The French defence procurement agency, the Direction générale de l'armement (DGA), has announced the award of a contract to Thales and RUAG Defence France for the French Army's CERBERE (Centres d'entraînement représentatifs des espaces de bataille et de restitution des engagements) live training programme.
CERBERE will modernise the existing tactical engagement simulation (TES) systems in use at France's two national training centres: the Centre d'entraînement au combat (CENTAC) at Mailly-le-Camp and the Centre d'entraînement aux actions en zone urbaine (CENZUB) at Sissonne. At Mailly-le-Camp exercises are conducted on an open terrain training area of 120 sq km. Sissonne is a specialist Military Operations in Urban Terrain training centre with a 300-building combat village.
Thales was the prime contractor for the current Centre d'entraînement au combat et a la restitution d'engagement (CENTAURE) system at Mailly, which was installed over 15 years ago, although it has been upgraded several times since. This and the system at CENZUB will be obsolete and dismantled by 2020.
The CERBERE programme will provide instrumentation and a laser-based live training system sufficient for the simultaneous training of three Sous-Groupements Tactiques Interarmes (SGTIA), all-arms groupings based on an infantry or cavalry company, providing real-time tracking and an after-action review (AAR) capability. Including the opposition forces, provided by permanent training centre staff, the total will include up to 1,000 personnel and 250 vehicles on exercises, which can be sustained for up to 96 hours.
The instrumentation and tracking technology will be provided by Thales, including a new high-speed data communications infrastructure using the long-term evolution wireless data technology used in civil mobile telephony. The communications system will provide positional and engagement reports to the Exercise Control (EXCON) in near realtime.
The system will use GPS with an accuracy of less than 1 m for outdoor tracking, according to a Thales spokesperson.
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