The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a contract for the Joint Fires Synthetic Trainer (JFST) to Ferranti Technologies Ltd, trading as Elbit Systems UK (ES UK). The contract, announced on the Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) Defence Contracts Online website, and amended on 6 August, is for an initial GBP30.5 million (USD37.1 million) for five years, with options for up to another six years.
JFST is to provide an individual and collective immersive joint fires training capability for operators in both mounted and dismounted roles in the land, littoral, and air domains. It will replace existing capabilities currently provided by Distributed Synthetic Air Land Training 2 (DSALT2) and the immersive Close Air Support Simulator (iCASS) at the Joint Forward Air Controller Training and Standards Unit (JFACTSU), as well as other legacy capabilities.
Jane's understands that the chosen solution incorporates commercially available technologies, although no details have been revealed, and it will also re-use as much existing technology and infrastructure as possible. The way that the new technology will be used in concert to deliver distributed training to several locations, including air/land integration, is new to the UK MoD.
The JFST capability is to be provided at the Royal School of Artillery at Larkhill, JFACTSU, up to 15 unit locations, a collective training location supported by a training and management team, and in a portable capability including the potential to train on Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers. The fielding plan is still being developed.
For the contract, ES UK has partnered principally with US-company QuantaDyn, which provides joint fires training systems, including accredited joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) training simulators, to the US Air Force (USAF), the US Air National Guard, and a number of NATO nations. This partnership has had success with the Joint Fires Mobile Trainer (JFMT), a self-contained trailer-borne unit that contains a customised version of QuantaDyn's Q-Fires PT-100 portable simulator.
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