The French MOD's procurement and technology agency (DGA), supported by its Defense Innovation Agency (AID), has selected the KNDS-ARQUUS consortium to experiment with the first digital twin for a ground combat system. This digital twin will be applied to ground combat vehicles, with plans for full-scale deployment on 20 VBCI vehicles and initial predictive maintenance testing on Army vehicles.

The defense technology project "Digitization of maintenance" (NumCo) aims to develop and experiment with a digital twin demonstrator of the VBCI infantry fighting vehicle. The companies believe this will be the very first digital twin in the field of ground combat systems.

The technology developed by KNDS and ARQUUS will enable the industry, the DGA, and the Army to jointly implement a virtual twin of the VBCI vehicle to support engineering and maintenance activities.

The NumCo digital twin builds on the experience gained over several years by the KNDS-ARQUUS consortium, particularly within the framework of the European Commission’s FAMOUS defence industrial development programme.

The NumCo digital twin demonstrator will be developed through an incremental and agile approach over two years and then improved over two years with the training data from 20 instrumented VBCI. The experimentation could be extended to an additional batch of 20 VBCI.

As part of this experimentation, several Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) sensors will be deployed on the physical vehicles to collect large amounts of data, analyze them, and transcribe them into digital models and virtual representations. The system will rely on multiple predictive algorithms that will determine the lifespan of a variety of mechanical parts based on vehicle usage, anticipate breakdown risks, and personalize maintenance operations for each vehicle, facilitating failures diagnosis.

Ultimately, the NumCo digital twin technology is expected to be the central element of KNDS's and ARQUUS's offers for the modernization of maintenance of the Army's vehicle fleets.

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