Artillery types

Eurosatory 2022: Cubic could fill British Army artillery training gap with Blue Shell

Reservists from the British Army’s 105 Regiment Royal Artillery have started trialling the new Blue Shell and AMST (Artillery Mission Training Systems) capability provided by Cubic.

AMST is a 105mm gun simulator, in which a number of components on the L-118 Light Pistol have been replaced with replica components, including the firing box. The system comes with the Blue Shell replica of the 1/10th weight cartridges in service.

The system is intended to bridge the gap between how the British Army conducts dry-fire training and how it conducts live-fire training. The Royal School of Artillery at Larkhill has been using ten AMSTs since 2018 under the concept demonstrator contract for the 105mm light gun.

Blue Shell training cartridges allow the shooter to adjust the fuse and select the correct loads for the specific shooting mission.

Andy Gales, senior director of business development at Cubic, said Shepherd during Eurosatory 2022 that soldiers can perform all types of artillery drills with the system, including miss-firing, loading, cartridge ejection, and firing. The replica firing box can be loaded as on the L-118 pistol; rounds pass behind the shell retainer, loaded and fired as normal.

The artillery crew can complete a ten-shot mission without ejecting a single shell, allowing units to conduct drills without interruption.

The system can be injected into the VBS Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim) and, after firing, the landed shells can be seen in the virtual environment, allowing simultaneous combined arms training in a virtual and real environment.

Gales said Cubic and BISim have a close relationship, and Blue Shell has already been tested with the newest VBS Mantle ETM field application.

The British Army has sought in recent years to equip itself with instrumentation systems to integrate its 81mm L16 mortars and 105mm L118 light guns in the Tactical Engagement Simulation System (TESS) training environment.

The program is called Indirect Fires Simulation (IDFS) and is run by the Training and Simulation Systems Program organization within the MoD Defense Equipment & Support.

The IDFS program was to build on the integration of the Royal Artillery L118 105mm Light Gun live training that has already been carried out by Cubic UK during the Conceptual Capability Demonstration (CCD) phase, and a £19 million ($22.9 million) deal was to have been rewarded this year.

However, this was not announced during the recent IT2EC and DSET events, so there are doubts whether the UK is ready to take this step in 2022.

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