Lockheed inks U.K. trainer agreement

Lockheed Martin Corp. will operate and maintain the combined-arms tactical trainer for the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence under a five-year, $49 million contract.

Under the terms of the contract, Lockheed Martin UK Simulation, Training and Support along with its partner, BAE Systems, will manage the simulators and provide training services for U.K. forces in the United Kingdom and Sennelager, Germany. Lockheed Martin originally designed and built the simulator in 2002.

Each tactical trainer installation covers an area the size of three soccer fields and has 170 vehicle simulators, Lockheed Martin said. The facility can handle as many as 700 troops participating in a simulated battle among themselves or against computer-generated forces. The system also supplies after-action analysis.

The combined-arms tactical trainer is a key part of the training program for U.K troops, Toby Mills, managing partner at the Lockheed Martin U.K. unit, said in a news release. The training services help the army ensure its forces are at full readiness, he added.

The virtual facility enables troops to fine-tune tactics, techniques and procedures before conducting exercises in the field, said Lt. Col. Nick Baily, commanding officer of the U.K. Combined Arms Tactical Training. "Although virtual, it provides many of the frictions and uncertainties of warfare and allows activities to be conducted which for safety and environmental reasons can only otherwise be conducted on an operation," he said.

Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Md., ranks No. 1 on Washington Technology's 2007 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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