Thales and RUAG Partner on Training System for French Army

PARIS — Thales and RUAG Group are partners on a contract signed Dec. 30 for the French Cerbere program, a simulation and training system intended to help prepare troops for the Army’s Scorpion modernization project, the country’s defense procurement office has revealed.

“The program objective is to equip the Army with a system to train the combined task force … and evaluate their readiness to engage in operations,” the Direction Générale de l’Armement said Jan. 19 in a statement. That task force is the equivalent of an infantry company or reinforced cavalry unit.

A DGA spokesman declined to give the value of the contract.

Cerbere is intended to upgrade instruments for live combat training centers, with the new system to be installed at the Sissone base for urban combat and Mailly-le-Camp base for open terrain operations, Thales said in a statement.

The program aims “to train in conditions very close to those encountered on operational deployments,” the company said, adding that the system is open architecture and competitively priced.

Cerbere will allow trainers to track in real time troops and vehicles equipped with geolocalization devices and listen in on a sound channel. Weapons will be equipped with lasers to simulate firing and being hit.

The program is intended as a teaching tool with a multimedia analysis, drawing on video and audio recorded in the training exercises.

“Cerbere enables modern armed forces to track and analyze every phase of a tactical engagement when training for the digitized battlefield,” Thales said.

That instrument simulation system will train troops to use all the capability in the “collaborative combat” approach, working with the Griffon and Jaguar armored vehicles and upgraded Leclerc tank in the Scorpion program, the DGA said. Other elements for training include the MMP anti-tank missile, a new assault rifle, the SICS communications network and the Contact software-defined radio.

A first delivery of the training system is due in 2019 when the introduction of the Scorpion program picks up.  

Both of the training centers can accommodate a total of 1,000 troops, or three combined task forces, and 250 vehicles for 96 hours of combat training under the Cerbere system, the DGA said.

Cerbere will upgrade the present Centaure system, Thales said.

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