11 December 2012
Thales UK has delivered an interactive training solution, known as the
Thales Talisman Training System (T3S), which dramatically improves the
effectiveness of pre-deployment training by British Army teams preparing to use
the Talisman system in support of Combat Logistic Patrols in Afghanistan.
Talisman, for which Thales is also the Mission Systems Design Authority,
consists of manned and unmanned vehicles operating together as a system to investigate
threats such as mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on military
supply routes in theatre.
Within four months of contract award, the first training course using
T3S was delivered to the Royal Engineers, the operators of Talisman. In that
period, Thales designed, procured, built, tested, de-commissioned, transported
and re-commissioned an entire Talisman troop training facility, including six
representative vehicle bays complete with ‘out-of-the-window’ views and control
systems, 30 operator workstations, communications systems and after-action
review facilities. To date, Thales has delivered three further training
exercises at locations in the UK and Germany.
T3S was developed using Thales’s Directed-Fidelity® concept, in which an
end-to-end customised training solution is developed together with the customer.
T3S was designed specifically to improve crew interaction and to practice tactics,
techniques and procedures – ensuring enhanced operational readiness while
offering value for money to the customer.
T3S can incorporate operational experiences gained in theatre to
continually evolve. Introducing new threats and testing responses enables the
entire troop to rehearse complex missions in synthetic environments and to
familiarise themselves with real scenarios, bridging the gap between individual
equipment-oriented training and live collective training.
T3S comprises over 180 PCs and 70 displays operated using gaming
controls. It runs a simulation based on the VBS2 gaming engine within a
synthetic wrap derived from Thales’s open Generic Vehicle Architecture (GVA) and
Vetronics Infrastructure for Video over Ethernet (VIVOE) developments. T3S simulates
scenarios that would not be possible in live training, such as incoming fire,
combined arms actions, extreme weather, day/night operations, joint Afghan
National Army operations and local population movements. Thus, the system
significantly enhances readiness for final pre-deployment field training.
Major Chris Eyre, Officer Commanding TTAT, said: “Using the new training
system, ‘what if’ situations can be played out and later analysed to help
improve operational effectiveness and develop new tactics. By simulating
different scenarios, introducing new threats and testing responses, the crew
members rapidly become familiar with operating as a team, while the Command
Team acquires a better understanding of the behaviours that affect the
interaction between the platforms and the strengths of individual team members.
The result is a much higher state of readiness for operations, prior to deployment.
“Another welcome benefit of the system is that it can be deployed easily;
it is designed for use in barracks, so we have seen far less disruption to the
domestic lives of the troops prior to deployment on operations.”
The training courses are delivered by the MOD’s Talisman Training
Advisory Team (TTAT). For each pre-deployment course, Thales supplies all the
hardware and software, installs the system and then provides technical
oversight and support to the training. This involves maintaining the T3S
equipment and supporting exercise control (EXCON) during exercises and
Alex Cresswell, vice president of Thales UK's land defence business, said:
“Complementary to training using real equipment, T3S provides the Royal
Engineers with the ability to exercise tactics, techniques and procedures in a classroom
environment that is low risk, low cost, and highly controllable.
We are in discussions with a number of other customers about how
similar concepts based on the T3S solution could be used to support their
collective training requirements, for example in combined arms and
reconnaissance training, especially where optimal team interaction is crucial.”
Thales was appointed by the MOD as the Mission System Design Authority
for Talisman - the key industrial role that includes the management of the
design, procurement, installation, test and acceptance of Talisman-specific
equipment into the Mastiff 2 and Buffalo vehicles. The installed equipment
includes sensors, weapon stations and a suite of UK theatre-entry protection
and communications equipment.
Talisman entered service in 2010. Each Talisman system consists of:
- A Mastiff 2 protected patrol vehicle with a
mast-mounted camera and a remotely-operated weapon station
- A Buffalo mine protected vehicle, with a rummaging
- A JCB high mobility engineer excavator
- A T-Hawk micro air vehicle, with TV camera
- A Talon tracked remote control vehicle, with TV camera
Directed-Fidelity® is Thales’s way to plan and deliver targeted
training solutions. It is a logical, optimised approach working in partnership
with customers to identify their training requirements.
Based on a thorough evaluation of the options and trade-offs of
different approaches, Directed-Fidelity® takes into account limitations imposed
by economic, operational and other factors. Through financial modelling,
upfront procurement savings and reduced through-life costs are clearly defined.
It also optimises resources needed to deliver the solution in terms of
equipment, people, infrastructure and facilities, with no compromise on the
quality, safety or effectiveness of the training. To find out more visit