Simulator definition by Oxford:
“A machine designed to provide a realistic imitation of the controls and operation of a vehicle, aircraft, or other complex system, used for training purposes.”
We’ve interpreted this definition in many different ways, some hi-tech, some nearly unbelievable. Meet the IDF’s new lineup of sophisticated battlefield simulators.
Today, when new IDF recruits shoot their first bullet, it’ll be after training with an advanced shooting simulator, which will help them improve their shooting capabilities. “You can see the difference really quickly — new soldiers are becoming much better in a much less time,” said Staff Sergeant Tom Shaked, simulator instructor in the Paratroopers Brigade.
“We’re giving the soldiers a wide range of scenarios: fighting in a built-up area, terrorists who run towards them, dealing with a car that broke through a barrier – scenarios that we can’t reproduce in a regular shooting range.”
Thanks to this system, simulator operators can now analyze every bullet fired and give soldiers constructive feedback — even on small things, like how they move the barrel. Thanks to this criticism, the soldiers’ accuracy improves and reduces the chances of errors during combat.
The Israeli Navy has its own simulator at its Haifa base. “With the simulator, we can take technical skills that take a long time to teach at sea and get soldiers familiar with them in far less time,” said Captain Tal Meirovitch, the simulator’s commander. “This saves hours of sailing, and means that when we put our soldiers out at sea for real, they are already experienced.”
The system simulates the view from a ship in realistic detail — even including the buildings on the shoreline that soldiers use for guidance.
“I train the soldiers in the simulator at the same level they are trained at sea and even beyond that,” explained Captain Meirovitch. “I can create scenarios for them that don’t exist under normal conditions. There are plenty of things soldiers don’t get to experience when they’re training on a regular boat — here, I can give them the opportunity to face and deal with those scenarios. As they gain experience, we can make the exercises even more complex.”
The simulator is already training the gamut of Navy vessels, and there isn’t a script it can’t simulate.
Welcome to the Air Force UAV array simulator. The simulator consists of several rooms, where each room emulates a UAV operating caravan. Each caravan contains another room separated by a glass wall where the instructors who oversee the training sit. Operators in the control room analyze each flight using an advanced recording system.
The flight scenarios that the operators put the trainee instructors through are particularly challenging. Multiple problems are built into every flight. “We place a strong emphasis on training for emergencies,” said Major Moses, commander of the training center. “An operator receives a number of emergencies at the same time and he needs to know how to act and how to prioritize the order of his actions. The commander of a mission needs to know when he will be able to complete the task, and when he has to back down.”
The outdoors is not the only place to train a fighter. Thanks to its new simulators, the IDF can train soldiers faster, better and for less money. No wonder armies across the world are following in the IDF’s footsteps and marching towards a simulated world.