Taiwan to induct laser engagement training system
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) will invest NT$970 million ($32.2 million) over the next three years to continue development of a new laser engagement system to replace an older one in service since August 2006.
Taiwan’s laser engagement system, similar to the US Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES), will be attached to individual weapons, tanks and armoured vehicles.
The new Republic of China Army (ROCA) system will simulate engagements, with individual soldiers carrying small laser receivers scattered over their bodies that detect when they have been illuminated by a firearm’s laser.
The MND’s goal is to reduce the frequency of live-fire exercises, which neighbourhoods adjacent to military training facilities often protest. Such simulated live-fire exercises will remove the need for gunfire.
The National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) has been given the responsibility to manufacture this field training system. It will become operational by 2019.
The indigenous laser engagement system consists of a harness, T-91 laser rifles, AK-47 laser rifles, radio host, laser engagement server and laser calibration device. The system performed a field test last year and performed successfully.
At the TADTE 2015 exhibition in Taipei, the NCSIST showcased its Immersive Interaction Shooting Simulation System (i2s3, as pictured above), so the new system likely shares core elements.
Two battalion-scale training systems will be set up at ROC Testing and Evaluation Centres in Hsinchu and Tainan, and another will go to the Infantry Training School in Kaohsiung to train a mechanised infantry company.
The old system, imported for NT$385 million, was supposed to create a force-on-force platform to improve training efficiency and enhance the combat readiness of the ROCA.
However, that system could only be mounted on HMMWV platforms, thus preventing the ROCA from conducting joint operation exercises using all available assets. Besides, some modules are out of date, and the training system was put to one side not long after it became functional.
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