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Army training transformed by digital technology

The Army Warfighting Experiment 21 (AWE) is transforming the way soldiers train by incorporating and experimenting with cutting-edge technology to meet the emerging and complex threats thrown up by the digital world. 

Within AWE, the Army’s ​Collective Training Transformation Programme (CTTP) will put the soldier at the heart of technology to meet the capabilities and expectations of those personnel who were born and grew up during the cyber age. 

The CTTP, which has £950million allocated over ten years, will transform the management and delivery of training and soldiers’ experience of training. It will turn individual world-class soldiers into world-class fighting teams.

Our Collective Training Transformation Programme will match ever more complex threats above and below the threshold of conflict. Lt Col Jiles

The training programme builds on the significant advances made by the Army’s Land Warfare Centre in recent years, and exploits those gains, with opportunities to transform the relationship with industry. The Army will adopt an industry partner to help resource and deliver training.

Data exploitation and digitisation will be put at the heart of training design, through the employment of cutting-edge training systems that are interoperable, integrated and hardwired for data capture.

Fully immersive training environments, that replicate the complexities of current and future conflict environments, will be used while near-time feedback will be provided to soldiers and commanders at all levels of training performance. 

Lieutenant Colonel Jes Giles, SO1 Training Capability, Strategy Collective Training Transformation Programme, says that the CTTP is a “holistic programme on how collective training will be delivered in the British Army out to beyond 2035”.

It will transform collective training “to match ever more complex threats above and below the threshold of conflict enabled by dynamic exploitation of training data, immersive environments, and hard-wired flexibility”.

One example of the CTTP in action is the Army’s Virtual Reality In-Land Training (VRLT) pilot which, earlier this year, saw soldiers from 1st Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment swap combat helmets for head-mounted displays and ‘tabbing’ for state-of-the-art treadmills during a week-long examination of innovative technologies at Dale Barracks in Chester.

To make 1 LANCS’ digital deployment as realistic as possible, an instrumented 81mm mortar system, that blended live and virtual training, enabled soldiers to experience the effects of laying down support fire in a safe environment. 

Another example of the Army tapping into the benefits of virtual simulation training is the Vulcan Ground Manoeuvre Synthetic Trainer, a simulator system that will provide comprehensive technical training for both individuals – driver, gunner, commander – and crews.

At present, troops training to operate armoured vehicles carry out low-level training on the Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT), a networked collection of 150 simulators that include replicated interiors of the Challenger 2 and Warrior tanks.

Project Vulcan will provide training on just one platform for many different types of armoured vehicles. It will replace the low-level tactical training carried out on CATT, up to and including Company/Squadron level, but not higher-level collective training.

A CTTP panel session is being held today at the Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition in London with the Army’s senior responsible officer and key staff attending.