Lockheed Martin to build advanced laser simulation for today's combat vehicle in $288 million deal

April 4, 2017
ORLANDO, Fla. – Simulation and training experts at Lockheed Martin Corp. are building a laser-based training system to help U.S. Army tactical combat vehicle crews realistically practice their weapons and tactics in the field.
ORLANDO, Fla. –Simulation and training experts at Lockheed Martin Corp. are building a laser-based training system to help U.S. Army tactical combat vehicle crews realistically practice their weapons and tactics in the field.

Officials of the Army Program Executive Office Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) in Orlando, Fla., announced a $288 million contract Friday to the Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems segment in Orlando, Fla., for the Instrumentable-Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System Vehicle Tactical Engagement Simulation System (I-MILES VTESS) acquisition.

The I-MILES VTESS is a laser-based training device that supports force-on-force training for soldiers occupying Army vehicles with or without embedded fire-control systems.

The the system will support crew-served vehicle weapon systems, and can support use on structures and fixed equipment such as bridges, bunkers, ammunition caches, refuel depots, and buildings. The I-MILES VTESS system will interface with the Homestation Instrumentation System (HITS), Interim Range Solution (IRS), Army Mobile Instrumentation System (AMITS), and the modernized Combat Training Center Instrumentation System (CTC-IS).

The I-MILES VTESS is replacing older combat vehicle training systems equipment currently used in force-on-force training exercises with devices that provide better training fidelity for combat vehicle systems.

Related: Army seeks to blend simulation with real-world training

The I-MILES VTESS provides unit commanders an integrated training system in force-on-force and force-on-target training events at home station training areas through instrumented training, and interfaces with instrumentation systems at Army combat training centers.

The system's modular design can accommodate new weapons, ammunition, and vehicle types, and will be used and fielded worldwide in all geographical areas, Army officials say.

The I-MILES VTESS is based on the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES), which helps U.S. and allied infantry warfighters train by using lasers and blank cartridges to simulate actual battle.

Related: Lockheed Martin wins $6.7 million contract to support U.S. Army maneuver training

Individual soldiers using MILES carry small laser receivers scattered over their bodies, which detect when the soldier has been touched by a laser emitted by another infantryman's firearm. Each laser transmitter mimics the effective range of its weapon, which simulates a hit on an infantryman. The I-MILES VTESS essentially does the same for tactical fighting vehicles.

Lockheed Martin also builds the Instrumentable Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System Shoulder Launched Munitions (I-MILES SLM) training devices that help warfighters simulate shoulder-launched munitions powered by common interchangeable laser and weapons effects engines.

On the I-MILES VTESS contract Lockheed Martin will do the work at locations determined with each order, and should be finished by March 2024. For more information contact Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems online at www.lockheedmartin.com/us/rms.html, or the Army PEO STRI at www.peostri.army.mil.

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About the Author

John Keller | Editor

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

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