At MSPO 2018 in Kielce, Cubic is revealing to a fascinated audience just what integrated training solutions are all about. The company is seeking to overturn preconceived notions where it can – such as the conviction that instrumented training systems are only appropriate to Combat Training Centres (CTCs): no, says Cubic – pointing to the ‘train as you want, where you want’ mantra that the armed forces of multiple nations have adopted over the last decade – they are just as relevant for forward-deployed forces.
The variety of solutions on offer from a single company can be bewildering. Live force on force instrumented training (using the experience built up with literally decades of using the MILES training system); precision instrumented urban villages dedicated to training for Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT); Air Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation (systems) to provide aircraft and helicopter pilots with a realistic training domain. Familiarity and competence in all these aspects of the training continuum are meat and potatoes to Cubic’s development teams and systems engineers.
That experience comes from several training installations around the world in which the company currently operates: in South Korea (US Army Camp Casey and the South Korean Training Centre); Canada (Weapons Effects Simulation System); United States (Pacific Alaska Range Complex at Forts Richardson and Wainwright, National Training Center at Fort Polk, Schofield Barracks in Hawaii); Australia (Urban Operations Training Facilities); the United Kingdom (Area Weapons Effects Simulator on Salisbury Plain and in Canada); and Army Training Centres in Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. The company’s desire is obvious – to see Poland become the next customer for its effective solutions.
Cubic’s system creates “a realistic battlefield environment for troops to sustain and improve upon their advanced tactical engagement skills against an opposing force,” according to the company. This system can be tailored to the specific needs of a customer. Every parameter of a training session can later be assessed and analysed during the After Action Reviews (AAR), since the system provides tracking and positioning data for all individual entities – soldiers, vehicles, fixed- and rotary-wing platforms – involved in the exercises. Field AARs are carried out on a standard tablet and can simultaneously be made available on larger screens in mobile or fixed facilities.
The ‘vanilla’ Cubic training system – before any inevitable customisation takes place – is composed of several major subsystems:
- Exercise Control Centre (EXCON) – The hub of the training exercise, in which observers/controllers/analysts can monitor and record battlefield activity and initiate area weapons events
- After Action Review facilities – Fixed or mobile AARs, which include a multimedia presentation in which troops receive objective replay and review of the exercise
- Digital Communications Network – Enables real-time monitoring and exercise control and provides the RF link between EXCON and individual entity instrumentation
- Instrumentation– Includes man-worn, vehicle and helicopter kits. The instrumentation uses GPS and other techniques to track player locations, calculate weapons events and transmit exercise data to the EXCON in real time.
As presented during MSPO, Cubic’s solutions have several other features, such as shoot-through-wall capability, integration with Virtual Engagement Simulation Systems in which judgement skills are honed (whether to shoot – not simply how to shoot), and the effects of area weapons – for example, blast, noise, smoke. Thanks to so-called Geopairing, the system evaluates weapon effects based on real-time assessment of weapon attitude, including bearing and elevation, and relative locations of both shooter and target.