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Abrams M1A1 main battle tank

The US Army has awarded a contract to Saab Training USA to supply its next generation laser-based combat vehicle tactical engagement simulation system (CVTESS) for its fleet of armoured combat vehicles.

The selection follows an extensive weeklong field evaluation at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona, US. The value of the indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity award will be $90m if all options are exercised over a period of five years.

Under the $17.2m contract, Saab will deliver the trainers for initial use on all variants of the Army’s M1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) and M2 Bradley Tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles (BFVs).

The easy to install units will replace the majority of Saab-built gunner training simulators supplied to the US Army in 1988 for the Abrams MBTs and Bradley vehicles.

The CVTESS is a laser and radio frequency based system utilised in live simulation training to simulate the effects of realistic battlefield conditions for armoured vehicles, light-skinned vehicles, bunkers, and fixed targets.

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Saab Training USA president, Lars Borgwing, said: "This system will enhance the training realism for the mounted soldiers immediately as the Army makes the shift into Unified Land Operations while supporting the army force generation model (ARFORGEN) as troops return from current combat operations."

The commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) training device can be easily installed, maintained and provide a highly accurate laser based replication of the combat vehicles’ weapons from eye safe lasers and RF-based mine simulators.

The system interfaces and communicates with home stations and combat training centres (CTCs) to provide real-time casualty and battlefield damage assessments for after action reporting during tactical engagement training in direct fire force-on-force and instrumented training scenarios.

Currently, the company is fielding the instrumentation systems at all US Army home stations.

Image: US Army to purchase Combat Vehicle Tactical Engagement Simulation System for M1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks.