August, 2006: New simulator programs recently announced by several programs mark the continued deployment of simulation systems with land forces worldwide. New programs are fielded with the German and Swiss Armies, Thai land forces and Australian Armored Corps.

The Australian Army Armor School Deploy New M-1A1 Simulators

is operating new training facilities at Hopkins Barracks in Puckapunyal and in Darwin, base of the First Armored regiment, where M-1A1 tank crews will develop driving and gunnery skills. The new facility is part of the logistical package supporting 59 M-1A1 tanks procured from the USA back in 2004. The Australian Army procured the tanks as “Abrams Integrated Management” (AIM) versions, to replace its Leopard 1.

The contract called for delivery of two relocatable Advanced Gunnery Training Systems (AGTS), four fixed-site AGTS and one Tank Driver Trainer (TDT). Utilizing virtual environment, AGTS provides trainees basic skills they need before the live-fire training. The simulator is aimed at the individuals, crews and platoons levels, developing precision gunnery skills to a level of proficiency which permits rapid transition to live fire training or combat gunnery. Battlefield training areas delivered with the systems include all theatres of operation that may confront the Australian Defence Force. Also included is a scenario generation system which will allow the Australians to develop training exercises unique to their combat doctrine.

Germany, Switzerland and Thailand place orders worth €50 million

The German Rheinmetall Defence Electronics company recently announced multiple orders worth some €50 million of simulation systems received from Germany, Switzerland and Thailand for simulation systems. The company will modernize the GÜZ combat training facility at Altmark in Saxony-Anhalt for the German Army. This facility first entered service in 1997. The upgrade package will include the deployment of TETRA wireless system and installation of new high-performance networks and communication servers.

Swiss Army Upgrades ELSA Trainers for Artillery, AIFVs

In Switzerland the company will field the ELSA electronic gunnery training system and enhance the artillery simulation system. The system will use simulated artillery command, control and observation vehicles and qualify artillery troops in target acquisition and observation skills. ELSA systems will also be used for the training of infantry troops, operating CV9030 AFVs.

Thai Army Upgrades M-60A3 Trainers

Rheinmetall Defense Electronics will also upgrade its TACOS I gunnery simulator which has been deployed with the Thai military since 1998. TACOS II will give the Thai military the most advanced networked simulation centre for ground forces in the entire Asia-Pacific region. The new system consists of five true-to-life mock-ups of the fighting compartment of the M60 A3 main battle tank used for gunnery and combat training. In addition, TACOS II will feature five state-of-the-art driving simulators with electrical movement systems, suitable not only for entry-level driver’s training but also for driving licence training at all relevant exercise units. An important new feature of the order is the networking of both TACOS simulation units to form a joint virtual world. Starting in 2008, ten four-man tank crews, consisting of the commander, gunner, driver and loader, will be able to act out numerous scenarios in a networked environment.

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