 60mm demonstrator will shortly be joined by similar devices in 81mm and 120mm calibre, covering all the common mortar calibres of NATO forces.
Tim Mahon

I/ITSEC 2014: Radio simulator bridges gap for ADF

Calytrix Technologies Pty Ltd (Perth, Western Australia) recently completed delivery of a 400-seat radio simulator to the Australian Defence Force.

The requirement brief was a relatively simple one. The client wanted to increase the effectiveness of basic radio operation and procedure, using simulation as an alternative to ‘live’ training due to a lack of sufficient numbers of radios. “Basically, the ADF wanted to be able to train a class of 20 trainees with each one having access to the kit, rather than sharing four radios between a class of twenty guys,” said Tom Pokorny, Calytrix’ Chief Technology Officer during I/ITSEC in Orlando on 3 December.

Calytrix developed a customised skin for the training solution, specific to the equipment and always cognisant of the part of the brief that said “make it feel like a radio.” Great attention has been paid to the look and feel of the skin so that transition between the virtual and real environments offers trainees minimal disruption.
Tim Mahon

I/ITSEC 2014: XPI Simulation to build driver trainers for Scout SV

In an award that signifies a ground breaking development for the deployment of simulation in British Army service, Thales subsidiary XPI Simulation has won a five year contract from General Dynamics UK, valued at £20 million ($33 million) to supply driver training simulators for the SCOUT Speiclist Vehicle (SV) family of armoured reconnaissance and support vehicles.

The ‘first of breed’ nature of the programme reflects the fact that the British Army has not hitherto made use of a vehicular simulator employing six degrees of freedom in its motion component. XPI is to provide General Dynamics with a total of 28 simulators – both full motion and static devices – which will train drivers on all six variants of the Scout SV family. The ability to develop better driver awareness and familiarity with tracked AFVs is vitally important due to the increasingly complex nature of the vehicles. Simulation will help to develop future generations of SCOUT SV drivers, while allowing for quantitative evaluation of driver aptitude and ensuring that live training in the vehicle is of maximum value.

The UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) in 2010 set a target of completing 50% of all training using simulation by 2020 – with the aim of reducing vehicle costs, reducing environmental impact and saving fuel. The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) recently produced a ground-breaking study which showed that driver training with a high-fidelity simulator was as effective as training with a real vehicle.

Simon Skinner, Managing Director of XPI Simulation, said: “This significant contract for XPI Simulation confirms our position as the pre-eminent supplier of driver training simulators in the UK in both the military and civilian domains. Combining XPI’s flexibility and agility with the financial strength and in-depth expertise of Thales provides our customer and the MoD end-user with a professionally delivered innovative solution.”

Peter Hitchcock, Vice President of Avionics at Thales UK, says: “This contract signifies an important step for XPI and Thales as we continue to deliver on our ambitions within the military land training and simulation market. We look forward to working with General Dynamics UK and providing the British Army with a best-in-class training capability for the SCOUT SV.
Tim Mahon

LATINOAMÉRICA: Rolls-Royce exhibe sus diseños en Exponaval 2014

Una de las particularidades que se pueden ver entre los diferentes stands de las 140 empresas que se dan cita en la Exponaval 2014 es apreciar la maqueta de un buque construido en ASMAR, el astillero de la marina chilena, que fue encargado por una empresa europea: Rolls-Royce. En efecto, se trata del patrullero multipropósito THOR – Rolls-Royce UT512 L, construido en Chile por ASMAR para el servicio de guardacostas de Islandia, y que es una embarcación que incluye cubierta de vuelo y sistemas para combate de incendios, abastecimiento de combustible a helicópteros en vuelo, recuperación de hidrocarburos e investigación submarina. Pero Rolls-Royce no sólo muestra con orgullo el THOR: también promueve el diseño de guardacostas MPV 55 Tipo SEADI. La empresa también aprovecha de difundir otros productos de su cartera como ingeniería, sistemas de propulsión, sistemas eléctricos, sistemas de control y automatización y turbinas. “Nuestros productos están en servicio en setenta marinas del mundo”, es uno de los lemas que se puede leer en la carpeta de presentación de la compañía. En lo que a turbinas de Rolls-Royce se refiere, hay fragatas de la escuadra chilena que cuentan con ese producto por lo que el tema es relevante en esta parte del mundo. En la Exponaval la marina británica confirmó que hay un acuerdo para modernizar las fragatas tipo 23 del Reino Unido para que operen hasta el 2020 lo que tiene relevancia para la Armada de Chile ya que tiene en su escuadra tres fragatas de ese mismo tipo y el soporte que se entregará a las unidades británicas también debe servir para los navíos chilenos. Y Rolls-Royce es una de las empresas que dará ese soporte.

LATINOAMÉRICA: MBDA luce sus sistemas de misiles en la Exponaval 2014

MBDA, la compañía de los sistemas de misiles, está presente en la Exponaval 2014 y entre el material que exhibe se encuentran algunos productos en servicio en la Armada de Chile. Por ejemplo, dentro de la línea Exocet se puede apreciar tanto el AM39, que cargan los helicópteros Super Puma, como también el SM39, que es el armamento de los submarinos Scorpene. También es posible apreciar el modelo Marte, que se trata de un misil antibuque de mediano alcance de última generación (puede ser lanzado desde plataformas aéreas con alas fijas/rotatorias, desde buques de 30 a 50 metros de largo o montado en vehículos para batería de costa). Otro de los productos es el Mistral, que es un misil de defensa antiaérea de corto alcance y que es compatible con varios sistemas de lanzamiento. Siempre en el mismo stand se ven misiles antiaéreos de mayor alcance como el Aster (sistema antimisiles superficie-aire) y el CAMM (misil de defensa antiaérea de última generación). El CAMM es el misil que la marina real británica está usando para reemplazar el Sea Wolf en sus fragatas tipo 23 (como las que tiene Chile). MBDA acompaña desde hace tiempo a la Exponaval y en la presente versión de la feria el trofeo de la regata a vela tuvo el nombre de Copa Itaú-MBDA.

Exponaval es la única feria naval internacional en la región y entonces tenemos que tener una presencia. También Chile es un cliente de MBDA, un país donde tenemos varios productos en operaciones y estamos proponiendo otros nuevos. Entonces, para nosotros, la presencia en Exponaval es fundamental”, dijo Patrick de La Reveliere, vicepresidente de ventas y exportaciones de la compañía.

LATINOAMÉRICA: Damen anuncia nuevo contrato en la Exponaval 2014

Se sabe que las ferias internacionales son excelentes lugares para que las empresas anuncien sus nuevos contratos como una forma de mostrar su capacidad industrial y de negocios. Es el caso de Damen Shipyards, que en la Exponaval 2014 anunció un acuerdo con el fabricante de barcos Metal Shark Aluminum Boats para comercializar los diseños Damen que la empresa construirá en su nuevo astillero localizado en Franklin, Louisiana (Estados Unidos de Norteamérica).

Tenemos la intención de comercializar agresivamente una amplia gama de diseños Damen, incluyendo buques de transporte rápidos, embarcaciones de servicios de puertos y terminales, buques de apoyo para parques ecológicos, patrulleras de alta mar, remolcadores, barcazas y otras embarcaciones de especialidad”, explicó Carl Wegener, director de ventas de la compañía.

Nuestros nuevos diseños de Damen, junto con los diseños de Metal Shark que producimos actualmente en nuestras dos instalaciones, generan una oferta de productos muy variada para operadores comerciales y fuerzas militares de todo el mundo”, agregó. Pero Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS), parte de Damen Shipyards Group, también exhibe, en su stand en la Exponaval 2014, las maquetas de su serie de buques de combate (corbetas y fragatas) SIGMA. Esta tecnología ha sido aplicada en unidades de distintos tamaños, con esloras que van desde los 50 a los 150 metros y desplazamientos de entre las 600 y las 1.500 toneladas, diseñadas bajo un concepto modular. Se trata de buques de combate que podrían interesar a más de alguna marina sudamericana, en especial a aquellas que centran el poderío de sus escuadras en las fragatas.

LATINOAMÉRICA: DCNS muestra su capacidad en la Exponaval 2014

Entre las 140 empresas expositoras que se dan cita en la Exponaval 2014, que se realiza en la base aeronaval Viña del Mar, destaca la compañía internacional DCNS, un actor relevante del mercado en materia de construcción naval e integración de sistemas. En el stand de DCNS en la feria naval chilena se pueden ver u obtener información de varios de sus productos:

El submarino de mediano tamaño SCORPENE, que opera en la Armada de Chile y otras marinas del mundo. Se trata de un submarino que posee, entre otras virtudes, gran capacidad para tareas de patrulla oceánica extendidas. El SCORPENE 1000, un submarino compacto diseñado para operar en aguas costeras, un teatro de creciente importancia para todas las naciones marítimas. SUBTICS, un sistema de combate de submarinos que combina eficiencia operacional, sensores de alto rendimiento y armas de largo alcance. El GOWIND 2500, que es un buque de combate diseñado para vigilancia y combate de las operaciones navales tanto por encima como por debajo del agua, y las misiones de protección y escolta, en particular en el entorno litoral. El GOWIND 1000, un navío de alta velocidad capaz de intervención rápida contra las amenazas emergentes, con una autonomía significativa para el despliegue del litoral a los ambientes oceánicos profundos en tiempo de crisis. El OPV 90 L’Adroit, un buque que ha rendido bien en las misiones de seguridad marítima con la Marina de Francia. POLARIS, un sistema de misión compacto y actualizable para la vigilancia litoral optimizado y en servicio operativo desde 2012 a bordo de la OPV 90 L’Adroit.

03 December 2014

I/ITSEC 2014: Photographic Recap of Day Three

RUAG Training Grenade

Lockheed Martin F-35 LIGHTNING II Simulator

Lockheed Martin Gunnery Station


Rheinmetall live training
Saab CBRN Training

Theissen Training Systems at I/ITSEC 2014.

Textron Systems's Man-Portable Aircraft Survivability Trainer (MAST)

Colin Huston, XO New Zealand Mission Command Training School (MCTS) informs about MASA SWORD


CAE CAESAR trauma patient

I/ITSEC 2014: Seen and Heard on Day 3

Engility Holdings has been awarded an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with a $650 million ceiling to provide technical advisory services to the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The five-year contract represents new work. Task orders issued under the IDIQ can be cost-plus-fixed-fee or firm-fixed price. Through the Making Cities Work IDIQ, Engility will provide a broad range of technical services, including multi-year projects, to USAID/Washington bureaus and USAID missions worldwide in urban service delivery and related areas, including: water and sanitation; climate change; disaster preparedness, response and recovery; improved autonomy, transparency, responsiveness and accountability of urban and local governments; and improved urban and local finance, creditworthiness, and borrowing. Furthermore, Engility has won a $42.9 million contract to provide system engineering, design, prototype, and testing and evaluation for shipboard and shore-based electronic systems under a programme supporting the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD). This new contract, which is administered by the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, provides Engility with the opportunity to continue and expand its work for NAWCAD and is a $42,939,009 three year (one year base plus two options) agreement. “We appreciate the confidence our US Navy customer places in our work and we welcome the opportunity to support these mission critical Naval Aviation programmes,” said Engility President and CEO Tony Smeraglinolo. “This win reflects the outstanding management and technical expertise our professionals have provided to NAWCAD for the past 16 years and as a customer-focused company, we remain committed to ensuring mission success for the Navy.”


Amazon AppStream is an application streaming service from Amazon Web Services, which enables resource-intensive applications to stream from the cloud, reducing hardware requirements for Simulation, 3D Modeling, CAD/CAM, and other interactive applications.  With Amazon AppStream, one can expand the reach of one's application to more devices, enabling field testing on mainstream tablets and mobile devices, and cost reductions in training lab maintenance.  The instant-on experience of streamed applications eliminates the frustrations of time-consuming download and installation processes common in desktop applications.  AppStream can be seen in action in a step-by-step demo of deploying an existing application to the cloud at the DiSTI Corporation's booth #2419.


A-T Solutions won a task order worth $32.8 million (if all options are exercised) to provide training and ancillary support to the USMC Engineer School’s Counter-IED Training Programme. The task order supports JIEDDO JCOE’s Joint Counter-IED Integration Training Program (JCITP) and was awarded by the GSA Federal Systems Integration and Management Center (FEDSIM) on behalf of the Department of Defense’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) Joint Center of Excellence (JCOE). Dennis Kelly, president and CEO of A-T Solutions says this training is critical to ensure the, “Marines are well-prepared for their missions, understand the hostile regions and environments in which they will be working and are ready to face the possible threats.”


On behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Ascent consortium recently selected the Beechcraft T-6C as the aircraft to complement the BAE Systems HAWK T2 in the training pipeline to conduct fixed wing flight training for the Royal Air Force (RAF), Royal Navy (RN) and Army Air Corp pilots.The RAF and RN now join the US Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force as operators of the Beechcraft T-6C which will be used to train piots in readiness for the Joint Strike Fighter. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) recently took delivery of its fleet of T-6C aircraft and has commenced the transition of this platform into training operations. As testament to the pedigree of the T-6C's design, the NZDF has already extended the planned life of type for their fleet beyond the required 20 years out to 30 years. 27 Air Forces globally now depend on the T-6C to graduate in excess of 2,250 pilots each year. In addition, four of the 'Five Eyes' nations (UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia) are now operating the Beechcraft T-6 military trainer in their undergraduate pilot training systems. Beechcraft's T-6C has been put forward as the platform of choice for BAE Systems Australia's Air5428 bid to support the Australian Defence Force's future pilot training system.


The IDESS Maritime Training Centre in the Philippines purchased a VSTEP simulator classroom for training of its customers in compliance with international maritime standards and regulations.  The simulators provide IDESS with a high tech tool to enhance their current simulator training and offer customers certified simulator courses in navigation at the IDESS centre.  IDESS is an ISO 9001:2008 Quality Assured company providing  training courses to maritime students and personnel in the Philippines. The classroom purchase by IDESS includes 4 high performance  NAUTIS Desktop Trainers and an Instructor Station to allow the instructor full exercise control during training sessions. Following the recent scrutiny Philippine seafarers have come under due to the 2013 European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) audits and results, high quality training in compliance with current maritime regulations remains a priority for the leading training centres in the region. The installation of the simulator classroom gives IDESS full capability to provide cost effective training in compliance with the latest STCW and IMO standards. The classroom was delivered and installed by VSTEP and its Philippine partner Delnet and selected IDESS instructors have received simulator operation training from VSTEP engineers. The new simulators courses will be integrated in the IDESS training curriculum on offer.


I/ITSEC 2014 sees TerraSim, Eurosimtec, Motion Analysis, and SimCentric Technologies as booth partners of Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim) for the show, alongside new partner Fujitsu. BISim gives a preview of its latest product VBS IG, representing a new class of game-based image generation software, based on CIGI v3.3 standards, integratable with existing and legacy simulators and meeting traditional IG requirements, leveraging VBS3's massive content library, with over 9,000 characters, vehicles, weapons and objects. And, BISim optimised the VBS engine to deliver high frame rates, long view distances and many moving entities. The VBS3 host control for VBS IG allows desktop users to operate in the same battlespace as part-task trainers and full-mission simulators. Furthermore the following can be found at booth #2235, alongside plans for VBS3Fires and VBS3Strike in 2015 and beyond:

  • VBS IG: The next innovation in image generation.
  • New Features and Capabilities in VBS3 v3.6
  • Demonstrations of VBS IG
  • VBS3 snow simulation

BISim's VBS3 continues to evolve as a highly versatile training enabler, designed for tactical training and mission rehearsal. VBS3 v3.6, available since 28 November, includes the following new features: Improved performance for large and complex terrains, new command and control functions, advanced wounding and bleeding simulation, and control of wave heights using the Douglas Sea Scale.


TerraSim is showcasing TerraTools 5 and the Batch Mode Manager, a new plug-in that automates and monitors the development of large area environments. TerraSim demonstrates innovative advances in image classification and legacy terrain database reuse within our MaterialMAP and Xtract source data preparation products.


Eurosimtec provides simulation systems, software products as well as services and training solutions. The company's 3D virtual simulation systems and products ensure best training motivation and optimise training success. Eurosimtec's products include VB-Edit, a rapid 3D scenery and object editing tool one can use with VBS2; C³I-TS, an extension for VBS2 to simulate higher-echelon units and command structures; Visto, an operations research tool for military forensics developed for and in cooperation with the German Forces that enables the reconstruction and analysis of incidents in the simulation environment; and SOLUS, a Scalable, Unmanned Systems Training and Mission Solution product family.


Fujitsu's Secure by Design, virtual cloud-based training environment is a unique solution enabling access to VBS software in distributed environments, across a variety of ubiquitous platforms and services requirements. The system allows users to get instant, secure access to the training they need, when and where they need it. Using the built-in library, users and administrators can choose to seek consumption by the hour, user or task, thereby providing compliance and transparency in the organisation. The virtual, cloud-based service means training authorisers can meet short-term needs for more users or upgraded applications as and when those needs arise. Users can pause or log out of a training activity on one device and then simply log in and pick up the same activity again on another device, providing agility for users to complete their training at will, in all environments.


Motion Analysis is one of the world's largest manufacturers of high performance optical instrumentation systems that test and measure the movement of objects. Their systems combine proprietary hardware, software and electro-optical techniques with standard computer and camera hardware. These systems evaluate motion in a wide variety of applications: Animation Production, Movement Analysis, and Industrial. The company works closely with renowned specialists and third-party software developers to create value-added application software targeted at very specific vertical markets. Motion Analysis Corporation then licenses, maintains, and markets the software with its hardware systems.

SimCentric is showcasing VBS2Fires and VBS2Strike, as well as the recently enhanced VBSFusion. VBS2Fires is a professional Call-For-Fire training application,  VBS2Strike is a close air support training application both combining the flexibility and stunning visuals of VBS, with a highly sophisticated Call-For-Fire training and simulation system. VBS2Strike is designed to facilitate the training of a Forward Air Controller, and uses its internal AI engine to determine aircraft flight patterns and attack profiles, based on the values entered into the system. SimCentric is demonstrating their pattern of life products, Crowd Ambience and Traffic Ambience, and demonstrate their new video streaming technology for VBS2 and VBS3.


Riptide Learning, a division of Riptide Software, demonstrates its first ever xAPI-enabled training for rifle marksmanship ranges: Riptide’s REAPER proof of principle was selected by the ADL for demonstration at PlugFest - a satellite event at I/ITSEC. PlugFest is a special one-day event at I/ITSEC 2014 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. The Advanced Distributed Learning Directorate (ADL) hosts PlugFest to provide demonstrations and education about Experience API (xAPI). Riptide is demonstrating REAPER (Range Experience Acquisition Portal for Evaluation and Reporting). REAPER is an ADL-funded effort, which leverages xAPI and Riptide’s Elements courseware delivery to provide fully integrated military training range data to individual shooters, coaches/commanders, and researchers. “We’re very excited to be working with the ADL team,” said Nick Washburn, Director of Riptide’s Learning Division. “xAPI is the beating heart of our core product, Riptide Elements, so it is an honor to be part of the hands-on demonstrations and share our successes at one of the industry’s leading conferences with xAPI user groups from all over the world.”

Soldier readiness is the end result of the products and services provided by AEgis Technologies. Their products consist of fully configured simulation and training solutions including hardware, software and services. Located in booth #2411, AEgis features:

  • Mobile applications and serious games for training. 
  • Embedded trainers for small unmanned aircraft systems (S-UAS).
  • Terrain database development and high resolution 3D models.

"AEgis remains committed to providing quality products and innovative training solutions," said David King, AEgis executive vice president of Technology Solutions. "I/ITSEC provides us the opportunity to showcase our capabilities as well as keep our finger on the pulse of the War Fighters' needs and this industry."

Rockwell Collins debuted its RealFires transportable trainer along with its newest mobile training and electronic publications capabilities for the first time at I/ITSEC. In addition to its new mobile training offerings, the Rockwell Collins booth #2201 featurse the following offerings designed to meet the most challenging training and simulation tasks:

  • EP-8000 visual system
  • EP-80 visual system
  • ProSim ultra contrast projector
  • Air Combat Training
  • Radar simulation
  • Helmet-mounted displays
  • CORE simulation architecture
  • Virtual Avionics Procedures Trainer (VAPT)

Rockwell Collins also introduces its latest eBook, "Interoperability 2.0: The simulation and training tipping point." The eBook shares the importance of interoperability in driving the rapid acceptance of new simulation and training technologies by the aerospace and defense industry and military users. The eBook also explains how interoperability can benefit the use of visual systems, distributed mission training and Live, Virtual, and Constructive training. In addition, it covers key industry subjects such as determining the ideal balance between live and virtual training and the utility of games technology in training.


For more information, please see MILITARY TECHNOLOGY 12/2014, available at I/ITSEC 2014 on booth #773.

I/ITSEC 2014: Distributed Training, Steel Dragons and a Healthy Diet…

Well – not exactly. DSALT is not an exhortation to improving one’s personal diet, but rather an acronym for Distributed Synthetic Air Land Training, a world class initiative in distributed training managed for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) by QinetiQ. The company is showcasing some of the technologies underlying DSALT 2 on booth 1238 at this week’s I/ITSEC 2014 conference and exhibition in Orlando, FL.

Qinetiq showcasing technologies underlying DSALT2.

QinetiQ developed DSALT in close consultation with MoD over a five year period and was recently awarded a follow-on contract, valued at £33 million ($53 million) for a further five years. The company is supported in its endeavour by a consortium including Boeing and Plexsys, among others.

DSALT provides integrated, comprehensive and distributed training from the UK’s premier joint collective synthetic mission training centre  - the Air Battlespace Training Centre at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. The facilities include a number of simulators, including domes and tents to accommodate a variety of military aircraft and teams. Generic virtual role-playing desktop simulators, computer generated forces workstations and a tactical unmanned aerial vehicle workstation are also located at the facility, supporting the staff instructors.

An example of training delivered at RAF Waddington is the Steel Dragon training exercise, which provides trainees with experience of a realistic, high threat environment, to which they must respond with appropriate operational tactics, techniques and procedures.

Russ Cole, Flight Simulation and Synthetic Trainers Team Leader at MoD's Defence Equipment and Support, said "Simulation and synthetic training is an extremely important part of training our modern Armed Forces and, although it will never fully replace live training, the ability to practice and train in highly realistic but safe environments is a vital, life-saving capability essential to effective mission preparation."

DSALT2 is capable of reconfiguration, and the training will evolve over the next five years to meet the future operational needs of the military.  DSALT2 will continue to deliver immediate and detailed after action review of a training event, displaying the battle-space in 2D and 3D, ensuring key mission and training objectives, and any lessons learned, are seen and debriefed accordingly.

The QinetiQ team delivers networks, architectures and security technologies that enable mission training to take place at different locations across the country and the globe. The ability to link into live training exercises is also used to improve the training outcome by mixing in synthetic representations of unavailable assets.

Miles Adcock, Managing Director for QinetiQ Training, said, “We train the UK Armed Forces in the safe and effective employment of weapons systems available in an Air-Land battle, including artillery, mortars, attack helicopters, fixed wing and unmanned aircraft. Such realistic conditions are not usually available outside actual operations and our training provides vital preparation ahead of missions.”

Tim Mahon

I/ITSEC 2014: Christie's Cost-Effective, High-Performance Visual Display Solutions and Systems Integration Expertise

AT I/ITSEC 2014, Christie demonstrates three visual systems showcasing Christie AutoCal automatic display system calibration, a three-channel Matrix StIM WQ display showing simulated content at 120Hz, the debut of its low cost-of-operation Christie GS Series laser phosphor illuminated projectors, and an innovative spherical video trainer concept featuring real-world images for entry level applications..

Christie AutoCal calibrates virtually any arrayed projection display, from flat to cylindrical to spherical, and adjusts it to its optimised viewing configuration resulting in a stabilized, consistent display. Using two Christie Matrix StIM WUXGA-resolution projectors, Christie demonstrates the auto-calibration technology and process in real-time, showing how AutoCal’s simple interface offers expert display adjustment capabilities at the end users’ fingertips. It can re-calibrate both geometry and blending with accuracy and speed, helping to make the system easy to manage and maintain. The result is a highly efficient solution that reduces location resource requirements, maintenance costs and system downtime, while increasing customer independence with regard to maintaining their multi-projector displays.

The Christie Matrix StIM WQ integrated, scalable projection system uses its dual-input architecture to operate in 120Hz RGB interleaved mode to display simulation content at 120Hz for clear images with no motion-induced, visual artifacts. Another use of the Matrix StIM WQ’s dual-input architecture is Christie InfraScene mode, which displays separate RGB and Infrared (IR) channels to produce independent, stimulated Night Vision Goggle (NVG) images for a more realistic NVG training experience. The 800-ANSI-lumen Matrix StIM WQ is the brightest LED-based WQXGA simulation projection system in the industry.

Christie demonstrates a three-channel, front-projected display powered by FlightSafety International’s VITAL 11 Image Generator, showing a North Sea visual database optimized for 120Hz update rates. Each projector will composite two 60Hz inputs to achieve true 120Hz RGB operation, eliminating motion-induced blur and spatio-temporal aliasing and thereby dramatically improving dynamic image quality. The complete multi-channel system is automatically aligned using Christie AutoCal and Christie Twist warps and blends the image into a single, uniform display.

Christie Lampless Laser Phosphor Projection Makes its I/ITSEC Debut

Christie is big on compact and portability, but not short on features: Christie’s spherical video trainer system concept comprises a 2 by 2 array of Christie DWU555-GS solid-state, 1-chip DLP laser phosphor projectors, with 5,400 ANSI lumens and WUXGA resolution for bright, razor-sharp 1920x1200 images. With Christie GS Series laser phosphor illuminated projectors, customers avoid the cost and maintenance of lamp and filter replacements and enjoy an astonishing 20,000 hours of low-cost operation. Ideal for entry-level applications, the fully integrated, compact trainer features several simulation integration technologies, including a 360° look-around ability, six channel sound, auto-alignment using Christie AutoCal, and Christie Twist  LT for image warping and blending to create a seamless image on a curved immersive screen.

Always pushing the boundaries of simulation display systems and exploring new technologies, Christie has designed this system concept to demonstrate a new way to see the world in a simulated environment. For some possible training applications, it is faster to capture an existing environment photographically then to synthetically model every feature in CGI. One example might be orienting a new crew member to an existing ship before they even go to sea. The spherical video content features real-world images instead of synthetic CGI, thanks to WorldViz Vizard5 software displaying real images captured in 360° stills and video from AirPano, Kolor and Empire Media Group (EMG) by helicopter, hot air balloon and foot in a navy ship.

Military and defense organizations are constantly challenged to balance tighter budgets and yet still provide the highest quality simulated environments available for safe, effective and productive training of personnel,” said Jennifer Smith, executive vice president, Global Market Solutions, Christie. “Christie continues to demonstrate its knowledge and expertise in meeting simulation industry needs with cost-efficient, high-performance, fully integrated display solutions for today’s most demanding training requirements.”

Around the Trade Show Floor

Built by FAAC Incorporated, the Air National Guard’s (ANG) Boom Operator Simulator System (BOSS), using three Christie Matrix StIM WQ projection systems and two Christie FHD461-X LCD flat panels, is on display at the Air National Guard Training Development, booth # 1769.

DiSTI Corporation, booth #2419, uses a Christie QuadHD84 UHD, 384 x2160 pixel, LCD display to demonstrate its CH-47F Virtual Maintenance Trainer.

JRM Technologies, booth #1915, offers a stimulated Night Vision Goggle (NVG) demonstration using a Christie Matrix StIM WQ dual-input projector and Christie InfraScene.

FlightSafety International, booth #1401, uses four Christie Matrix StIM WQ projectors to feature its CrewView glass mirror collimated display and Vital Image Generator with a North Sea visual database optimised for 120Hz update rates.

Da-Lite Screen Company at booth #2469, has three blended Christie DWU555-GS.

LMI do Brasil uses the Christie QuadHD84 to display DIGINEXT’s DirectCGF High Fidelity Battlespace Generation Computer Generated Forces at DIGINEXT Virtual Reality and Simulation booth #2726

The NTSA SIM TV lobby displays showcase I/ITSEC and exhibitor promotional content using Christie M Series projectors.

Christie Digital Systems a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ushio, Japan, designs, sophisticated virtual reality, simulation systems and control room environments including high-resolution power walls, multi-sided immersive environments, curved screen displays, domed simulation and multi-projector arrays. Industries and organisations that rely on Christie range from government agencies to oil and gas, aerospace to entertainment, and manufacturing and design to pharmaceuticals.

For more information, please see MILITARY TECHNOLOGY 12/2014, available at I/ITSEC 2014 on booth #773.

I/ITSEC 2014: Corsair Engineering’s UAS trainer – Meeting the Needs for Training Future Crews of UAS

Indiana State University (ISU) recently acquired two new UAS Training Systems from Corsair Engineering. ISU acquired the newest release of the IM3PUT (Integrated Multi-Mission Multi-platform UAS Trainer) system to provide realistic learning and training experiences for students preparing for careers in unmanned systems. The IM3PUT system is capable of simulating a variety of generic and OEM UAS platforms on a single machine. The two-crew configuration allows students to practice flight and sensor operations, as well as crew-coordination, simultaneously on a single machine. IM3PUT systems may be connected over a network, to enable synchronized training in a joint scenario with common terrain and entities, for larger scale mission and coordination exercises. The simulator also allows for insertion of additional unmanned systems, such as ground and underwater-unmanned vehicles.
The new IM3PUT simulators provide students with the ability to practice a myriad of UAS operational concepts including manual and auto flight operations, sensor operation and management, crew management, communications, emergency procedures, and airspace coordination, all prior to conducting training on a specific UAS platform. (Photos: Corsair)

 Meeting the requests of users, Corsair Engineering has also designed the new IM3PUT systems to be used at various locations. One of the systems delivered to ISU has custom cases built for portability.

The addition of the new IM3PUT trainer, and an upgrade to the existing trainer, will enhance training throughput as well as overall training capability.  “Corsair is proud to be a part of the ISU training system,” says Brant Bond, Corsair Engineering’s VP of Training and Simulation.  “We worked together to understand the training requirements and have developed a highly-capable, low cost device that will help train ISU students and prepare them for future UAS operations.  The IM3PUT device’s proven capability, reliability, and cost-effectiveness make it a valuable part of any UAS training system.”

Corsair Engineering has the new IM3PUT system on display and available to test at booth #1234.

Corsair Engineering is a veteran-owned small business providing government and industry customers with quality high-fidelity training systems supporting engineering and logistics services. Corsair designs, develops, and delivers cost effective integrated human performance solutions that result in measurable value and productivity improvement. "Doing the Right Thing" is the focus of all of Corsair’s efforts.

For more information, please see MILITARY TECHNOLOGY 12/2014, available at I/ITSEC 2014 on booth #773.

I/ITSEC 2014: L-3 Link Accelerates Learning by Providing Adaptive and Immersive Training

L-3 Link Simulation & Training's (L-3 Link) military solutions are targeted to meet current and future training requirements across a wide range of advanced fixed-wing, rotary-wing and unmanned aircraft platforms. L-3 Link’s solutions, based on a service’s objectives, can range from adaptive learning total training systems to next generation simulation technologies to comprehensive training services. L-3 Link’s goal on every programme undertaken is to enhance soldier mission readiness. To achieve this objective, L-3 Link strives to provide customers with the fastest delivery of customised training solutions that deliver discriminating capabilities at the lowest cost.

In October, L-3 Link Simulation & Training (L-3 Link) announced today that its F-16C Aircrew Training Devices (ATDs) delivered to the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) have become ready for training. Both simulators, one a Block 52 and the other a Block 15, are installed and networked at the PAF’s Shahbaz Air Base.

L-3 Link F-16 trainer with the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) (All photos and graphics via L-3)

L-3’s advanced F-16C Aircrew Training Devices are enabling Pakistan Air Force F-16 pilots to gain training credit equivalent to live training,” said Dan Kelly, L-3 Link’s vice president for Air Force and Navy programmes. “Our high-fidelity simulation solution is allowing the PAF to cost-effectively conduct a significant percentage of its F-16 pilot training across a full range of mission scenarios.”

The PAF’s F-16C ATDs are supporting new pilot, pilot conversion and advanced skills training. Pilots are able to practice takeoffs and landings, low-level flight maneuvers and emergency procedures. In support of more advanced skills training, F-16 pilots are able to acquire and identify targets while accurately delivering a wide range of ordnance during simulated air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.

The PAF is the first international military service to use L-3 Link’s SimuSphere HD-9™ visual system display, which provides pilots with a high-fidelity, 360-degree field-of-view. The F-16 ATDs’ high-definition databases and image generation systems create highly realistic and relevant training environments. Each trainer incorporates L-3 Link’s simulated Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System, enabling pilots to practice control of aircraft targeting systems and sensors. Day and night vision goggle training is conducted over a geo-specific visual system database of Pakistan. The two F-16C ATDs are supported by one mission support system. Each simulator has a dedicated instructor/operator station.

L-3 Link is the leading provider of F-16 simulators worldwide. Since the 1970s, the company has delivered approximately 140 F-16 training devices in support of the USAF, Air National Guard and 11 foreign nations.

High fidelity F-16 MTC simulators will accurately model all of the fighter aircraft's weapon systems and ordnance. The simulators are being delivered in Block 40/42 and 50/52 configurations to support basic and advanced pilot mission training, tactics validation and mission rehearsal. The F-16 MTC programme is integrated with L-3 Link's next generation HD World visual and display simulation technologies. These advanced simulators are integrated with high definition databases, image generation systems, physics-based processing technology and visual system displays to create highly realistic and relevant training environments. HD World's visual display component, SimuSphere HD, will provide each F-16 MTC training device with an immersive field-of-view that can display out-the-window imagery at 20/40 visual acuity.

L-3 Link’s HD World solution provides a realistic, high-fidelity synthetic environment simulation that immerses pilots in high definition, dynamic training scenarios. HD World supports day/night, low altitude and all-weather mission training, in addition to realistically simulating employment of a full range of weapons and sensors.

Each F-16 MTC installation will consist of four high-fidelity training devices that are integrated with a 360° visual display, robust synthetic environment, instructor/operator station and brief/debrief station. The simulators can be operated individually or linked together to provide four-ship training, both within the MTC and the service's Distributed Missions Operations (DMO) network environment.

For more information, please see MILITARY TECHNOLOGY 12/2014, available at I/ITSEC 2014 on booth #773.

I/ITSEC 2014: Kongsberg PROTEUS – The Aural Advantage

What a difference a ‘t’ makes! We’re used to bandying the word simulation around, for obvious reasons in this community. Less frequent is use of the word stimulation – but the PROTEUS Passive Sonar Simulator (PSS) from Kongsberg Defence Systems (exhibiting on booth 1000 at I/ITSEC 2014 in Orlando this week) makes the difference between the two crystal clear.

Conventional sonar training solutions make heavy use of simulation in every aspect of the training environment: displays, human machine interface (HMI), analysis software and computer generated audio and target signatures. In the PROTEUS PSS, however, only the two latter items are computer generated and are then used to stimulate the ‘live’ sonar systems on board the submarine or surface vessel.

Essentially, the PSS stimulates the output from the actual sonar’s hydrophones. This output can then be modified by real system generated noise and the resulting audio heard by the sonar operator. This significantly increases the realism of the aural environment for the trainee, as he (or she) uses the actual displays, HMI analysis software tools and audio output to track and classify target signatures in exactly the same fashion as they will later do when tracking ‘live’ targets at sea.

More representative of real world target detection, identification, localisation and tracking, the PSS thus lends itself to highly effective training.

Developed as part of the Norwegian Navy’s Ula-class submarine upgrade programme and made available for training some three years ago, the PROTEUS PSS is now available for use by other navies and can be customised to provide a customer specific training solution. HLA compliant, inegratable with third party trainers using an HLA or DFIS interface, PROTEUS PSS can be federated with any other Kongsberg PROTEUS or POLARIS training system. The secret, according to Kongsberg Defence Systems' Morten Kolve, lies in “tying the sound to the visuals and in isolating individual noises then aggregating them where required.”

To familiarise trainees with individual noises on a vessel, for example, the PSS can isolate specific sounds coming from the propulsion system, engine space machinery, weapons mounts or general ambient level noises. This leaves the trainee free to hear, analyse and remember the sound of a sonar contact – learning to discriminate between biologicals, bottom returns or legitimate targets – isolated from the ambient sound he would normally experience. Sound components can then be added back in incrementally to the point at which a ‘live’ sound picture is presented to the trainee. This helps enormously in providing effective and sustainable training in the difficult role of fonar operations – though one has to question just how motivating it might be for the operator to also hear – unexpectedly – the sound of an active sonar from a surface vessel or submarine ‘pinging’ him!

Tim Mahon

I/ITSEC 2014: Presagis Launches New Modelling and Simulation Software Suite 14

Presagis this week released its latest modelling and simulation (M&S) software portfolio, M&S Suite 14, at booth #1920.

M&S Suite 14 expands on the previous release by enabling system integrators and manufacturers to add game-quality 3D content to their simulations at a fraction of the time and cost previously required, reducing the need for large art teams.

Each product in the Suite features significant enhancements that support the Presagis focus on higher-quality visuals:

  • CREATOR 14 strengthens its position as the market leader in simulation-ready 3D modelling with the addition of new lighting and surface effects, model fracturing, and physics simulation tools that allow content creators to easily define damage states and rapidly optimize simulation models.
  • TERRA VISTA 14, now a 64-bit application supporting very large-area correlated terrain databases, adds integrated material classification tools to streamline the generation of sensor-ready databases.
  • STAGE 14 now allows users to dynamically add cultural features such as trenches, fences, barbed wire, and concrete blocks to simulations, delivering highly realistic results without the need for frequent database regeneration.
  • New additions to HeliSIM 14, including support for up to eight rotor platforms, make it ideal for UAV/UAS simulation.
  • VEGA PRIME 14 now offers striking, high-quality visuals through features such as Normal and Light Maps, non-uniform terrain shading, Ambient Occlusion, Narrow FOV (field of view) support and much more – at a new, lower price point that makes it affordable for all budgets.

Presagis has improved performance across M&S Suite 14 by making it faster and easier to develop re-usable databases and by expanding the range of scenario development options. “With M&S Suite 14, system integrators and manufacturers will benefit from important gains in visual fidelity and can reduce development risks and costs by using platforms that have been field-proven by customers for over 25 years,” said Stephane Blondin, Presagis Head of Product Management and Marketing. “M&S Suite 14 provides an open-standard simulation development framework designed to support a full range of simulation applications across the air, land, sea and public safety market segments.”

The M&S Suite 14 launch is accompanied by an expansion of the company’s international footprint and an increase in the range of professional service offerings from additional simulation experts who can assist customers in bringing new solutions to the export market faster.

Presagis is showcasing M&S Suite 14 in a number of different simulation applications at I\ITSEC 2014, and many members of the Presagis Partner ecosystem will be demonstrating related applications. 

I/ITSEC 2014: Saab Introduces Mortar Indoor Trainer (M-IDT)

Saab's (booth #1939) Mortar Indoor Trainer (M-IDT) replicates the complete mortar training process with the use of most modern virtual simulation technologies. The M—IDT consists of a mortar replica, sight unit replica, simulated ammunition and an Instructor Operator Station (IOS) with a Forward Observer application.

 Saab's new Mortar Indoor Trainer (M-IDT) (Photo: Saab)
M—IDT provides realistic training for the following training tasks:

  • Mortar calibration and bore — sighting
  • Mortar laying and orientation
  • Direct Fire — in line of sight
  • Indirect Fire — without direct line of sight
  • Rapid fire
  • Ammunition selection and preparation
  • Call — for Fire commands execution
  • Fire evaluation and adjustment procedures

The Mortar Replica comprises of a bipod, basement and azimuth measuring system. The Saab Mortar Tube Replica has a unique rotating carousel mechanism for recovering loaded simulated ammunition. This carousel mechanism allows rapid salvo fire for up to five rounds with minimal holding time of one second between each round. Ammunition ballistic trajectory is realistically simulated based on ammunition type, number of charges, mortar barrel orientation and simulated wind. The ammunition damage effect simulation in the area is based on calculation of fli ght trajectories for all shrapnel, impact energies of shrapnel and affected entity vulnerability model. The ammunition coverage area can be visualized in a 3D environment with lethality zones marked. The pictures shows the difference of fragments between two types of rounds.

I/ITSEC 2014: MetaVR – Realism Inch by Inch

Sometimes there are innovations that one stops to marvel at – largely because of the marshalling of multiple resources – scores of developers, dozens of executives engaged in customer consultation and large groups of engineers busy with implementation. Sometimes there are innovations that one stops to marvel at for just the opposite reason. How can so few people create, develop and market a game-changing technology, solution or application?

MetaVR, showcasing its terrain databases and expanded capabilities on booth 1249 at I/ITSEC 2014 in Orlando, is a case in point. A company of just a dozen full time staff and one that regularly punches above its weight, the single most fascinating aspect of their presence at this year’s iteration of the world’s largest training and simulation conference is a demonstration of terrain visualisation at an astonishing resolution of one inch per pixel.

We are used to seeing high resolution databases with terrain features clearly identified down to one metre resolution, but the MetaVR development brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘realistic terrain.’ In fact, says company CEO W. Garth Smith, “the resolution is actually 0.8 inches per pixel, but we say one inch for ease of reference.”

What this means for application developers is the ability to inject realism into scenarios at a level never before considered achievable. Armoured vehicles crossing soft terrain will leave tracks; dismounted troops crossing sandy ground will leave footprints; combat engineers mining a bridge will leave unmistakable signs of their work that remain obvious long after their withdrawal. All these features – and more – can now be inserted into a synthetic environment using MetaVR’s new capabilities.

Sceptics might look at such a development and decry it for being a step too far – isn’t this to some degree a solution looking for a requirement that doesn’t yet exist? “Not at all,” says Smith. “In the year since we first unveiled this capability, we have spent a lot of time optimising it and engaging in detailed discussions seeking the first application in which to evaluate it. We now have that test case, and you would be surprised at the strength of the positive reaction we have had when folks see what this technology can do for them.” The company’s own evaluation was conducted in Arizona, but work is now under way for a customer led test and evaluation in Fallon, Nevada.

Perhaps even more interesting is that in order to generate the raw data for the new capability, MetaVR has taken another bold and innovative step – one that few of its peers, large and small, have taken. The company commissioned one of its many partners – Swift RC – to build two company-owned unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for the specific purpose of generating high resolution terrain imagery.

Smith firmly believes this development is a powerful discriminator for the company. “We’re pushing realism into the realm of the geo-specific – and that has multiple potential applications,” he said. Indeed, one of the first applications that springs to mind is being able to bring realistic and accurate terrain models to mission planning and rehearsal – providing mission commanders with the actual terrain over which their operation will be carried out, rather than generic, at a level of realism and accurate replication that will inevitably help in the mission itself.

An additional facility MetaVR is showcasing at I/ITSEC is what Smith calls “real time imagery classification,” which takes the output from high resolution imagery scans and turns it into thermal signatures for IR sensors and NVGs, for example. Which again lends itself to mission planning and rehearsal at the squad or individual vehicle/helicopter level, rather than just ‘generic’ unit training – in which the technology is also likely to provide enhanced results.

Is the training and simulation community ready for innovation like this? The jury is out and there are as many protagonists for Smith’s point of view and aspirations as there are detractors. At a time when we all look for a competitive edge and a differentiator to set us apart from the crowd, however, one cannot help but ask whether Smith and his colleagues haven’t got it right – and right now!
Tim Mahon

I/ITSEC 2014: VT MÄK’s Simulation Approaches to Command and Staff Training

The military has long promoted the adage “train as you fight.” However, live training exercises are costly and time consuming, which reduces their frequency. Simulation-based training has become widespread as a means to fill the gaps between live training events but even traditional simulation centres, with their full-time support staffs and heavyweight wargaming systems, are expensive and require months to plan, coordinate, and execute training events.

In order to meet the needs of today’s military staff, tactical training systems must be low-cost, low-overhead, and deployable, enabling training exercises to be conducted more frequently.
VT MÄK provides simulation environments that stimulate command and staff training systems; we provide the synthetic environment, including the military force-on-force scenario, plus the wider context of current events that affect the command staff as they work through training exercises.

MÄK’s Military Training Simulation Solutions

Battle Command is MÄK’s low overhead command and staff trainer that allows combat commanders to practice their planning and execution skills within a compelling simulated environment. Built on top of VR-Forces, MÄK’s Computer Generated Forces (CGF) platform, this training simulation helps commanders develop warfighting skills by allowing them to plan the battle, fight the battle, and review the battle. In the planning phase, trainees produce graphical and text-based products to support their military decision making process. During this process, trainees collaborate on shared graphical overlays and text based plans. When trainees are ready, they run the simulation and fight their plan against other players or a computer-directed enemy.

MÄK has proven success using VR-Forces as the basis for Command & Staff Trainers (CST) and has served multiple types of customers using the low-overhead approach:

  • Battle Command 2010 – used by Army commanders and staff officers in the field to practice and teach decision-making skills. 
  • MAGTF-XXI – a tactical decision-making game that provides low-cost training opportunities for Marines stationed at bases, deployed, and at formal schools. 
  • QuickStrike – a desktop simulation that supports staff interaction with combat crews flying Air Force flight simulators, as well as individual student operations.
  • Our CST customers include the US Air Force (ASOC), Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, the Dutch Army, Elbit’s Homeland Security Trainer, Rheinmetall’s Air Defense Operations Simulator (ADOS) program. MÄK continues to provide Battle Command and Quickstrike and is currently developing future generations of Command and Staff Trainers.

Also in MÄK’s arsenal of Command Staff Trainers is ECOSim (Enhanced Company Operations Simulation). ECOSim is a company-level training simulation that teaches leaders how best to deploy troops, UAVs, convoys, and other assets. ECOSim focuses on ease-of-use, rapid scenario generation, runtime operator control, and realistic & reactive human simulation. The fruit of a 5-year collaboration between MÄK’s DI-Guy, the US Marines, and JIEDDO, it is designed so that a Marine can be trained to operate the system in minutes.

The US Marine Corps Tactical Operations Group (MCTOG) uses advanced human simulation to model blue forces, oppositional forces, and civilian pattern-of-life to train captains prior to deployment in Afghanistan.  ECOSim trains IED defeat missions simulating sophisticated human networks of opfor financiers, bomb makers, safe houses, leaders, and emplacers.  These IED networks operate within a larger backdrop of ambient civilian behavior: farmers in fields, children attending school, families going to marketplaces and religious services.  The Marine captain commands searches, patrols, and detentions, all while monitoring the battlefield using ISR data provided by UAS and stationary cameras.  In addition, ECO Sim has a sophisticated report capability, mimicking the way Marines will actually convey and receive information in the battlefield.
(Source: VT MÄK)