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The DiSTI Corporation announced their successful completion of their $2.8 million contract award from the US Army’s PEO STRI for the development of the Counter – Rocket, Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM) Land-Based Phalanx Weapon System (LPWS) Operator/Maintainer Trainer (OMT) developed on the VE Studio platform.

C-RAM was developed to protect ground forces and forward operating bases from the threat of rockets, artillery and mortars. Live operational training with the C-RAM LPWS system can be dangerous and expensive with the various physical aspects involved like missile engagement, extreme weather conditions, ammunition cost, and safety restrictions.

The C-RAM virtual training solution enables air defence artillery teams to practice procedures for operating and maintaining one of the army’s most complex weapons systems in a safe and controlled environment; including clearing ammo feed jams – a task difficult to repeatedly replicate during live training.

Student safety and lowering the cost of training were key considerations for the development of the training solution. The OMT assists students with training on the C-RAM LPWS by simulating scenarios in a virtual environment that includes over 105 operator and maintainer procedures and instructional modes that support free play, tutorial, practice and assessment. The OMT’s Instructor Operator Station (IOS) provides instructors within the classroom the ability to remotely demonstrate procedures, assign lessons to students, and evaluate student performance.

A key feature is animation of C-RAM’s gun belt feed system in action while the weapons is firing and the simulation of seven different feed jams soldiers could encounter in the field. The OMT provides operators and maintainers with an in-depth view of the inner workings of the weapons system with see-through views – unlike anything they would be able to replicate with physical training without risking the soldier’s safety.

The C-RAM LPWS OMT programme used the latest release of DiSTI’s commercially available VE Studio development platform that provides a proven, patented process to efficiently create interactive 3D content rendered using the Unity game engine. Unlike using Unity by itself, VE Studio offers a database-centric production pipeline to efficiently manage 3D virtual environment development; reducing programme development cost and risk while enabling the army to issue future procedural updates, system variants or integrate AR/VR capabilities at a considerable reduction in production cost.

This is by far, one of the most complex examples of how a state-of-the-art OMT solution can deliver an immersive, life-like simulation capable of training students on very complex and dangerous procedures that they could not easily perform in the real-world. It will pay dividends in maintenance and operational practice when lives are on the line in the field,” says Steve Jackson, Vice President of Business Development of the DiSTI Corporation.

The US Army estimates 2,000 students per year will pass through the five electronic classrooms. Thirty-nine Unit configurations consisting of ruggedized laptops will also be distributed to actively deployed units – offering remote training and variant upgrade modules in the field for the life of the programme. (Image: DiSTI)

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