Accuracy was the priority throughout the system’s development. The launcher weighs and feels the same as an actual Stinger weapon system. The trainer is built on Raytheon Technologies’ Instinct® common operating environment, which replicates realistic terrain and targets, and allows service members to train cooperatively and remotely from anywhere in the world. Raytheon Intelligence & Space builds the software that connects the system’s hardware.
The virtual missiles and targets, programmed with decades’ worth of unclassified data from real-world Stinger launches, behave as they do in the field, whether that’s a wooded area, a rocky desert or an Arctic plain. And the engagement sequence comes straight from the military’s official gunner’s handbook. One key benefit is that troops can train repeatedly and extensively at a low cost per engagement; digital missiles are free and the supply is infinite.
The Stinger Virtual Trainer is compatible with a variety of commercial-off-the-shelf virtual reality headsets like the tested and proven HTC Vive Pro. The system provides training to a standard, two-person Stinger gunnery team, and it allows instructors and spectators to watch the action. A single gunner could jump in and practice shooting at targets without a live instructor and get automated feedback from Raytheon’s after-action review.
Raytheon will offer users a service that includes onsite installation, operational support, train the trainer, warranty repairs, and hardware and software upgrades. The system can be connected to other simulation and training devices in a U.S. Department of Defense synthetic training environment or other high-level architecture networks. It’s designed to be modular and open for multiservice combined-arms training across a spectrum of virtual and augmented reality systems.
The Stinger Virtual Trainer is the first of many handheld weapon training solutions the company is looking to develop on the Instinct operating system. Common operating environments like Instinct offer military agencies warfighting capabilities as software applications. Raytheon will look to its tactical weapons and simulation expertise across the company and the latest DevSecOps principles to rapidly bring this next-gen training to market.
The FIM-92 Stinger is a man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS) that operates as an infrared homing surface-to-air missile (SAM). It can be adapted to fire from a wide variety of ground vehicles and helicopters (as an air-to-air missile). Developed in the United States, it entered service in 1981 and is used by the militaries of the United States and 29 other countries. It is principally manufactured by Raytheon Missile Systems and is produced under license by EADS in Germany and by ROKETSAN in Turkey, with 70,000 missiles produced.