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US Army fielding first combined arms trainers in 2024

The Reconfigurable Virtual Collective Trainer (RVCT) should be in the hands of US Army soldiers in March–April 2024, officials said on 24 July.

Soldiers will participate in a final soldier touchpoint in August 2023 before an operational demonstration of the trainer in February 2024, said Major Brandon Dotson, assistant product manager for the RVCT, to reporters at the Pentagon on 24 July.

After a successful demonstration, the first systems will be fielded at Fort Novosel, Alabama; Fort Moore, Georgia; and Fort Cavazos, Texas, said Colonel Nick Kioutas, project manager for Synthetic Environment, on 24 July.

One of the systems that RVCT is replacing that was built in the 1990s, the Aviation Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (AVCATT), can only talk to other aircraft, Maj Dotson said. It cannot train alongside ground forces or even unmanned aircraft system (UAS) trainers.

“For example, we've got a bunch of people sitting in Poland right now. It would be great for them to be able to pull in the terrain that they're about to see potentially and practise together with air and ground together, as well as those UAS components, to really practise what it's like on that actual terrain,” he said. The RVCT demonstrated virtual ground and air combined arms training for the first time at a soldier touchpoint in February 2023.

The RVCTs also allow gunners, pilots, and crew chiefs to communicate using the same trainers rather than the separate trainers of the past, he noted.

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