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Investment in virtual training for British troops

23 January 2017

British troops will continue to benefit from the latest virtual training after the MOD awards a major contract to NSC.

The training simulation consultancy will deliver the Army’s Unit Based Virtual Training (UBVT) capability, managing a diverse range of exercises designed to prepare Regular and Reserve personnel for future operations.

The contract is the successor to the UK MOD’s highly-successful Joint Combat Operations Virtual Environment (Op JCOVE) programme previously delivered by NSC.

Over eight-and-a-half years, Op JCOVE has readied more than 16,000 soldiers for overseas deployments and delivered significant savings in ammunition, vehicle track mileage and maintenance costs.

Virtual Battlespace 3

Complementing rather than replacing field exercises, UBVT will enable units to collectively practise fire and manoeuvre, command and control, and tactics, techniques and procedures in a realistic synthetic environment and consequently get greater benefit from live training opportunities.

NSC’s new hi-tech system can be adapted to meet specific training objectives and immerses soldiers in high-fidelity terrains featuring authentic vehicles and weaponry and intelligent non-combatants and hostile forces.

UBVT exploits the MOD’s Defence Virtual Simulation – which is provided through Bohemia Interactive’s Virtual Battlespace 3, a state-of-the-art, game-based military simulation widely used by other NATO partners, including the US Marines – and is run on a network of laptop computers. Those training are able to communicate via headsets on an emulation of the Army’s Platform Battlefield Information Systems Application.

Mission preparation

The next-generation system is ideal for mission preparation and refining future concepts and emerging doctrine. Major Simon Roberts, who works in Simulation, Training and Development for the British Army, said: “Training employing virtual simulation provides a realistic environment in which soldiers can hone the vital skills needed to deal with unpredictable and hostile situations.

“UBVT will deliver a training event to a unit that will focus and challenge all levels of personnel. Activity can be conducted or a mission rehearsed in any environment without constraints such as shortage of vehicles, training estate or ammunition. Innovative systems like UBVT will raise exercise start standards and enable more challenging training, ultimately enhancing a soldier’s effectiveness on the battlefield.”

NSC Chief Executive Jeremy Spurr said: “Building on the success of the Op JCOVE programme, UBVT will provide a highly-developed managed service solution incorporating the latest simulation and innovative technologies to bring new standards of best practice and coherence to the management of exercises and training objectives.”

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