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I/ITSEC 2021: Lockheed Martin VTESS fielded to US Army

Lockheed Martin has passed the Government Acceptance Test on the Vehicle Tactical Engagement Simulation System (VTESS) it is providing to the US Army, and has delivered and fielded the first 160 base kits to Fort Polk, Louisiana, Ralph Briggs, senior business development manager, land training solutions, told Janes prior to the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) in Orlando.

As prime contractor, Lockheed Martin was awarded the VTESS contract worth USD288 million in July 2017, and is partnered with Saab.

According to Briggs, the key characteristic of VTESS is that it is an open-architecture, component-based system that is compatible with legacy systems. He noted that because of this architecture, future component upgrades could be sourced from any manufacturer that could meet the specification.

The system comprises two elements. The base kit consists of the laser detectors, a mission control unit, a crew kill module, a crew interface module, and a vehicle kill indicator. This kit can be used to instrument any vehicle or static installation and can be adjusted to reflect the appropriate levels of protection provided to the occupants. Delta kits then provide laser transmitters appropriate to a particular platform and its weapon types.

Briggs said 1,000 base kits had been produced of an eventual 12,000, and that by 2023, VTESS would be fielded in 33 locations.

Originally specified to use the legacy Instrumentable-Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (I-MILES) laser code, in 2018 the US Army added the NATO-standard Urban Combat Advanced Training Technology Laser Engagement Interface Standard to the requirement. This makes the system interoperable with those used by many NATO partners.

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