The Polish Army faces limitations in how it can train drivers and gunners of its armored personnel carriers (APC) and how it can rehearse coordinated maneuvers. Training was often limited to stationary targets at known ranges or live training using service vehicles only. In addition, practicing with real vehicles and ammunition is costly.
Using VBS2Fusion and VBS2 as its simulation engine, OBRUM, Poland’s manufacturer of APCs, in cooperation with Military University of Technology, developed a tactical training crew simulator for the Polish Army called the SK-1 Platoon. The system fully features high fidelity metal reproductions of the IFV Rosomak interiors, built in Poland under license from Finnish defense provider Patria, as well as realistic fire control systems, including roughly 200 switches and buttons. The system is one of the most complex systems integrating VBS.
It allows for 12 trainees and two instructors to participate in coordinated simulation scenarios. APC drivers who had not trained in the simulator had no difficulty adapting to the simulator because of its realistic representation. The system simulates four vehicles with its driver and turret module that can be operated as independent or connected simulators. It also can be mounted on a movable platform to simulate motion. These four APC simulators were developed for less than the cost of 50 percent of a single APC. Developers from OBRUM spent a week with Bohemia Interactive Simulations developers in Prague to receive support and guidance in developing the system.
“We decided to use VBS because of the interoperability,” said Antoni Kurzeja, OBRUM’s lead designer on the project. “We also were short on time and we decided it would be faster not to have to write everything from the beginning. VBS offered an out-of-the-box platform for us to work from. Our customers need training opportunities that gives a combination of VBS and Full Mission Simulation systems.”
VBS allows developers and users connectivity with other simulators built on the simulation engine. In a battle lab at Poland’s Military Academy of Land Forces in Wroclaw, 5 soldiers working off of laptops with VBS2 rehearsed an infantry drop with the Army’s SK-1 Platoon simulator.
“If someone needs full cabin crews for simulations, it is much more affordable to buy something based on VBS than to buy a custom solution and have issues with interoperability,” said Kurzeja.
According to Maj. Marcin Bielewicz at the Military Academy of Land Forces, the systems’ built-in scenario editor “allows us to be creative in preparing training scenarios that are not limited to the terms and conditions of safety.”