Rheinmetall to announce LVCTS team
The Land Vehicle Crew Training System (LVCTS) for the Canadian Army (CA) is actively underway with contract award coming in 2025. With their eyes focused on this key program, Rheinmetall has announced partners and revealed its team name as FORC3, reflecting the strategic partnership between the German company, Lockheed Martin and the Department of National Defence (DND).
LVCTS is the biggest project within the Future Integrated Training Environment (FITE) programme for Canada. On contract award, the C$499 million ($387 million) contract would be delivered by Rheinmetall Canada, Lockheed Martin Canada, Rheinmetall Electronics and Lockheed Martin Training and Logistics Solutions within the next four to six years.
Other team members contributing to the effort are ADGA Group, Bluedrop Training and Simulation, EllisDon Construction and Building Services, Paladin AI and REDspace Incorporated.
The LVCTS project is set to deliver a training system, connected by a network and housed in purpose-built facilities, to enable crews of the principle armoured combat vehicles to train as realistically as possible at their home garrison locations.
It will replicate all crew stations within the Light Armoured Vehicle 6.0, the Leopard 2 MBT and the Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle and will be delivered to the five main CA garrison locations (Gagetown, Valcartier, Petawawa, Edmonton and Shilo). Canada will also contract for the in-service support at each facility with a cost estimated between C$15 million and C$30 million per year.
The LVCTS is the biggest project within the CA's FITE programme. (Photo: CAF)
The Canadian Armed Forces believe the LVCTS will transition 50% of current live driver training on targeted IT courses to the new system, 50% of live practices on gunnery courses to LVCTS shoots and it will divest legacy CA simulation systems such as the Land Vehicle Crew Training Systems (JCATS) and VBS2.
In line with the CA modernisation strategy, a minimum of 20% of live collective training (CT) will also be transitioned to the fully operational LVCTS, a number which is set to increase in the future. Rheinmetall claims the CA will be able to give rise to an 80:20 ratio between live and virtual training practice with the new system.
To achieve sufficient realism with the systems, FORC3 is taking an approach where it is using high-fidelity modelling that is already available in the industry and is leveraging 40 years of experience of delivering combat vehicle simulations, VP of Rheinmetall Canada Pietro Mazzei told Shephard.
‘For those platform types, we will be taking those high-fidelity models and we will be reusing them for a specific application,’ Mazzei said.
‘Whether it's a high-fidelity device, a medium-fidelity convertible-changeable device or a low-fidelity desktop device, we will be using the same models so that they all can replicate to the same level of fidelity regardless of the platform that is being used.’
Rich Liccion, director of maritime and land training solutions at Lockheed Martin, echoed this by saying: ‘The FORC3 solution will include the flexibility to run scenarios of varying complexities with the aim of maximising realistic training throughput.’
So we are going to take that [CCTT] and all its evolutions and we are going to start bringing modern techniques to it.— VP of Rheinmetall Canada Pietro Mazzei.
Each of the five training systems will bolster a mix of low-, medium- and high-fidelity devices, but the ratio will largely depend on the training sequence that happens at individual garrisons. The centres will also have after-action review auditoriums, exercise and development rooms and classrooms.
The LVCTS partners will leverage their experience harvested throughout the development of the US Army Close Combat Tactical Trainer (CCTT), the UK Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT) and the Canadian Combat and Gunnery Skills Training System (CGST) to provide the CA with a modern training system.
The question arises, however, as to why not simply reuse the well-established CCTT with some tweaks to fit the CA’s requirements. ‘In many ways we are,’ said Mazzei. ‘There’s a 20ish-year-old system that has evolved over the years, but it’s still a 20ish-year-old system. So we are going to take that and all its evolutions and we are going to start bringing modern techniques to it.’
A minimum of 20% of live CT will be transitioned to the fully operational LVCTS. (Photo: Cpl Dave Michaud. CA Twitter)
The CA says the LVCTS will allow all crew members of the army’s principal AFVs and lower-level leadership to train within a synthetic environment.
Given the erratic state of the Canadian defence budget, the CA is making sure that such an expensive project will be deeply integrated into future training capabilities. The finalised system will serve as the flagship interface of virtual simulations for the CA’s Future Integrated Training Environment (FITE), and as such, it will be a networked solution.
The CAF’s ambition is to link all LVCTS training centres and other CA simulation systems currently in use together by the Virtual Training and Experimental Network (VTEN).
Mazzei says LVCTS will have the ability to bring together all the required simulation and training elements under a live, virtual and constructed (LVC) training environment.
‘The FORC3 LVCTS solution will enable a live, virtual and constructive training environment consistent with the requirements of the CA FITE, including individual and collective training, ensuring compatibility and adaptability to integrate within the envisioned FITE,’ Liccion asserted.
More from Training
The issue around the Royal Air Force’s fast jet pilot training is multifaceted with no quick fixes at hand. What is the UK not getting right?
This year's third Red Flag exercise provided the US Air Force with the right environment to test emerging space and cyber technologies.
Three T-6C Texan II trainer aircraft are to be provided to an unnamed overseas customer.
The UK’s Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT) has been in service since 2002 and it has continued to evolve. The journey is not over, and the system will carry on serving the British Army, according to Lockheed Martin.
The cloud-based enterprise software called EMPACT from HTX Labs will support USAF training modernisation by boosting the adaptation of immersive solutions.