IDF turns to new training simulators to improve recruits

Using a state-of-the-art simulator with sophisticated data analysis tools and a room filled with screens and projectors, the IDF is heading towards what it hopes will be a more accurate way. to follow the progress of the troops on the ground during training.

The simulator, located at the Israel Defense Forces’ Nahal Brigade training base in the Negev Desert, is the first in a series to be built on bases across the country, a spokesperson said on Wednesday. of the Army.

All IDF infantry units will start using such simulators in basic training by the end of 2022, according to the military spokesperson. While not a substitute for actual training, it is touted as a better way to keep up with soldiers and find ways for them to improve.

The facility includes five stations that soldiers walk through during the day, allowing them to train for multiple skill sets.

Soldiers, equipped with their usual tactical gear, are given a smart bracelet that tracks and records their data as they train in the simulator.

A 270-degree screen allows up to four soldiers to train for coordination; a simulated street allows a squad to hone its firepower; an apartment replica meticulously tracks a team’s violation capabilities; a dummy torso records the physical strength of a soldier; and an individual shooting range develops their reaction time and their ability to concentrate.

“In the past, we had no way to properly analyze whether soldiers entered a room properly, there was simply no way to do it,” Commander Captain Uri Getter told The Times of Israel. company of the 932nd Infantry Battalion.

Soldiers train in a fictitious apartment at a training facility located in the Nahal Brigade’s training base in southern Israel, December 15, 2021 (Emanuel Fabian / The Times of Israel)

“Now I can see exactly where a soldier or the team needs to improve,” he said.

The apartment, for example, has five rooms, each equipped with ultra short throw projectors to display enemies, as well as sensors and cameras that record the operation of soldiers. Commanders can then replay an entry into a room from multiple angles to accurately analyze their performance.

Soldiers’ performance data is also available for their own review, to compare with their squad average as well as with the rest of the battalion. They can also see graphs showing their gradual improvement over the eight month training period.

Throughout their basic and advanced training period, soldiers spend a few days a week in the simulator, improving their basic skills, until they reach the standard set by the military.

The facility was developed by Bagira Systems, alongside the IDF Ground Technology Division, under the leadership of Military Technology and Logistics.

Getter said he believes his soldiers improve much faster when they can visually see their progress and understand exactly what they need to work on, and then successfully implement those skills in the field.

Captain Uri Getter shows a soldier his performance on a screen at a training center in the Nahal Brigade base in southern Israel, December 15, 2021 (Emanuel Fabian / The Times of Israel)

First Lt. Nir Levy, who oversees the operation of the simulator, said the computer-simulated training facility was safer than traditional live fire drills.

“In the field, a squad can fire 500-600 bullets a day, but here it’s more like 2,000. And the risk of something happening is negligible,” Levy said.

The rifles use compressed air magazines instead of live ammunition, simulating the feeling of firing the pistol with minimal risk. New equipment introduced at the facility will record whether soldiers accidentally strike each other with friendly fire in close quarters combat, which was previously nearly impossible to detect in dry drills, Levy said.

A soldier trains to shoot an M72 LAW at a training center at the Nahal Brigade base in southern Israel, December 15, 2021 (Emanuel Fabian / The Times of Israel)

Levy also noted the efficiency savings of simulated training: Soldiers can train for different scenarios in a single day, without wasting time performing lengthy safety briefings, testing, setting targets and setting them up. cut down, he said.

The control room of a training center located at the Nahal Brigade base in southern Israel, December 15, 2021 (Emanuel Fabian / The Times of Israel)

But Getter stressed that there is no real substitute for real training on the pitch.

“It is complementary and distinct from outdoor urban warfare training and [real] shooting range, ”he explained.

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