|This unprecedented combined helicopter-ground training capability is available now at the AWES training facility at the Salisbury Plain Training Area, and will be expanded to the AWES site in Canada later this year. |
"For the first time, attack helicopters have been instrumented to participate in force-on-force combat training maneuvers at the battle group level," said Gary Shrock, vice president in charge of Cubic's AWES program. "Before the upgrade, AWES was already the most advanced combat training system in operation in the world today. Integrating attack helicopters into the AWES training environment ratchets up the realism of AWES training to the next level, and is a giant step toward achieving a fully integrated combat training environment, providing helicopter position tracking and real-time outcome."
The AWES upgrade brings together two important programs that Cubic has been involved with - the Apache AH Mk. 1 Collective Training System (CTS), developed by AgustaWestland, and AWES, developed by Cubic. The integration work is being performed under the post-design services portion of Cubic's $100 million contract to develop the AWES system, which went into service at SPTA in late 2002 and a year later at the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) in Alberta, Canada.
With its large-scale Tactical Engagement Simulation (TES) capability, AWES provides unprecedented realism for simulated force-on-force battles. AWES simulates artillery, mortar fire, smoke, nuclear, biological, chemical attacks, mines and air-delivered munitions during the simulated battles. Participants in the training exercises are equipped with digital communications that indicate their position, weapons fired and casualty status. Soldier and vehicle instrumentation systems integrate portions of the British Army's existing Direct Fire Weapons Engagement System with Cubic's Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES 2000).
Using range provided by the AgustaWestland Class 1 eye-safe Training Laser System and CTS, the Apache AH Mk. 1 can engage AWES players with its full array of weapons.
"With this new capability, helicopter crews can participate in real-life scenarios in which they will have a chance to employ their best tactics to strike at targets and avert enemy defenses," said Doug Grunewald, Cubic program manager for the AWES Collective Training System (CTS) effort.
Up to 34 helicopters will now be able to participate in AWES scenarios involving more than 1,200 dismounted troops and 250 vehicles. Cubic will provide attack helicopter capability at the AWES system at BATUS later this year.
Cubic and partner company ICE worked for AgustaWestland on the Apache AH Mk. 1 CTS for the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence. The CTS entered service at the Dishforth training site in the U.K. in mid-2003, followed by service at the Wattisham training area. The CTS provides live helicopter training that allows crews to practice target acquisition and strike while defending themselves against simulated ground threats. The system makes use of geometric pairing and digital RF communications technology, using GPS positioning and orientation data received from the helicopter to establish locations, orientation and weapons-aiming angles. This positioning is then used in conjunction with weapons simulation to determine outcomes. The system also provides simulated threat signals to the helicopter's HIDAS (Helicopter Integrated Defensive Aids Suite) technology, which is designed to recognize threats and select and implement countermeasures during combat.
The Cubic Defense Applications group, one of Cubic Corporation's two major segments, is a world leader in realistic combat training systems, mission support services and defense electronics. The corporation's other major segment, Cubic Transportation Systems, designs and manufactures automatic fare collection systems for public mass transit authorities. For more information about Cubic, see the company's Web site at www.cubic.com.