Advancing Technologies and Capabilities for Transition to Live Fire
MON has followed Meggitt Training Systems’ ambitious product expansion in the virtual training market space for years. We were therefore interested to learn of the company’s concurrent, evolving efforts in the adjacent live training domain. To point, Todd Meyers, LE Live Training Sales Manager at the company, during an exclusive interview with MON during the SHOT SHOW in Las Vegas this week, pointed out that virtual reality is but one segment of training, supporting a transition into live fire. “Many think virtual training is the wave of the future. Our opinion is, it is a portion of training – to help people train, to be comfortable with weapons […] It will never, ever, replace live fire,” he stated.
One live technology Meggitt is refining and delivering to the defence sector is the Location of Miss and Hit (LOMAH) system. which adds shot scoring to improve training. The system measures the precise time of a bullet’s supersonic shock wave passing over the microphone sensor array on a bar, within 5mm, according to Meyers. Attached below the height of the lifter and encased with ballistic protection, the microphone array is positioned so the system is not damaged by bullets. Sensors can be arranged differently depending on their use (i.e., Stationary Infantry Target (SIT), Stationary Armour Target, Moving Infantry Target or Moving Armour Target). He continued, “It will display that data, the hit or miss of that shot, on a screen immediately for the instructor and shooter. There is no longer any ambiguity, or question: did I hit or not hit the target? This will especially help training for snipers and others taking ‘the long shot.’”
LOMAH is available as a retrofit-capable kit or can be fully integrated into the Meggitt target lifter product line. This means easy and quick installation, with little downtime and a lower installation cost. Several military operators used LOMAH in live fire demonstrations during this week’s SHOT Industry Day. The system can be used for a wide variety of ammunition, from .22 to .50 cal. One LOMAH system was being installed this week for the Kuwait National Guard.
Beyond the basic LOMAH, Meggitt is concurrently developing Armoured LOMAH, which uses silhouettes of different wheeled and track vehicles and supports students on the range with “large ammo – this could be .50cal. and higher, up to 120mm,” according to Meyers. The initial Armoured LOMAH system will be delivered to US Army forces in Hawaii in 2020.
Wi-Fi is another significant technology enabler Meggitt is developing for live training range applications. The deliverables of Wi-Fi-equipped ranges, compared to legacy-era UHF or VHF-based systems, are significant, with a partial list including the ability to communicate at longer distances, faster data transmission speeds and increased robustness and reliability.
Elsewhere in the Meggitt live training portfolio, the company is developing and fielding double SIT devices, to better support judgement and more complex scenarios in a stationary or moving environment.
Marty Kauchak in Las Vegas for MON