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I/ITSEC 2017: Virtual Training, Real Benefits

Customers worldwide are beginning to see the very real benefits of Saab’s range of virtual training systems: as well as reducing costs, Saab’s range of virtual training systems can provide a breadth of experience not feasible with conventional training.

Comprehensive training is vital for mission readiness, whether personnel are being deployed for force-on-force combat, peace keeping or anti-insurgency duties. Unfortunately, ever-tightening global defence budgets mean that the opportunity to provide troops with the arms, munitions and other resources required to hone their skills is decreasing.

This is where Saab’s range of virtual training systems can provide invaluable assistance to the world’s armed forces. By accurately and realistically simulating a wide range of scenarios involving various weapons, vehicles and environments, they can maintain and develop skills for a fraction of the cost of conventional training.

“Military commanders are expected to maintain the same level of operational readiness and combat effectiveness with a budget that is diminished or, at best, at status quo,” Hans Lindgren, Head of Marketing & Sales Saab Dynamics Training & Simulation, tells MONS. “Utilising simulators is the most cost-effective means of maintaining capability while remaining on budget.”

Mr. Lindgren explains that the lower cost of virtual training systems also means more personnel can be trained on specialist weapon platforms which normal budgets would constrain due to ammunition and range costs: “Technology advancements, meanwhile, mean that personnel can be totally immersed in the simulated training environment and in-depth data and statistical feedback of individual and collective performance delivered. And virtual simulators reduce risk in situations such as during initial driver training and advanced driver training with dangerous cargos.” Lindgren says Saab’s virtual training portfolio encompasses land, sea and air domains. “We can deliver civil requirements such as driving, aviation, machinery and air traffic control simulation requests, and military capabilities incorporating a diverse scope of ground combat weapons, missile systems, joint fires and armoured- and specialist-vehicle requirements.”

He tells MONS, customers in the many regions, e.g. Europe and Asia-Pacific, are increasingly seeing the value of Saab virtual training systems: “As with most global regions, APAC for example is in a state of maturing into the full utility of the simulation world,” he says. “We are currently in discussions with numerous customers on all markets across a diversity of platforms in the civil and military domains.”

With Saab’s Small Arms Virtual Indoor Trainer (SAVIT) soldiers will access one of the most accurate aiming systems and one of the most exact weapon replicas available on the market: a trainer that enables the soldier to master his personal weapon and to interact with his team members in all kinds of complex tactical scenarios.

“SAVIT provides the perfect safe and controllable precursor to live training. Our well-established live training system then provides the next progressive step in preparing your soldiers for the challenges of operations. Virtual and Live training – we bring you the best of both worlds. The SAVIT system provides an effective, realistic training of small arms and Anti-Tank weapons firing. SAVIT functions cover all phases of modern firing training, from basic weapon skills theory, marksmanship training up to tactical training,” the executive explains.

SAVIT is a modular system that can be combined in several configurations depending on customer requirements and training objectives. Main system components include a projection system, training weapons and an instructor station. By using high-resolution and high-speed cameras with the ability to detect laser spots from firing weapons projected on the screen, the system makes it possible to evaluate hit, miss and aiming accuracy.

“The training weapons are modified originals or replicas made to the same weight, dimensions and recoil as the real weapons. Pistols, assault rifles, sniper rifles, light and heavy machine guns, anti-armour and anti-tank weapons such as AT4, CARL GUSTAF, NLAW and RPG and others can be replicated,” the industry expert explains.

The virtual environment provides training in different weather conditions and at any time of day. Tactical training can be performed in groups with trainees equipped with different types of weapons. Sub-groups have the ability to move around independently in the virtual terrain and cooperate with other sub-groups to accomplish their tasks.

The individual soldier or commanding officer is the centrepiece of any modern force, and consequently, in all modern training. Live training is all about experience the elements of combat, in advance. “A training system needs to be flexible and efficient and foremost as realistic as possible. We believe that the most important prerequisite for training efficiency is just that – realism. Realism that makes it possible to train just the way you operate in your mission. Realism that provides instant and correct feedback that is so fundamentally important for the learning process at all levels,” Mr. Lindgren continues.

It is crucial that soldiers get the maximum effect from the training they do and feel confident in the tasks they are about to enter, and this can only be done with scenarios as close to the real operation as possible.

“Our systems can be used for training at all levels, from individual, squad or platoon level right up to and beyond brigade combat team level. It’s equally important that each individual get the correct training as well as the larger groups,” he concludes.

I/ITSEC is showcasing the future of innovation across defences and www.monch.com/mpg/news/iitsec17.html brings together key developments from the show. For more information please see MILITARY TECHNOLOGY #12/2017, available on booth #257; and frequently check back for more NEWS FROM THE FLOOR.


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