DAGIR: Ready for Training

First-Ever Digital Range Integrates Air and Ground Assets for U.S. Army Training 
 

It’s 97 degrees in the desert-like climate of Fort Bliss, Texas. You’re in the middle of a 48 kilometer training range driving an Abrams tank as part of a U.S. Army training exercise. Up ahead, you spot a moving target. Suddenly, you hear the chop of helicopter blades as an Apache helicopter flies overhead. On your radio, you hear the gunner call “Identified target…lazing target” followed by “Fire” from the pilot. Target defeated.

This training scenario is now possible using the U.S. Army’s Digital Air Ground Integration Range (DAGIR). Lockheed Martin provided the DAGIR range, which is the first digital range in Army history to integrate air and ground assets for a more realistic, immersive live fire training experience.

TankFire

In addition to expanding the training envelope to include helicopter live fire, DAGIR is also one of the largest and most complex Army ranges to date. More than 350 digitally controlled targets challenge individuals, crews and platoons as they execute gunnery training scenarios on the range.

DAGIR is part of a family of ranges Lockheed Martin provides the U.S. Army under the Digital Range Training System (DRTS) program. The company integrates various innovative technologies for more effective training. For example, high fidelity forward looking infrared cameras capture training exercises from multiple vantage points, day or night. New Integrated Player Units provide improved video resolution and double the number of live camera feeds that training evaluators can monitor.

AAR

Monitoring and evaluating performance is one of the most important parts of training. During an exercise, fiber optics feed all systems data into the Range Operations Center (ROC), where evaluators are watching to measure training performance. On the DAGIR range, the participating aircraft also feed data into the ROC in near-real time, which means evaluators can correct errors on the spot. 

Tower

Following an exercise, crews or platoons take part in an After Action Review (AAR) where they receive feedback on their performance and discuss lessons learned. New DRTS program innovations are offering even more robust AAR feedback for more effective learning. For example, evaluators can take footage from six cameras on the range and display it on a large screen alongside video and telemetry data from the aircraft to provide a broad picture of what happened during the exercise.

Once training on the range is over, evaluators can send crews or platoons back to their home station with an AAR package that illustrates their performance. Battalion master gunners can then create additional training scenarios to reinforce skills that need improvement or rehearse specific engagements.

Live fire training is inherently one of the most high risk areas of training. The family of Digital Range Training Systems now provides the U.S. Army with challenging live fire gunnery training, flexible to meet their needs with the right technologies to prepare for the battlefields of tomorrow.

October 9, 2014