When it comes to military operations, preparedness is indeed the key to success. Comprehensive and effective training is essential for soldiers to be ready for any situation they may encounter on the battlefield. . Military vehicles play a vital role in supporting the various operations of military forces and mastering the operation of army vehicles is a crucial aspect of this military training.
Training budget for Indian Armed Forces
As per a 2020 report by a Swedish Think tank US military spends over half a million dollars per soldier and the UK military spends $367,000, Indian military spends a mere $43,000 per individual. Though India has allocated a significant budget for its military last year (approx. $81.4B), 6% rise from 2021 it still ranks fourth in the world in terms of military spending. China remains the second-largest military spender globally with $292B. Several European countries, including Finland (36%), Lithuania (27%), Sweden (12%), and Poland (11%), have also seen a rise in their military expenditures. The Indian military budget finances is allocated towards many areas like employee salaries and training costs, maintenance of equipment and facilities, support of new or ongoing operations, and development and procurement of new technologies, weapons, equipment, and vehicles . The Indian defence budget in 2023 has been mainly focused towards the following key agendas
- Modernisation & Infrastructure Development particularly strengthening in the Border Areas,
- Strengthening Research and Development in Defence and leading India towards Atmanirbhar Bharat
- Training and Welfare of Agniveers
- Raise the overall ease of living for our esteemed veterans
The Importance of Preparedness in Army Vehicle Operations
Armed Forces of any country relies on safe vehicle operations to accomplish its missions of every magnitude. From complex combat operations to routine operations, drivers and vehicle crews provide critical support to the Armed Forces. For Indian Armed it is important to recognizes the importance of driver preparedness due to various reasons. Firstly, as a nation with a diverse geopolitical landscape and border disputes, maintaining a high level of preparedness ensures the safeguarding of national security. The Indian Army plays a vital role in protecting the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, and being prepared helps deter potential threats and acts as a deterrent against any aggression. Secondly, being prepared allows the Indian Army to respond effectively to various internal and external challenges, including counter-terrorism operations and disaster relief efforts. Additionally, preparedness enables the army to maintain constant vigilance, ensuring the safety and well-being of its personnel and citizens.
Indian army has a variety of vehicles that serve different purpose on the battlefield. These vehicles play an important role in military operations, provides transportation, firepower and logistical support. These vehicles include:
- Infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs): Heavy-armoured vehicles called IFVs carry infantry soldiers into combat areas while protecting them and arming them with ammunition. In India, IFVs like the Abhay ICV and BMP2-Sarath are some examples.
- Main Battle Tanks (MBTs): MBTs are fiercely armed and substantially armoured vehicles built for direct conflict with hostile forces. They have strong cannons, cutting-edge targeting devices, and robust armour defence. MBTs are employed to control the battlefield and engage enemy tanks and strongholds. Arjun, T90S Bhishma, T72 Ajeya, and Ajeya MK2 are some MBTs used by the Indian army.
- Armoured Personal Carriers (APCs): Troops are transported in APCs, which are armoured vehicles that protect the occupants from explosives and small-arms fire. APCs in the Indian army include the Mahindra Marksman, Mahindra Rakshak, and TATA Kestrel amongst others.
- Logistics and Support Vehicle: These trucks are crucial for delivering the gears ,fuel, food and ammunition required for the troops. They consist of trucks, carriers, and specialised automobiles like recovery vehicles for pulling wrecked automobiles from the scene of the conflict. Examples include the Ashok Leyland Super Stallion (6×6) (8×8) (10×10) and the TATA LPTA (4×4 Truck), among others.
Mitigating Risks and Hazards in Simulated Environments
Mitigating risks and hazards in simulated environments is a crucial aspect of military training. Simulation training has long been utilized by the defence forces around the world to help their forces combine the knowledge learned in their training with practical skills to improve outcomes and decrease risks. Training Simulators are helping militaries in training and preparing forces for potential hazards and drilling them on standard operating procedures to make their operations resilient . This includes the proper use of protective gear, adherence to safety distances, and the establishment of communication protocols to enhance situational awareness and coordination. Regular safety briefings and training sessions are also conducted to educate soldiers about potential risks and hazards specific to simulated environments.
The Military Driver Training Simulator systems are designed for basic and advanced driver training for any kind of wheeled and tracked military vehicle. City roads , cross country terrains, highways terrain , hilly and mountainous terrains and off-road exercise areas are available for training in various seasons, weather conditions and traffic density. State-of-the-art Driving Simulator allows to effectively transfer, practice and test the most complex training objectives. The Advanced Driver Training Simulators can be adapted to the individual training needs and vehicle dynamics can be simulated by means of 3DOF or 6DOF motion systems and state of the art display systems. The comprehensive driving simulation software gives flexibility in terms of simulated traffic, training scenarios , introducing hazards ,setting malfunctions of the own vehicle.
Traditional Training vs Simulated Training
Army vehicle training simulators have revolutionized the way soldiers prepare for real-life scenarios. These cutting-edge technology platforms provide a realistic and immersive experience that enhances their skills and preparedness. The Indian army, being on the footsteps of the exploration of simulated training. It is important to understand the difference:
Benefits of Simulated Training:
- Enhanced Safety: Simulator based training provides a controlled training environment, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries compared to traditional training methods.
- Cost-Effectiveness: Training in a virtual environment is more cost-effective in the long run as it eliminates the need for expensive equipment, ammunition, and vehicle or equipment maintenance cost.
- Realistic Scenarios: Simulators allow soldiers to experience realistic combat scenarios in virtual world, improving their decision-making skills and readiness for actual battlefield situations.
- Repetition and Feedback: Simulator training enables soldiers to repeat exercises and receive immediate feedback, facilitating faster learning and skill development.
- Training Flexibility: With simulators training can be conducted in various locations and weather conditions, providing flexibility and adaptability to different training needs.
- Resource Conservation: Use of simulators in training reduces the consumption of fuel and ammunition, contributing to environmental conservation efforts.
Limitations of traditional driver training for Armed Forces :
- Higher Risk of Injuries: The traditional driver training method involves actual vehicles , live ammunition and physical exercises posing a higher risk of injuries to soldiers.
- Limited Repetition: Traditional driver training does not allow for frequent repetition of training exercises, limiting the opportunity for soldiers to refine their skills and muscle memory.
- Higher Costs: Driver training with real vehicles often requires significant expenditures on ammunition, equipment, and maintenance, which can strain limited military resources.
- Environmental Impact: Traditional driver training also has a a negative impact on the environment due to the consumption of resources and the generation of waste.
- Limited Realism: Traditional driver training cannot fully replicate real combat scenarios, potentially leading to a gap between training and actual battlefield situations.
- Accessibility Challenges: Traditional driver training facilities requires large spaces and may not be easily accessible to all units, limiting the availability of training opportunities for soldiers in remote areas.
5 Successful Implementations of Army Vehicle Simulators
Due to their affordability and, more recently, to their benefits for sustainability, driver training simulators have been widely adopted by the defence industry worldwide as a more effective training method. Here are 5 successful implementations of Army Vehicle Simulators around the world.
- The United States Army- United States Army leads in simulation training, using advanced technology like driver training simulators to create realistic combat scenarios for soldiers to develop crucial skills in a safe environment. This enhances readiness and effectiveness by closely mirroring real-world situations.
- Israel Defence Forces (IDF) – The Israel Defence Forces utilizes advanced army vehicle simulators to enhance their training programs, focusing on realism and immersion. By recreating dynamic combat situations, personnel can develop tactical proficiency, decision-making skills, and effective communication strategies in a controlled environment.
- Australian Defence Force (ADF) – The ADF prioritizes risk mitigation in military operations by integrating army vehicle simulators into their training curriculum. This approach ensures that soldiers are well-prepared for real-world challenges while minimizing potential hazards.
- British Army – The British Army utilizes advanced simulators to create immersive virtual environments that accurately replicate diverse terrains and combat scenarios. These simulations provide soldiers with hands-on experience operating various army vehicles and promote teamwork and coordination among crew members.
- Canadian Armed Forces-The Canadian Armed Forces have made significant progress in integrating simulation technology into their army vehicle training programs, enabling efficient skill acquisition and cost reduction compared to traditional live-training exercises.
In India Tecknotrove is a leading manufacturer of training simulators and virtual reality solutions for Defence and Military. Tecknotrove has successfully completed more than 1000 projects in 26 countries like , UAE, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Saudi Arabia ,Singapore to name a few and is an expert in simulation solutions. The company also has experience of working with industries like Automobile ,Logistics, Aviation, Mining, and Nuclear
Tecknotrove caters to defence with military vehicle simulators, infantry weapon training military truck simulators, , military tank simulators, armoured vehicle simulators and simulators for other defence vehicles .