Norwegian Army Air Ground Operations School JFATS Simulator from Fidelity
Fidelity Technologies Corp. announced the formal opening of the Joint Fires Advanced Training System (JFATS) on 25 May by the Norwegian Defence Material Agency (NDMA) at a ceremony attended by the Chief of Staff of the Norwegian Army.
JFATS is the centre-piece of the Norwegian Air Ground Operations School (AGOS) for their Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) and Joint Fires Observer (JFO) training programmes. The opening of the JFATS simulator establishes the Norwegian AGOS as one of the most technically sophisticated Joint Fires Centres of Excellence in Northern Europe.
When asked what this milestone meant for the Norwegian Army, Maj. Vidar Kjemperud, Programme Manager and Head of The Norwegian Army Simulation and Training Section responded: “JFATS is a ‘state of the art’ simulator and a game changer in realistic training of JTAC and Forward Observers in the Norwegian Armed Forces. It is one of the most cost efficient simulators delivered to the Norwegian Armed Forces. JFATS provides a great potential for reinforcing future cooperation within JTAC/FO training with partner nations. JFATS would have never been realised without a company policy like Fidelity Technologies’. Fidelity has all the way been fully committed to deliver a functional system according to the requirements even if there have been several challenges on the way.”
The JFATS simulator was purposefully designed using the FidelityFires software application to meet stringent and industry-leading technical requirements of the Norwegian Army. The massive 7m dome display system allows the four-man TACP team to train simultaneously in an immersive environment comprised of 16 edge-blended, geometry corrected channels. Each channel is driven by Fidelity’s FIDViewEX Rendering Engine at a resolution of 2,560×1,600 pixels and projected to the designated area of the dome surface by the Barco FS35 IR WQXGA projector. The resulting contrast, brightness and pixel density – in conjunction with full nighy vision device stimulation capability – facilitate training in any simulated time of day in any simulated weather condition.
The virtual environment used by JFATS is powered by the FIDViewEX Rendering Engine, a purpose-built Image Generator specifically designed for Joint Fires training to meet the stringent Detection Orientation Recognition Identification (DORI) visual requirements of the JTAC MOA. FIDViewEX leverages commercial standards and formats to create game-quality graphics at any scale – simultaneously providing 1cm of image detail of blades of grass blowing in the wind, while rapidly rendering large areas of terrain for the fast-moving pilots-in-the-loop providing Close Air Support (CAS) at altitude.
“This high-fidelity Rendering Engine ensures that the JTACs and the pilots can successfully work together to achieve target correlation through target talk-ons in the simulation environment, exactly as they would on the battlefield,” Steve Hopkins, Vice President of Fidelity’s Simulation and Training Division, said.
JFATS scenarios and entities are driven by the FidelityFires software application. FidelityFires provides complex scenarios against near-peer threats operating in contested and degraded operations. FidelityFires provides a clean, intuitive User Interface allowing anyone to operate the simulator and make real-time changes to the scenario in-game with minimal training.
The JFATS training environment is bolstered by 11 different pieces of Simulated Military Equipment (SME) matching exact Form/Fit/Function of the real devices. These devices include everything from integrated small arms weapons to laser target designators. Each piece can be used in any area of the dome from any position (kneeling, standing or prone) and provides device/out-the-window correlation using the Fidelity UltraXYZ tracking application. The JFATS exercise room is equipped with four large flat-screen displays for easy observation by training observers in the spectator seating arena.
Fidelity also delivered a pilot-in-the-loop role player station providing 180x20in field of view and the ability to transmit and receive digitally-aided CAS messages from the JTAC in the immersive environment just as they would on the battlefield. The pilot can also provide the feed from their POD to a Video Downlink screen for the JTAC to facilitate VDL talk-ons in accordance with the JTAC MOA.
The Norwegian AGOS facility also received two Mobile Satellite Classroom systems utilisrd by the Norwegian Artillery, JTACs and Special Forces to conduct CAS and Call For Fire missions from remote locations. These mobile classrooms provide the same realism and training capabilities as the 7m dome display and can replace live controls. Lastly, the delivery includes two interoperable classrooms where AGOS students can debrief training events viewing every button push from every device, all pilot-in-the-loop HUD and POD feeds, listen to every communication made, and observe what the devices were oriented on.
“Fidelity is one of the original companies providing fully accredited Joint Fires Training Systems. The latest JFATS delivery continues to push the envelope in accreditable Joint Fires simulation technology. We are very proud of our team commitment to the continuous evolution of the FidelityFires product line that will provide the Norwegian Army with the most advanced Joint Fires Training System available today. For over 20 years our primary focus has been to provide innovative Joint Fires training systems that prepare war-fighters for complex, near-peer battlefield environments, and I am excited that JFATS continues this legacy for our Northern European allies and the growing threats they face,” concluded David Gulati, President of Fidelity.