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C4iSR: Joint & Common Equipment

Saab, Lockheed Martin partner for new US Army laser training system

31 July 2017
A Bradley armoured fighting vehicle equipped with VTESS. Source: Saab

Saab and Lockheed Martin will deliver a next-generation Tactical Engagement Simulation (TES) system as part of the US Army’s live training modernisation programme.

The Instrumentable-Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (I-MILES) Vehicle Tactical Engagement Simulation System (VTESS) will include detectors for trucks and smaller vehicles and laser transmitters for both small arms and for main armament for armoured vehicles, together with the instrumentation for control, tracking, and after-action review.

Both Lockheed Martin and Saab already provide laser-based TES equipment for the US Army, and there are currently several different generations of equipment in service, all of which utilise the MILES Communication Code (MCC).

The new VTESS programme will also utilise the existing MCC code and it is therefore complementary to the existing Combat Vehicle (CV) TESS and other legacy I-MILES programmes. It will leverage existing CV TESS and Shoulder-Launched Munitions (SLM) components, but will also incorporate newly developed MILES components. “Our new VTESS equipment is also lighter and easier to install, operate and store than previous generation equipment,” Andre Elias, Lockheed Martin Director, Land Training Solutions told Jane’s .

Because VTESS will be modular, components such as the lasers and detectors can be decoupled from the system, which now makes interoperating with dual code based systems possible. In particular, Saab detectors are able to receive either MCC or the NATO standard Simulation Interoperability Standards Organisation (SISO) Optische Schnittstelle für Agdus und Gefübz (OSAG) 2.0 optical laser codes, and the control modules will be able to be configured to receive software updates to support either type of target engagement.

This capability will offer improved interoperability for US Army training with other nations, at home or abroad, where vehicles conducting exercises need to support more than one TES standard.

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