Rheinmetall’s holistic approach to training and simulation enables made-to-measure solutions.

Author: Team Rheinmetall

Increasingly complex platforms, systems and processes mean that users require thorough training. Based on its holistic approach, Rheinmetall offers its customers made-to-measure training and simulation solutions, drawing on over forty years’ experience in the field. Rheinmetall’s portfolio encompasses training solutions extending from computer-supported individual e-learning and virtual and constructive training right through to live simulation of entire formations with heavy equipment.

Crew training for the A400M

Highly realistic simulators enable comprehensive training that doesn’t depend on the availability of original equipment. They make it possible to safely practice complex scenarios and deal with emergency situations. All of this contributes to making sure that military personnel are well prepared and qualified to embark on their missions.

As a close partner of Airbus, Rheinmetall Electronics makes a material contribution to training the crews of Europe’s A400 transport plane. The A400M Cargo Hold Part Task Trainer (CPTT) supplied recently to the German Luftwaffe is an exact one-to-one replica of the A400M cargo hold, including the controls. This lets cargo hold crews and ground personnel practise mission-specific conversion of the cargo hold; preparing the cargo; loading and unloading; in-flight and ground procedures; and interoperating with the flight crew. Furthermore, it makes it possible to evaluate, test and qualify procedures and configurations for new types of cargo. In addition to the CPTT, Rheinmetall has supplied cargo training devices such as the Load Master Working Station (LMWST) and the Cargo Hold Trainer – Enhanced (CHT-E) to a number of A400M user nations, including Malaysia, Britain, France Germany and Spain.

Training on a digital twin – with virtual reality

Thanks to modern virtual reality (VR) technology, trainees can undergo total immersion in the training world, resulting in an extremely intense training experience. In a VR environment, movement sequences, distances and proportions are all keenly perceived, while simultaneously minimizing the risk to people and equipment. In the process, the trainer is able to keep an eye on the trainee at all times – visually, virtually and via his or her control computer. Furthermore, the trainer can call together everyone taking part in a training scenario or run through a scenario in presentation mode. The trainer’s control software, or “application manager”, is a project-specific development of the Rheinmetall subsidiary benntec, as are the scenarios, which are produced in accordance with didactic guidelines. A learning management system records and manages the success of the training scenario. The system makes person- or group-related individual training content available. In future the VR scenarios will form an essential component of the total concept for theoretical training. At the same time, they form a bridge between theory and practice, presenting and experiencing, and learning and doing, and thus contribute to the concept of competency-oriented training.

At the Franco-German Tiger Training Facility (DFAT) in Fassberg, Germany, future mechanics will undergo initial training on a digital twin of a Tiger attack helicopter and its subsystems in the first “virtual reality auditorium” – a safe environment that spares the original equipment from wear and tear. By the same token, complex alignment, maintenance and repair procedures and operating sequences can be carried out in single and multiplayer mode. Here, trainees operate in an individual training environment – physically separated from other participants. Particularly in light of the current pandemic, this enables training to take place in line with enhanced hygiene protocols. In the multiplayer mode, cooperation and communication take place via Avatare and a voice link. The most important element here is the detailed 3D model of the Tiger helicopter fabricated by benntec, right down to the subassemblies.


VR-Training on a digital twin of a Tiger attack helicopter. Image credit: Rheinmetall

At sea – submarine and nautical training

Rheinmetall continues to make a significant contribution to training German U212A submariners and helping them prepare for their missions. Rheinmetall Electronics has supplied and upgraded the Submarine Command Team Trainer for sensor and weapon engagement operations right through to submarine commander qualification exams, for example, while its Submarine Control Simulator enables crewmembers to practice underwater navigation and diving procedures. In the course of recent modernization measures, Rheinmetall introduced the concept of the multifunction console to permit exact replication of the control stations of various submarines, thus enabling flexible training of technical personnel. Rheinmetall is currently fabricating state-of-the-art simulators for an international customer that will bring submarine crew training and mission preparation to a whole new level, reflecting the company’s Total Boat Training concept.

At the end of 2018, Rheinmetall supplied the German Navy with an advanced nautical simulator for the Mürwik Naval Academy. This system is used for training cadets and junior deck and bridge officers. Furthermore, it lets the bridge team prepare for operations, to include crew resource management. The nautical simulator has won over both the German Navy and the German Coast Guard. At the end of 2020 Rheinmetall entered a contract with the Bundeswehr to supply the same kind of classroom navigation trainers, which will be used for initial training in naval academies and at Fleet Readiness Centres in order to keep skills fresh. Two years later, at the end of 2020, the German Coast Guard ordered the same type of nautical simulator from Rheinmetall for its new training centre in Neustadt/Holstein. Owing to the common technical basis, exchanges and mutual training support are thus assured.

Staff officer and military leader training: Rheinmetall OSIRIS

OSIRIS is Rheinmetall’s innovative solution for training staff officers and military leaders in the context of computer-supported exercises at echelons ranging from battalion to joint forces command HQ level. Besides training in handling, command and decision processes, OSIRIS can support decision-making, including analysis, planning and procurement. Thanks to its detailed simulation modules for ground, air and naval operations and doctrine-based algorithms for automated decision-making, OSIRIS is able to realistically simulate modern hybrid warfare scenarios.

Due to the unique automation of OSIRIS, it is possible to train for tactical and operational scenarios alike using the same simulation system. The optimized user interface of OSIRIS reduces the time and costs needed for instructing system users and reduces the risk of operator errors during an exercise. Moreover, the modern system architecture enables efficient, customer-specific IT infrastructure and connection to battle management systems.

Summary and Outlook

With its holistic approach to training, Rheinmetall offers a portfolio ranging from individual e-learning to force-on-force training of entire formations in major combat training centres. In keeping with this approach, the company develops and offers simulation and training solutions right from the start for new systems like its Lynx family of medium-weight combat vehicles, underscoring its role as a one-stop shop.

For more information, please visit: www.rheinmetall.com