© 2011 FrontLine Defence (Vol 8, No 6)

The Russian Federation has contracted the Rheinmetall Group and its Russian partner, JSCo Oboronservis, to build a major army training centre in Mulino, Russia, by 2014. This simulation-supported training centre – touted to be the most advanced system of its kind worldwide – will be able to train 30,000 troops a year.

The contract, worth over €100 million including further options, is of strategic ­significance for the Rheinmetall Group, as it represents the German defence industry’s first significant foothold in the Russian market. In light of plans to modernize the equipment of the Russian armed forces, opportunities for follow-on orders from the Russian Federation are considerable.

A leading supplier of simulation and training systems for ground, air and naval applications, the Rheinmetall Group currently operates the Bundeswehr’s Gefechtsübungs­zentrum Heer (GÜZ), a high-tech army training centre located in central Germany, on which the new facility in Russia will be modelled.

Rheinmetall has entered into a strategic partnership with JSCo Oboronservis for this project; the Russian company will serve as general contractor and subsequently operate the facility on behalf of the Russian armed forces.

Simulation-supported training is a realistic and efficient means of preparing troops for a variety of operational scenarios and keeps cost in check by reducing consumption of fuel and materiel as well as protecting heavy equipment from wear and tear. The Russian military expects the new training centre to pay for itself within a few years.

Rheinmetall is tasked with developing and supplying the live combat simulation system as well as technical implementation of all aspects of the project, including commissioning and quality assurance.

Covering approximately 500 sq km, the training centre will train a reinforced mechanized infantry or armoured brigade. An innovative rotation principle will enable training to take place simultaneously at a variety of stations. The system will track and record each participant’s activities via an electronic ID badge, and they will not be allowed to proceed until they have met basic qualifications, after which they move on to other training stations, including live combat simulation, commander training by state-of-the-art constructive simulation, marksmanship with modern firing ranges and other practical training components.

Another new feature is the networking of Live, Virtual and Constructive simulation elements. During live combat simulation, formations and units will soon be able to train using laser simulators and cutting edge communications technology mounted onto their original equipment and tactical vehicles. Live fire will be simulated by eye-safe laser simulators for all weapons.

The Russian military’s aim is to ensure that every brigade is optimally prepared for the realities of modern warfare. Innovative Rheinmetall engineers continuously perfect realism, and the sophisticated training technology at the GÜZ combat training centre in Germany has proved invaluable to the Bundeswehr ever since it opened in 2001.

During live training operations, every participant, from soldiers to main battle tanks, are equipped with laser sensors and compact data transmission devices which constantly transmit position and status (even from inside buildings) to the control cell. The effects of heavy weapons fire on buildings and the troops inside them can also be simulated.

Mobile video teams accompany the units, transmitting imagery back to headquarters in real time. There, the complete array of data from an exercise flows together, including all voice transmissions. The position and status of all exercise participants are depicted on workstation computer monitors and large screens on a 2D/3D situation map, including video recording in real time, and events can be recorded and processed for subsequent after-action review.

Simulation technology from Rheinmetall thus makes a decisive contribution to wellgrounded, deployment-oriented training, providing troops with the best-possible preparation for carrying out their missions, a critical factor in assuring adequate force protection and favourable outcomes.
© FrontLine Defence 2011