Lockheed Martin Delivers World's Largest Simulation System to British Army
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, July 3rd, 2002 -- The world's largest and most sophisticated simulation system has been delivered successfully to the British Army by Lockheed Martin. The Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT), designed and built by Lockheed Martin UK Information Systems, will revolutionise armoured battlegroup warfare simulation. It consists of a highly advanced, networked suite of nearly 170 combat vehicle simulators - covering an area equivalent in size to three football pitches - in which 700 troops and commanders or more will be able to hone their battle skills prior to undertaking live training in the field.
The Â£250 million simulator is located at two facilities in purpose-built simulator halls - one in Warminster, England; the other in Sennelager, Germany. The CATT simulators faithfully replicate the interiors of UK armoured vehicles such as Challenger II main battle tanks, Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles and Scimitar armoured reconnaissance vehicles. Soldiers can fight against other soldiers in simulators or they can fight computer-generated forces. Following an exercise, the whole battle can be replayed in a lecture theatre for post-exercise analysis and assessment for After Action Review (AAR).
Graham McIntyre, Managing Director of Lockheed Martin UK Information Systems said: "CATT has been a very successful programme. It saves the environment, it reduces support costs and it lessens maintenance requirements, whilst achieving an exceptionally high standard of training that can be put to use wherever the Army is operating. When one considers its scale and complexity, the system positions Lockheed Martin UK Information Systems at the forefront of synthetic environment technology and allows us to use this valuable experience for other key programmes such as AVTS, MFTS and Watchkeeper. "A combination of close working relationships with the DPA, Army and UK industry partners - including AMS and QinetiQ - has enabled us to deliver the whole system on time and to budget. We are justifiably proud of this achievement."
Although CATT's core technology was initially developed in the USA for the Close Combat Tactical Trainer (CCTT), it is has been adapted, and its mission objectives extended to include British Army doctrine for the UK requirement. That technology has then been inserted back into US programmes, benefiting end-users on both sides of the Atlantic. John Hallal, President of Lockheed Martin Information Systems in Orlando said: "Our commitment to providing technically advanced, high quality synthetic environments is demonstrated by our dedication to this programme and our plans to support it for the future."
Battlegroup training is becoming increasingly more difficult to plan and manage. Bringing together many hundreds of vehicles and people for field exercises requires months of careful planning, great expanses of real estate and enormous cost. With CATT, exercise planners and commanders need not worry about environmental pressures, manpower demands or even requests for costly external assets and, of course, the system enables repeat training to perfect skills and tactics.
Realism is the key to CATT's success and it gives the British Army the ability to train to levels previously unachievable. The interiors of the vehicles are replicated in detail, all interconnected by a Wide Area Network linking the two sites together to create a single virtual world, where the actual players are in fact hundreds of miles apart. The terrain database itself accurately replicates an area of 35,000 square kilometres, with areas such as Salisbury Plain, Northern Europe and a generic desert location being reproduced. The system generates a level of fidelity that enables trainees and Commanders to use real world topographical maps and intelligence data in mission rehearsal for 'what if?' training.
Rick Perez, Lockheed Martin's CATT project director added: "The CATT synthetic environment puts a premium on reality: engines overheat if left idling too long; repairs are needed if vehicles are damaged, and supplies have to be brought up if the battlegroup is to be kept fighting. In addition, infantry commanders can disembark from their vehicle simulators and climb into an infantry simulator to continue the battle on foot - exactly as they would do in a live situation. "The savings achieved by this simulator are enormous: to run an exercise like Saif Sarreea last year would cost tens of millions of pounds and yet we can run large scale exercises on CATT for a mere fraction of that. The only outlays are manpower, time and electricity."
CATT will allow many other simulators to be integrated, thus creating a complete three-dimensional virtual battlespace. Other synthetic training systems, which might be linked to it in future, include: Medium Support Helicopter; Hawk Synthetic Training; Close Air Defence Detachment Engagement Trainer and the Apache Attack Helicopter trainer.
British soldiers have strongly endorsed the system, with one commenting: "It can replicate everything but the smell of the diesel."