As the British Army gears up to introduce new armoured vehicles (AVs) to its fleet, an innovative simulation system will deliver training for all vehicles from a single platform. Over the next few years the Boxer mechanised infantry vehicle (MIV) and Challenger 3 main battle tank (CR3) will become operational alongside Future All-Terrain Vehicles (FATV), the Trojan Armoured Vehicle, the Titan armoured bridge launcher and the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS).
Savings will be achieved on the cost and wear and tear of using actual armoured vehicles for driver training platforms. The simulator will also enable complex and realistic training that cannot be conducted ‘live’ on the Army’s UK training estate. The Ministry of Defence is investing an initial £90million in Project Vulcan which could rise to as much as £200million as new armoured vehicles are added to the Army’s fleet.
At present, troops carry out low-level training on the Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT), a networked collection of 150 simulators that include replicated interiors of the Challenger 2 and Warrior tanks. Project VULCAN will provide training on just one platform for many different types of AVs. It will replace the low-level tactical training carried out on CATT, up to and including Company/Squadron level, but not higher-level collective training.
Brigadier Frazer Lawrence OBE, Head of Capability (Training), said: “Project Vulcan is a huge step forward for the Army in terms of using simulation to support training. It’s efficient, in that the same simulators can support multiple platforms, and it’s effective, enabling soldiers to train in close proximity to where they work. Individual and collective training systems will be interoperable by design.”
Known as the Vulcan Ground Manoeuvre Synthetic Trainer, the simulator system will provide comprehensive technical training for both individuals – driver, gunner, commander – and crews. Project Vulcan will initially be a desktop system where troops must achieve a required level of competency before they can go into the simulator. The simulator will be a modular system into which all the different controls for each piece of equipment, be that CR3, Boxer etc, can be connected.
Model crew stations will allow for individual training in a controlled, classroom environment, providing safe learning. Project Vulcan is currently in the assessment phase and an invitation to tender is scheduled to go out to industry next month. Training is expected to take place in time for the arrival of the first Boxer MIVs to units in 2023. The initial contract will run for five years with options to extend it for two further five-year periods.