I/ITSEC 2021: Lockheed Martin Emphasises Land Training Capabilities
Deliveries of VTESS to the US Army continue following recent Army Acceptance Tests. (Photo: Saab)
Although frequently identified solely with training in the air domain, Lockheed Martin showed at I/ITSEC 2021 that it is also heavily involved in the land domain, particular with the VTESS and DRTS programmes.
In the week preceding I/ITSEC 2021, Lockheed Martin briefed journalists on one of the company’s main thrusts at the show, a focus on training in the land domain. The briefing also covered updates on the Vehicle Tactical Engagement Simulation System (VTESS) and the Digital Range Training System (DRTS) product line.
The original VTESS contract was awarded to a Lockheed Martin-Saab team in early-2017 with the aim of combining multiple crew training systems into a single product capability across fleets. This contract called for the use of the I-MILES code but in late 2018 it was decided to change this for the NATO-specified UCATT code.
‘VTESS is different [to I-MILES] in that it is based on open architecture,’ explained Ralph Briggs, Business Development Senior Manager, Land Training Solutions at Lockheed Martin. ‘Today we have produced over 1,000 of these base kits out of the 12,000 that the Army plans to procure.
Based on open architecture means that VTESS can integrate with legacy systems such as MILES and I-MILES as well as the UCATT specified ULEIS code now used by many NATO allies.
‘By October 2023 we will have delivered VTESS to 33 locations,’ Briggs said.
Staff at the Orchard CTC monitor a DAGIR exercise. (Photo: Idaho National Guard)
To achieve this high rate of production has driven Lockheed Martin to adopt a number of smart automated production processes and techniques. Following successful Government Acceptance Tests, the first 160 VTESS systems have now been delivered to the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk in Louisiana.
Moving on to DRTS and its derivatives, the company has been busy fielding new ranges and conducting technical refreshes on a number of extant ranges.
In March this year, the Idaho National Guard opened its Digital Air Ground Integrated Range (DAGIR) at the Orchard Combat Training Center (CTC).
During the opening ceremony, the commander of the CTC, Col Matthew Godfrey said: ‘This fully instrumented range will make it possible for military personnel within Idaho and the United States to coordinate and practise accomplishing missions from the ground and air simultaneously.’
DRTS/DAGIR exercises are monitored by audio and video while equipment and personnel positional data are combined to provide real-time feedback to participants and the generation of automated AAR packages.
‘That is the true power of these systems as we see everything that is going on during the exercise,’ said Flash Kinloch, VP of Lockheed Martin’s Training and Simulation Solutions.
Later this month, Lockheed Martin is scheduled to conduct a Government Acceptance Test on a Digital Multipurpose Range Complex at Fort Riley in Kansas. As to technical refreshes conducted in 2021, these have taken place at Fort Wainwright in Alaska, Fort Bliss in Texas, 7th Army Training Command in Germany, two ranges in Fort Hood, Texas plus a range complex in Hawaii.