One of the measures of the health of a community is the extent to which it constantly seeks to expand into new markets. As a barometer of this drive, ITEC is traditionally notable for the number – and quality – of first time exhibitors using the show’s established presence to seek new opportunities for their solutions.
One company making a significant visual impact in its first foray into the world of ITEC at the ExCeL conference centre in London this week is Herndon, Virginia-based QuantaDyn Corporation. David Bolduc, the company’s Director of Operations (and one of the two co-founders) explains why. “We’ve just celebrated 15 years in business last November and we have also just won the US Air Force program of record for the Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) role. With those milestones under our belt, it just seems like a good idea to strike while the iron is hot,” he told MT in London.
That program of record – the Joint Terminal Controller Training and Rehearsal System (JTCTRS) calls for the delivery of 32 JTAC trainers for the Air Force (6 of which have already been delivered under a previous programme and will be ‘converted’ to units fulfilling the total requirement), on top of 22 already delivered to the Air National Guard. Housed in a five meter oblate spheroid (to cater for height limitations imposed by the proposed locations) each trainer provides an integrated training environment for JTAC candidates, offering great agility and flexibility in the replication of sensors and weapon systems – a Meggitt Training Systems FATS100e mortar system was in use on the QuantaDyn ITEC booth as a demonstrator.
Fitting the median definition of a small or medium sized enterprise – just about 50 people strong – QuantaDyn also has the agility and flexibility that invariably characterises such companies: the first JTAC training system was delivered in less than four months from contract award in January this year. The system uses MetaVR visuals, but can also be adapted for VBS3 or any other IG on demand and provides for day/night all-weather training operations. “A guiding principle has been to keep in mind at every stage this is all about training the mission – not about procedural training,” says Bolduc.
Although this is the company’s first testing of the European market through the medium of ITEC, it has already reason for celebration in the export market, according to Bolduc. JTAC systems have already been delivered to Latvia, are about to be despatched to Hungary and there is a third Eastern European customer whose identity will be revealed shortly.
“What gives the system an edge [and must have been a major influence in the selection for the JTCTRS award] is the credibility and flexibility of the battlespace environment,” Bolduc said. He adds that the entire ethos of the development has been to adapt open architecture throughout. “Proprietary is not the way to go any longer,” he concluded. Simplicity and maximum leverage of commercial off the shelf components and facilities have also been key. “We designed this for our kids to use,” he says, meaning that the interfaces and operating methodologies are drawn from such applications as Playstation to ensure that the current – and future generations – are able to relate intuitively and effortlessly to the physical as well as synthetic elements of the JTAC trainer.
Tim Mahon, ITEC