PARIS AIR SHOW NEWS: New Training Pod Simulates Multiple Threats

By Laura Heckmann

Laura Heckmann photo

PARIS — French defense aeronautics company Aresia has developed an optronic version of its aerial multi-mission pod as part of its aerial targets training systems to increase operational training for the French army between an aircraft and its ground controllers.

The optronic version of the aerial multi-mission pod is the latest in the company’s line of live-fire training systems for the armed forces. The system incorporates real-time display on an embedded station or ground station and is certified to be towed behind a jet aircraft or helicopter.

What the new optronic version can accomplish that its predecessors could not is a simulation of multiple different threats, said Céline Barre, innovation and strategy director for Aresia, during an interview at the Paris Air Show June 19.

The training pod is a way to train for missions on the ground and in the air and creates a solution for communication needs between the aircraft and the operators on the ground, she added.

“It’s really a way to communicate” between the trainer and the trainee, she said.

The training solution is designed for the joint terminal attack controller, meaning the director of the action of military aircraft engaged in close air support.

The pod allows the user to simulate “almost any threat,” with previous versions limited to a singular type of threat, she said. Jets fitted with the pods can fake the signal of an F-35, for example, with a simulated radar.

Used by the armed forces to certify pilots, the solution includes integration under the aircraft, a container, a target and a scoring display station. The pod is modular and designed according to user requirements, making it able to be used on a variety of aircraft, she added.

The latest training pod was developed after “a lot of discussion with the [French] air force, and their new way to practice and operate … and they were interested in some kind of low cost solution,” said Barre. Aresia received sponsorships and funding from France’s Defense Innovation Agency, academia and AirAsia, she added.

The aerial multi-mission pod optronic version is not being utilized yet by the French military, but Barre said it is expected to enter flight tests in the third quarter of this year.

While the company is working closely with the French military, Barre said the product is “compatible with many other” aircraft, including U.S. military platforms. She said the needs of the French army drove the product’s development, and they are “interested [in it] for their training needs.”



Topics: Training and Simulation