Spanish company Indra has launched international marketing of a new driving simulator for 4×4 military vehicles initially developed for the Spanish Army in 2014 to harmonise training and to try and cut down on the number of accidents and collisions.
Developed as a generic cabin with multiple vehicle simulation capabilities it currently can simulate the Spanish Army’s RG-31 Nyala (BAE Systems) and the LMV (Iveco). New models are expected to be included in the near future, says Simfor which developed the simulator with Indra. Extensive use of real parts have been incorporated on the dashboard and controls. Commercial off-the-shelf equipment has been used where possible for low maintenance costs.
Indra says the first two simulators are operational at the San Gregorio National Training Centre in the northern Spanish city of Zaragoza. FOB was told that the initial contract was signed in 2013 and the simulators were Ready for Training by the end of 2014. Since then Indra has been taking on-board feedback from the Spanish Army during a testing period to develop the final version that is now being offered on the international market.
Indra told FOB that the Spanish Army has no plans to procure any more of these simulators in the short-term although it is interested in add-ons to simulate other vehicles.
The simulator allows for the vehicle cabins to be simply rolled in and rolled out to quickly create the driving environment of either vehicle. It is mounted on a six degrees of freedom motion system to provide inclination and acceleration feedback to the driver who thus gets the sensations relative to his actions.
The system can simulate loss of traction, a collision, driving over potholes or steps, skidding, getting a puncture, being attacked by stones, etc. The steering wheel includes a control loading system to provide a realistic feedback to the driver giving him the sensation of any surface irregularities as well as the different impressions of driving on asphalt, sand, dust, through water and mud and on snow or ice. The system can also simulate explosions of IEDs and mines in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle, not only visually but with realistic sound thanks to a Dolby surround sound system which also allows the driver to hear his vehicle in relationship to its simulated environment.
Indra says the simulators can in the future be networked so that exercises with others on different training bases can be organised.
The simulator provides the instructors with a wide variety of situations to put their trainee drivers through their paces: deserts, fields, mountain roads, urban areas, bridges, fords, motorways etc. as well as different climatic conditions (rain, fog, sleet, snow, dust), traffic conditions and surfaces (tarmac, dust, ice etc.).
Obstacles and slopes of various inclines can be added and, amongst various options, driving with night-vision goggles. A simulated roller can also be added for training in mine and improvised explosive devices (IED) clearing missions. The training session can be recorded for post-exercise analysis.
The two simulators delivered to the San Gregorio training centre are equipped with scenarios developed for Spanish Army requirements, Simfor says, as well as several pre-defined exercises. Others can be incorporated at clients’ request.
Indra notes that one of the advantages of teaching young drivers the basics in a simulator, apart form avoiding accidents and injuries, is to reduce wear and tear on the real vehicles thereby increasing their availability and cutting fuel costs.