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Project Vulcan targets comprehensive simulation capability for British Army armour

Training solutions for the Challenger 3 main battle tank (pictured) and Boxer armoured vehicle are the mainstay of Project Vulcan. (RBSL)

The British Army's Ground Manoeuvre Synthetic Trainer (GMST) programme for the provision of simulators for its new Boxer and Challenger 3 platforms is more ambitious than the requirement suggested, with several other new or existing platforms in its sight.

A contract for Project Vulcan was awarded to Elbit Systems UK in April 2023 and the first installation is scheduled at the Combat Manoeuvre Centre at Bovington in November 2023. The system will provide training for levels from individual skills to subunit collective training.

Speaking at the Defence Simulation Education and Training 2023 (DSET 23) conference in Bristol in June, Jim Bennett, programme and technical director for Project Vulcan, explained that the project vision is to deliver “a single coherent solution across the mechanised infantry and main battle tank platforms for enhanced individual and crew training, including a common architecture and scalable base to [add] additional platforms and integrate with the collective training transformation programme in the future”.

The original requirement was launched in 2019 and included simulators for the Boxer, the Challenger 3 upgrade, and the Warrior infantry fighting vehicle capability sustainment programme (CSP). Warrior CSP was cancelled in the 2021 Integrated Defence Review, reducing Vulcan to two immediate platforms, each with a similar timeframe.

Bennett observed that traditionally a simulation capability would be an integral part of a platform programme, but this offered the opportunity to rationalise training for more than one platform into a common system. This has the advantage of avoiding vendor lock in, he said, by providing one system for several different platforms.

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