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Live Training

There is no equivalent to live training when it comes to troop preparation: participating in a live training exercise, in the real world, with real weapons, and against real opponents is as close as it gets to the actual battlefield experience.

As a result, live training is considered a key step on the training path of units and soldiers, and a critical element in ensuring and validating mission readiness.

However, live training is also a resource-intensive activity, mobilizing a lot of people and equipment. Therefore, land forces require a solution which allows them to get the most out of their precious training time.

When we designed Thales' GLADIATOR live tactical engagement training system, we had three key goals:
1.    Achieve the optimal balance between complexity and fidelity
2.    Offer a versatile solution, capable of simulating the widest possible range of situations
3.    Maximum interoperability, so that users can participate in inter-service or coalition exercises

In the Swiss army, out of the 4-month long basic training of new recruits, 4-7 weeks are fully dedicated to gradually more complex live training exercises, starting at platoon level and ending at company level. Repetition courses are using the system 4 weeks. The system is in usage 48 weeks per year to support the Army training.

Key features

Highly realistic

GLADIATOR is a high-fidelity simulation system. The ranges of the laser transmitters simulating shots are in line with each weapon’s effective range, even for long range weapons such as sniper rifles, main guns and missiles. Ballistics and time to target are simulated with 2-way laser technology. Lethality is based on parameters such as location hit, protection worn, or weapon calibre. Soldiers can hear near misses. Wounds aggravate if left unattended. Various battlefield effects (smoke, light, sound) can also be simulated. We provide maximum immersion for effective stress inoculation.

Uniquely versatile

GLADIATOR is uniquely modular and scalable, allowing you to simulate virtually any tactical scenario. You want to train small units in a variety of critical infrastructure locations? We got you covered. You need to train large units in a dedicated training ground? No problem. You need to include vehicles or indirect fire in your simulation? We can do it.


GLADIATOR is fielded in several Combat Training Centres, including:
•    CENZUB (Centre d’entraînement aux actions en zone urbaine = Urban Terrain Training Centre), French Army
•    GAZ (Gefechtsausbildungszentrum = Combat Training Centre), Swiss Army
•    BATUK (British Army Training Unit Kenya), British Army

We even directly operate the GAZ since 2010. Precious first-hand user feedbacks allow us to steadily optimize our system, resulting in a robust, user-friendly and cost-effective solution.

System components

The GLADIATOR system is based on laser and radio devices, to simulate the transmission of kinetic weapon effects. Laser sensors, to detect the reception of these effects. A communication network to exchange training data. And an Exercise Control software to track events and prepare debriefings.

Soldier weapon equipment

Weapons are fitted with laser transmitters, which come in two types:
•    attachments, which are mounted on weapons,
•    and built-in transmitters housed in replicas (e.g. grenades, pistols, mines, anti-tank weapons)
These transmitters feature low dispersion laser beams, to stay accurate even at long range.

Soldier body equipment

Body equipment is lightweight and ergonomic, and doesn’t interfere with fire and movement. Sensors detect hits from any angle and trigger configurable light, sound and vibration feedback. Administration of first aid can also be simulated, as well as NBCR threats and protection.

Vehicle equipment

The same sensor and effector principle also applies to vehicles. Sensor-reflector units (2-way laser technology) allow to simulate deflection shooting techniques such as taking a lead on moving targets. Additional equipment can simulate the muzzle flash and sound of shots, the reception of hits, and to give a visual clue about vehicle damage.

Building equipment

Sensors on building facades make it possible to target structures, inflicting damage to buildings and their occupants. Additional equipment can introduce features such as indoor localization, or sound, smoke and light effects for a more detailed and immersive recreation of urban combat.

Supervision equipment

From the Exercice Control Center, instructors monitor the situation with our software using geolocation, radio traffic and video feeds. They can also trigger events such as indirect fire. Playbacks and stats support instructors in preparing debriefings. For smaller scale engagements relying primarily on instructors / observers on the field, a simpler communication infrastructure combined with portable devices can be used.

In the French army, every regiment must first successfully pass a series of live training exercises before being considered mission-ready and able to be deployed in operations.


Our experienced teams ensure the highest availability of your system over its full lifecycle. For special training needs, you can also organize ad hoc exercises and rent our simulation equipment. Finally, if you want to concentrate on the tactical training itself, you can let us operate your live training site according to the agreed service level. We adapt to your needs.

CERBERE uses the very latest technologies and positions Thales as a world leader in live combat training for collaborative engagements. It is a forward-looking program for the Group that positions us at the heart of the French Army’s concerns.

Peter Hitchcock VP, Training & Simulation

With specialised infrastructure and training such as that provided by the CENZUB, our soldiers are being prepared to operate in this complex environment, which is now the theatre of all conflicts.

Pierre Schill Chief of Staff of the French Army (CEMAT)

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