Thales simulation system has connected the two French Army simulation centers located more than 150 km apart to operate as a network, with a total of 12 simulated helicopters interacting in the same tactical scenario.
The simulation centres involved were at Phalsbourg (1st Combat Helicopter Regiment) and Etain (3rd Combat Helicopter Regiment) in Eastern France, according to Thales’ press release on February 4.
Both simulation centres are equipped with the Helicopter Mission Trainer (HMT, also known as EDITH for the French Army), a multi-platform tactical training system developed by Thales with the French defence procurement agency (DGA).
The second milestone was the integration of the EDITH simulators with the operational information system so they could share the same tactical situation. Simulated helicopters were presented to commanders and other actors in the exercise in the same way as actual helicopters.
The Aozou exercise showed how Thales technologies interconnect the real world and the virtual world to overcome hardware constraints and reduce the cost of live training by deploying fewer actual helicopters.
For the armed forces, these integrated solutions bring a new dimension to operational training in terms of theatre location, the number of actors that take part and the types of scenarios that can be used.
Thales had participated in a new type of live training exercise from 24 November to 5 December last year as part of the operational training programme for French Army Light Aviation (ALAT) helicopter pilots and air crews. The Aozou exercise demonstrated the operational benefits of connecting different simulation systems together in a network with close to 30 helicopters taking part. Two major Thales innovations were crucial to this success.