Indirect fire support, and the rapidly growing training requirements for crew served weapons in the indirect fire role continue to provide an enduring theme at this year’s iteration of ITEC, taking place in London this week. Applications ranging from the Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) to ‘plain old’ Forward Artillery Observer roles – but at the heart of the secor lies the requirement to train mortar crews.
Saab Bofors Dynamic Switzerland has showcased its MAPAM Indoor Trainer (M-IDT) on both sides of the Atlantic before, but Kai Schlegel, the company’s Product and Area Sales Manager, says there has been a significant increase in international interest in the system in the last year or so. “There is considerable attraction to the way in which we provide mortar training from a wide variety of potential customers, which is very encouraging,” he told MT at the show this week.
He maintains that Saab’s capability in this respect is unique, in that the M-IDT is capable of replicating any existing mortar between 60 and 120mm calibre in service with existing and future potential customers. Where the system truly excels, however, is in training mortar crews using the MAPAM advanced mortar round developed by Saab. Indeed, the creation of the round itself provided the inspiration for the development of the trainer.
The MAPAM round provides what is essentially a precision strike capability for the indirect fire role. With a circular error of probability of about 10 metres at the round’s maximum range of 5,500 metres, it features significantly reduced likelihood of collateral damage due to its prefragmented nature and the precision of its hit probability. “We are talking about training close combat engagements here and that is something of a departure for this type of training device,” said Schlegel.
M-IDT can be provided with VBS3, Steel Beasts or Titan IM visuals, at the customer’s request. “Flexibility and interoperability with existing legacy systems is a very important point for us as we discuss possible M-IDT implementation with a number of customers,” Schlegel concluded.
Tim Mahon, ITEC