As the S&T world – in Europe, at least – heads to Cologne for ITEC 2014, it may be an appropriate opportunity to review what’s going on in the S&T industry in the host nation, Germany. Dim Jones writes.
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems
S&T companies operating in Germany can broadly be classified in 3 categories: major companies headquartered in Germany; international organisations with German subsidiary companies; and smaller companies based in Germany. Starting with the first category, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, based in Kiel, is one of the leading European system providers for non-nuclear submarines and high-end naval vessels, generating individual customer solutions for more than 20 international navies, including design and delivery of training solutions. These include: training design, management and consulting; training qualification for crews, maintainers and shipyard personnel; training facilities; computer- based and virtual total ship training; training documentation and learning content management systems. Significant recent activities include the Virtual Ship Training and Information Systems (ViSTIS®), 3D real-time simulation-based training for the technical systems of the HDW Class 212A submarine, flight deck officer trainer for the Class 124 frigate (German Navy) and the MEKO A-200 frigate, as well as virtual on-board familiarization for the Class 124 frigate.
Theissen Training Systems
Düsseldorf-based Theissen Training Systems specializes in live land training, specifically in the areas of target systems, range control systems and simulation of various effects in Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) training. A range of stationary and moving infantry targets include pop-up targets, which can be exposed in a variety of ways to provide friend/foe discrimination training; moving targets travel at up to 30 km/h, and can be combined with pop-up or pop-up rotary functions. Full- and half-size AFV targets, with flank or head-on views, can either pop-up or be constantly exposed; moving targets can travel up to 60 km/h. These and other range functions can be controlled through a range of equipments, from desk-top PC through laptop to tablet and other hand-held devices. Range and MOUT simulation equipments include battlefield effects, enemy fire and visual hit indicators, and sound, light and thermal-imaging simulators.
Rheinmetall Defence Electronics
The product portfolio of the S&T division of Rheinmetall Defence Electronics in Bremen covers all aspects of land, sea and air military training, plus maritime and powerplant. Land systems include live training equipment at the German Combat Training Centre at Güz, virtual combat simulation in many applications, such as the ASPT gunnery simulator, providing training for Leopard 2 commanders and gunners, driver training, and a Combined Arms Tactical Trainer. The company provides air systems training solutions ranging from Computer Based Training, Part-Task and System Trainers, Cockpit-Procedure and Maintenance Trainers up to Full Mission Simulators for Typhoon, Tiger, NH90, Tornado and MiG-29. Naval applications include team trainers for submarine command and control team personnel, Ops/Combat Information Centre and Anti-Submarine Warfare team trainers for surface vessels, and mine-hunting, damage control, engineering system and weapon and sensor simulators.
Turning to the smaller indigenous German companies, e.sigma, based in Munich, specialises in developing, manufacturing, implementing and integrating systems and solutions for military and security applications. Recent projects include: Light Reconnaissance in Virtual Operation (AGLS), a containerised ground vehicle system for training commanders, system operators and drivers in a train-as-you-fight environment, of which 5 have been delivered to the German Army; the Air Defense Training System (ADTS), providing AD personnel with training in battle management, air surveillance and fighter control operations; the allied Fighter Controller Training System (FCTS), in which a complete Air Defense Operations Centre, with the entire network of sensors and communication systems, is simulated. Specific products include: GLADIO™, providing firearms and mission training, designed for civil law enforcement and the military; SOKOL™, a Parachute Training System for free-fall simulation and emergency bail out, using a unique force feedback technology to simulate free-fall, canopy piloting and chute malfunctions; and CBAST™, a modular and scalable desktop training System with training for ATC Tower, Radar and Apron personnel.
Rostock-based MarineSoft GmbH focuses on complete ship-specific platform systems and communication training solutions, providing courseware, computer-based training applications and information systems for maritime requirements. These training applications reproduce the “look and feel” of the simulated on-board equipment, using both mathematical and physical models, enabling trainees to become familiar with normal and emergency operation. The Electronic Performance Support System (EPSS), a set of computer-based, interactive solutions, based on 3D models and original manufacturer documentation and presented in state-of-the-art tablet format, assists knowledge management and support of maintenance and service activities. Rheinmetall holds a 49% share in the company.
Bremen-based szenaris creates computer- and web-based training programs and PC-based simulations for e-learning in training and further education, offering comprehensive competencies in the fields of conception, media production and time-and-budget programming, to ensure successful projects and satisfied customers. Tailored solutions may comprise CBT on CD-ROM or DVD, and WBT through a local network or accessible over the Internet. PC-based learning with Virtual Reality Simulations takes the user into virtual test environments which can be rooms, landscapes or underwater worlds, where machinery is operated, vehicles are controlled, or superstructures are built. Applications include recovery or destruction of hazardous materials, with remote controlled robotic vehicles or manipulators, so that trainees can practise the handling of such virtual manipulators without the risk of costly damage.
headquartered in Berlin, is ‘your professional partner for digital terrains’, specialising in database creation for real-time visualization and simulation. In land, sea and air applications, the Trian3DBuilder terrain generation tool creates realistic battlegrounds: advanced roads and rails, procedural buildings, satellite independent texturing, complex airports, seafloors, comprehensive export options and formats. Recent developments include export to Havok’s Vision Engine, and full integration into Rheinmetall Defence Electronics’ DISI Xtreme image generator. The vision engine provides the foundation for DISI Xtreme to build a high end real-time visual system, with a comprehensive range of customised extensions and features, including procedural terrain and streaming of all static and dynamic objects and textures for large and detailed databases.
Reiser Systemteknik GmbH
Founded in 1988, Reiser Systemteknik GmbH is a Munich-based, family-owned high-tech manufacturer of flight simulators and components, maintenance training devices and avionic test equipment for military and commercial customers. Current orders include flight simulators and FTDs for Typhoon, NH90, PC-21 and G120TP. October 2013 saw the roll-out of the first of five NH90 maintenance training rigs for the German and French armed forces. This rig, comprising replicated aircraft equipment, will significantly increase the throughput of trainees without utilising the real aircraft, thereby reducing costs and prolonging the life of the real helicopter.
Lastly, many international S&T corporations have extensive operations in Germany. RUAG Defence Deutschland (RDD) has been active in the German S&T market, in various guises, since the early 1990s, and is now wholly owned by the Swiss aerospace and defence group. RDD is predominantly focused on live simulation and the provision of hardware for training exercises, laser technology and pyrotechnic effect representation being two key areas of focus for the company. RUAG itself is also an experienced provider of virtual simulation, and a service provider and operator of MOUT simulation and training facilities. RDD is currently engaged in delivering a Counter Improvised Explosive Device (CIED) simulation system, which is improving the Bundeswehr’s ability to combat this deadly threat. Operating at the GÜZ, RDD is delivering a full service of multiple COSIM devices, plus all the necessary support and infrastructure. Looking to the future, following the IED project, RDD will also be involved with the development of AGDUS-2 generation of simulators and mobile CTCs.
is a high-technology company with its main operations in defence, aviation and civil security. In the training area, Saab develops systems and services for military training and homeland defence. Training systems are modular and scalable, deployable or stationary, and can be customized for any training requirement – from the needs of the individual soldier up to the highest tactical level, and covering everything from basic gunnery and skills training to tactical training in instrumented combat training facilities. Saab started a subsidary in Koblenz 1994, and is now based in Mülheim-Kärlich, supporting not only Germany but also France and Austria. The company has been providing simulators for the Bundeswehr since the mid-80s, and deliveries of 2-way simulators for live training currently exceed 2000. A two-way simulator has the ability to simulate the ballistics and time of flight of a projectile in real time, with a high level of precision and simultaneously give immediate and realistic feedback to the gunner and the target. The BT46 simulator can be adapted to meet a huge variety of needs, and Saab has supplied Ausbildungsgerät Duellsimulator (AGDUS) equipment for Leopard, Marder, Luchs, Wiesel MK, Wiesel TOW, Fennek and Boxer, and for the PAH-1 helicopter, Milan and Panzerfaust 3 anti-tank weapons, and the GMG.
Transas Marine GmbH
located in Hamburg, is part of the international Transas Group, headquartered in St Petersburg and developing and supplying high technology solutions for marine and air transportation, security, the oil-and-gas and defence industries, and the ‘edutainment’ sector. The German branch, founded in 1994, is active in sales, engineering, assembly and deployment of integrated solutions for shipping companies, maritime training organisations, offshore companies, shipyards, navies and coast guards; a specific competence area is maritime simulation and provision of global training services for Transas Marine International. In 2005, Transas Marine GmbH won contracts to supply a full mission simulator complex for the German Naval Academy (MSM), and also an agreement for the supply of integrated navigation systems to the German Navy fleet. Latest solutions for the military market are technical simulators for Navy and Coastguard vessels (engines and machinery), a small-arms trainer for marine environments, and the Full Warship Trainer (FWST), an advanced simulation solution developed in cooperation with Thales.
Last, but certainly not least, CAE GmbH, based in Stolberg, Germany, was founded in 1961 and, since then, has served the German Armed Forces with a range of training centres, training services and simulation products across air, land, sea and public safety. Over the past year, CAE GmbH has been supporting several key initiatives and programs for the Bundeswehr, including the implementation of the Common Database (CDB) on the helicopter simulators, located at the German Army Aviation School in Bückeburg, and the C-160 Transall simulator in Wunstorf. The CDB is an open-database architecture, which is rapidly updateable and enables correlated distributed mission training; CAE is supporting ZSimNav, the Bundeswehr’s agency responsible for developing and generating databases used by the German Armed Forces for training. Also at the German Army Aviation School, Europe’s largest helicopter training facility, the company has provided classroom and simulator instructors, in addition to maintenance and support services. During 2013, the German Army started using the latest generation CAE GESI command and staff training system at the German Army Combat Simulation Centre, located in Wildflecken. A product improvement program will see the company release enhanced versions of the GESI software to Germany and other customers during 2014. In addition, the company recently announced a cooperation agreement with Rolands & Associates (R&A) to combine GESI command and staff training system with R&A’s Joint Theatre-Level Simulation (JTLS) into a new, federated constructive simulation solution called GlobalSim. With defence budgets in most western markets, including Germany, continuing to be under pressure, defence forces are looking to do more synthetic training, particularly in the area of networked mission training. CAE recently networked the two Eurofighter simulators located at Wittmund to enable the German Air Force to conduct integrated mission training in a complex synthetic environment. Wittmund joins the bases in Laage, Nörvenich and Neuburg which also deliver integrated, networked mission training for Eurofighter aircrews. CAE GmbH provides maintenance and support services on all of Germany’s Eurofighter aircrew synthetic training aids.
The Significance of the German Simulation & Training Industry for Defense and Security Applications
Lt Col (Ret’d) Wolf Rauchalles, of the German Association for Defence Technology, writes:
Training is mandatory to military and first responder life; consequently there will always be a high demand for qualified training. We are moving from large scale, high cost exercises in the past to the virtual battlefield of tomorrow. Simulation, modelling and virtual training systems play a significant role in this military and first responder training, supplementing or even replacing live training.
Over the decades, German industry has supported its military and first responder customers with appropriate training means, starting from simple hardware to sophisticated high end applications. The increasing complexity of operations, the reductions in manpower, and the constant budget restraints have made it necessary to focus on new ways to maintain a high level of training.
S&T expertise may be found in many fields of application within German industry: from underwater warfare to space debris avoidance, from e-learning to complex live-virtual scenario setups, a wide innovative capability and product spectrum is available for training and support. Whereas large companies have specialized S&T departments realizing sophisticated training means for air, land or sea based applications, the German SMI often focus on specialized products for tailored applications.
We recognize the innovative capabilities of the German S&T industry and see it well placed to meet current and future national and international demands.