Thales delivers Talisman training system
Thales UK has delivered an interactive training solution, the Thales Talisman Training System (T3S), to UK forces preparing to use the Talisman system in support of Combat Logistic Patrols in Afghanistan.
Talisman is a counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) system consisting of the Mastiff 2 protected patrol vehicle with a mast-mounted camera and a remotely-operated weapon station; the Buffalo mine protected vehicle, with a rummaging arm; the JCB high mobility engineer excavator; the T-Hawk micro air vehicle, with TV camera; and the Talon tracked remote control vehicle with TV camera. The vehicles operate together to investigate threats such as mines and IEDs on military supply routes in theatre. Thales is the Mission Systems Design Authority for Talisman.
The TS3 training solution was developed using Thales’s Directed-Fidelity concept, in which an end-to-end customised training solution is developed together with the customer. T3S was designed specifically to improve crew interaction and to practice tactics, techniques and procedures – ensuring enhanced operational readiness. T3S can incorporate operational experiences gained in theatre to continually evolve. Introducing new threats and testing responses enables the entire troop to rehearse complex missions in synthetic environments and to familiarise themselves with real scenarios, bridging the gap between individual equipment-oriented training and live collective training.
T3S comprises over 180 PCs and 70 displays operated using gaming controls. It runs a simulation based on the VBS2 gaming engine within a synthetic wrap derived from Thales’s open Generic Vehicle Architecture (GVA) and Vetronics Infrastructure for Video over Ethernet (VIVOE) developments. T3S simulates scenarios that would not be possible in live training, such as incoming fire, combined arms actions, extreme weather, day/night operations, joint Afghan National Army operations and local population movements. Thus, the system significantly enhances readiness for final pre-deployment field training.
Within four months of contract award, the first training course using T3S was delivered to the
Royal Engineers, the operators of Talisman. In that period, Thales designed, procured, built, tested, de-commissioned, transported and re-commissioned an entire Talisman troop training facility, including six representative vehicle bays complete with ‘out-of-the-window’ views and control systems, 30 operator workstations, communications systems and after-action review facilities. To date, Thales has delivered three further training exercises at locations in the UK and
The training courses are delivered by the MOD’s Talisman Training Advisory Team (TTAT). For each pre-deployment course, Thales supplies all the hardware and software, installs the system and then provides technical oversight and support to the training. This involves maintaining the T3S equipment and supporting exercise control (EXCON) during exercises and after-action reviews.
Major Chris Eyre, Officer Commanding TTAT, said: ‘Using the new training system, ‘what if’ situations can be played out and later analysed to help improve operational effectiveness and develop new tactics. By simulating different scenarios, introducing new threats and testing responses, the crew members rapidly become familiar with operating as a team, while the Command Team acquires a better understanding of the behaviours that affect the interaction between the platforms and the strengths of individual team members. The result is a much higher state of readiness for operations, prior to deployment.
‘Another welcome benefit of the system is that it can be deployed easily; it is designed for use in barracks, so we have seen far less disruption to the domestic lives of the troops prior to deployment on operations.’
Alex Cresswell, vice president of Thales UK's land defence business, said: ‘Complementary to training using real equipment, T3S provides the Royal Engineers with the ability to exercise tactics, techniques and procedures in a classroom environment that is low risk, low cost, and highly controllable.'
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