QinetiQ have been awarded an 18 month extension to its Distributed Synthetic Air Land Training (DSALT) contract by the Ministry of Defence (MoD)
The initial contract was awarded in May 2009 for 4 years and allows for RAF pilots training alongside British Army forward air controllers and artillery personnel prior to deployment to the front line. The contact covers the provision and running of a bespoke multi-million pound training facility at RAF Waddington.
The Distributed Synthetic Air Land Training (DSALT) contract, when awarded was worth £26m over four years. Under the contract sponsored by the RAF, QinetiQ as the project lead, and Boeing provided around 44 weeks access to specialist synthetic training facilities every year. The primary users remain HQ level fire planning cells and fire support teams, who act as the eyes and ears on the front line for artillery batteries plus the RAF pilots that will be operating alongside them in the region and engaged in ground attack missions. By working together they experience the complexities of controlling aircraft, artillery and other assets, all in fast-moving situations.
QinetiQ remain responsible for ensuring the facility meets technical specification and delivering the ongoing customer requirements. Initially that involved ruggedising a capability demonstrator that had already successfully proven the concept to the MOD into a robust training system. Boeing are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the training systems used for planning and for delivery of the post-exercise review, whilst the RAF supported by Inzpire, (acting as consultants to the UK military), provide the personnel with recent in-theatre experience to take on various key roles within the exercises.
The DSALT facility is a key element of the Air Battlespace Training Centre, a partnership between RAF and industry to improve the training of UK frontline forces. The DSALT facility is also linked to a variety of other simulated or live air, land or maritime assets to further enhance the training.
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