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ITEC 2017: Saab launches BattleTek 5 (video)

17th May 2017 - 13:20 by Beth Maundrill & Trevor Nash in Rotterdam

Saab has used ITEC 2017 to launch its BattleTek 5 constructive simulation system. Developed by Saab Grintek in South Africa, the product is designed to train military commanders and staff as well as providing an ability to train emergency response teams.

The new variant combines constructive simulation with VBS3 to provide a new 3D visualisation capability. Normally used to train battalion staff, BattleTek 5 can also be used to train down to company level or up to brigade and divisional levels.

‘This unmatched technology will significantly reduce the costs of battle training simulation. Saab can achieve a higher lever of training for as little as one to two percent of the cost of live training exercises,’ said JC van Schalkwyk, executive manager of Product Unit Training and Simulation at Saab Grintek Defence.

The original BattleTek has been in service for 20 years. In widespread use in South Africa where it is frequently employed during exercises with the African Union group of nations, the earlier BattleTek 4 system has recently been exported to Malaysia.

‘BattleTek 5 significantly cuts down what can usually be a ten-day mission to a fraction of the time. Trainees not only gain applied experience in a virtual environment, but also build confidence in particular situations,’ explained van Schalkwyk.

The latest variant of BattleTek integrates with ‘any command and control’ battle management system using interface protocols such as C-BML and JC3IEDM.

According to Saab, BattleTek, ‘enables command instructions and behaviour model data to be passed on for virtualisation and inclusion of artificial intelligence on a single entity level, allowing for in-theatre and after-action reviews to realistically visualise a scenario and improve the cognitive understanding of what happened during any training exercise by using hologram technology.’

 The commander can direct simulated forces and view the virtual representation using an Oculus Rift HMD.

‘It is important to note that the system is not only designed for military use,’ van Schalkwyk added, as ‘we have used it successfully in preparation for events where civil security is needed, for example a major sporting event, where multi-departmental emergency scenarios needed to be planned and exercised.’

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