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  SoldierMod Volume 10 - Jan 2013
Volume 10 Articles

World Business ResearchHow is Soldier Simulation
Advancing Across the Globe?

New equipment has led to armies across the world investigating new ways to boost the efficiency of their operations

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Photo: © Sgt. Matthew Moeller. The US Army on
Photo: © Sgt. Matthew Moeller. The US Army on

With technology evolving at such a fast pace, new devices can be used to help infantries on a number of different levels. These can include weaponry, communication tools and protective clothing.

However, in order to ensure that new technologies are going to be advantageous for forces, an evaluation process can be taken, which will help to investigate the effectiveness of newly developed systems and pinpoint any rectifiable flaws.

This is why the Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed an agreement with QinetiQ that confirms the Long Term Partnering Agreement (LTPA) for test and evaluation and training support services until March 2013.

As part of the deal, QinetiQ is in charge of 18 core MoD-owned sites and is accountable for the prevision of non-tasking services.

It will also deliver a training support capability, maintain associated equipment, land and buildings, while providing an investment programme that ensures that systems are developed and maintained to meet the evolving needs of the MoD.

The contract was initially signed in February 2003 and is valued at £5.6 billion over a 25 year period to 2028, making it one of the largest of its nature in Britain.

MoD weapons commercial director Rob Bellis commented on the contract, noting: “We needed to maintain sovereign capabilities but also reduce overall costs and this ongoing partnering arrangement with QinetiQ allows us to achieve this.”

One of the programmes of particular importance to the British army is the Joint Training Evaluation Simulation (JTES), with the QinetiQ’s LTPA service backing the move for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the group believes that JTES will help to provide information for risk analysis, meaning that armies can discover and eliminate any potential system issues that could have otherwise led to accidents in the future.

Furthermore, the organisation has noted that an evaluation will allow investment trade-offs between Defence Lines of Development (DLoDs), draw together theories and reality and find an affordable route to finding the “war-fighting edge”.

The group has also emphasised that a coherent capability evaluation is necessary, with gaps clearly identified and critical components evaluated.

Additionally, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has addressed that any evaluations must be in line with the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), stating that there is “A pressing need for a more effective organisation to ensure the UK is able to respond to new threats and to address shortcomings”.

In its role, QinetiQ has been contracted to deliver a number of solutions to the MoD, with it recently being assigned to develop a new training environment for close range gunnery training at the Royal Navy.

This must be a scalable, flexible, training simulation system that enables individual, collective and continuation training to be provided in the use of close range weapons.

Miles Adcock, Managing Director of Training & Simulation Services at QinetiQ, commented that the environment will feature QinetiQ’s software alongside current gaming technology.

“Using open standards and interfaces to enable interoperability and data exchange, the tool can be easily reconfigured to work with other training programmes such as the Maritime Composite Training System or other Ship alongside training facilities.”

Mr Adcock went on to say that the MoD has welcomed in a new type of simulation and training that merges QinetiQ’s knowledge of technology with detailed military understanding from experience in operational theatres, as well as the gaming industry’s creativity to deliver cost effective training solutions.

Such technology is not only intuitive, flexible and cost-effective, but it can also help to save lives, he explained.

The UK is not alone in its efforts with simulation, as the Australian army has opened an Environment Simulation Centre.

The premise aims to provide enhanced protection for the country’s soldiers, and was launched in October by the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon.

At a cost of $4 million (£2.7 million), the test facility has been opened at the Defence Science and Technology Organisation in Melbourne, with the site set to be used to analyse the performance of ADF clothing, such as current uniforms, developmental materials and new design opportunities.

As part of the facility, an articulated mannequin will be utilised to replicate human movement, allowing scientists to discover the true benefits of clothing and appliances, as opposed to relying on manufacturers’ claims.

Speaking about the technology, Mr Snowdon noted: “This is a major improvement on the existing system of testing which used small swatch samples cut from uniforms or rolls of cloth.

“The fully kitted-out, moving mannequin will substitute as a virtual soldier and allow the entire ensemble to be evaluated in a holistic way.”

The Environment Simulation Centre will also allow specialists to investigate how protective clothing reacts to a selection of hazardous and toxic surroundings.

Thanks to modern-day technology, it is possible for researchers to experiment with new ways of emulating situations ahead of implementing equipment, a notion that has been illustrated in a recent report by

It revealed how RL Leaders has combined aspects of the entertainment industry with national security training demands to formulate tailored role-playing simulations.

A training session was carried out at the Camp Atterbury Joint Manoeuvre Training Centre in Illinois, where the Counter-IED Collective and Individual Mounted Training Program simulated realistic combat conditions for soldiers.

The technology placed personnel into a simulated armoured vehicle, and high-definition projections were used to represent noise, smoke and visibility hindrances.

John Rogers, Chief Executive Officer of RL Leaders, said: “We think it’ll save lives and are delighted with the thousands of extraordinarily positive responses from soldiers that have gone through it.”

After a soldier has used the facility, recordings can be witnessed that allow people to review how soldiers handled the simulated situation, meaning that weaknesses can be identified, and strategies can be found to make combat reactions more efficient.

As demonstrated with Britain, Australia and America’s respective solider simulation efforts, the technology is becoming a key part of army operations around the world.

World Business Research

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