The adoption and integration of blended training programs has long been on the agenda for the U.S. military. Given the approach’s notable boost to training effectiveness, increased affordability, and the ability to train warfighters anywhere around the world, the advantages of blended live, virtual, and constructive training programs are apparent.
The defense community is taking substantial steps in this adoption and integration of live, virtual, and constructive (LVC) training, as programs like the U.S. Navy’s Tactical Combat Training System Increment II (TCTS Inc. II) gain traction with the U.S. military. TCTS Inc. II enables the rapid adaptation of new missions and threats into training as well as enabling joint and coalition interoperability with fourth and fifth generation aircraft platforms.
Recently, it was announced that Collins Aerospace successfully completed the Critical Design Review (CDR) for TCTS Inc. II with the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Naval Aviation Training Systems (PMA-205) program office. The completion of the CDR allows the program to move into fabrication, integration, and testing, bringing the program one step closer to being the air combat training system for the next-generation military, replacing the Navy and Marine Corps’ training range infrastructure.
“The new system will bring a heightened sense of realism to train our service men and women to be better prepared for emerging threats and situations,” said Nick Gibbs, vice president and general manager, Simulation and Training Solutions for Collins Aerospace, in a recent press release from Collins Aerospace.
The integration of TCTS Inc. II serves as a strong proof point for the adoption of blended training programs and offers a strong case study in how the U.S. military can successfully implement virtual training and simulation programs, particularly with the use of an open architecture design. Open architecture allows for seamless program integration across different generations of materiel, making the approach more affordable and accessible across the DoD.
In an interview with Modern Military Training, Chip Gilkison, Business Development for Live Blended Test and Training at Collins Aerospace, explained the adoption of such a program. “The U.S. Navy saw that technology was mature enough in terms of encryption, cross domain solutions, and processing that they embarked on their LVC journey knowing they could build on the tenets of security. The TCTS Inc. II program is future proofed by incorporating open systems architectures, common standards, and software-defined transmission capability in order to have a system that will not only be integrated into all of aspects of fleet training, but it can grow as new LVC blended training insights and requirements emerge.”