Page 52 - Australian Defence Magazine Aug 2019
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aircraft, providing specialised air training support services to the ADF, including Aerial Target Towing and Tactical Flight Missions in support of the Australian Navy, Army and Air Force.
The company’s Learjets are used for simu- lating fighter tactics and the simulation of maritime attack profiles.
AAA also manufactures and provides full operational services for the Phoenix Unmanned Aerial Target Drone. The Phoenix, developed by AAA, is currently in operational service and, according to the company, it provides an extremely cost-ef- fective unmanned target drone solution for the ADF. The company also developed the unique towing mounts for the Phoenix sys- tem, attached to the hard points of the jets, which have been exported globally.
CEO Chris Sievers says that AAA typi- cally works directly with Defence, rather than via an industry prime.
“We have been working with defence for over 25 years providing live threat simula- tion services using both manned and un- manned aircraft,” he explained to ADM.
Regarding the opportunities to deal di- rectly with Defence in the current context, Sievers says that it is becoming harder for an Australian SME to do so.
“There is a merging trend for defence to work through a Prime Systems Integrator (PSI),” he said. “Looking towards the fu- ture, I am optimistic about opportunities to continue working closely with the ADF, either directly or through a PSI.
“Air Affairs is pleased to continue its sup- port to the ADF’s training programs and we look forward to providing more services
The quality of simulations continues to improve with each new version of VBS.
during a period of very high operational de- mand on our Forces,” he said. “We have been providing these services for over 25 years and have significantly increased the capability and level of services and training value to defence while saving millions of dollars each year.”
Bohemia Interactive Simulations
Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim) is a global software company that was found- ed in Australia in 2001, beginning with the licensed development of a computer game from Bohemia Interactive Studio in the Czech Republic.
The product, named Operation Flash- point, was developed into a desk top simula- tion tool and training environment, known as Virtual Battlespace 1 and initially used as a mission rehearsal tool for ADF troops deploying to Iraq. It is now in its third itera- tion, known as VBS3.
Today BISim has 250 employees across seven sites around the world. Its products are in service in 59 countries and hundreds of thousands of soldiers are been trained us- ing the products each year.
Ryan Stephenson, BISim managing di- rector for Australia and NZ says the com- pany’s experience as an SME in the Defence simulation space is both as a prime and a subcontractor.
“As we become more mature and our tech- nology has become more accepted in the De- fence space, we’re working increasingly with primes. We sell directly to militaries, which procure our products for training mainly in that desk top paradigm, but also for use in other training systems and simulators,” Ste- phenson explained to ADM.
“Increasingly we are also working directly with primes on different projects which want to use our simulation technology – either because they are able to access it as Govern- ment Furnished Equipment from their gov- ernment military customer, or because they want to offer it into whatever training system they are supplying to Defence. So, we work with primes such as BAE Systems, Elbit and Rheinmetall around the world, including Land 400 Phase 2 here in Australia.”
While opportunities to work directly with Defence are arguably becoming in- creasingly more limited, Stephenson says the government’s AIC policy is having an effect.
“There has been increased focus on build- ing a skilled Australian defence industry workforce, one that is permanent and not transient and, while that is not massively changing our business, I think the effect is being felt,” he said.
“The primes are getting the message from Government that Australian content, build- ing Australian jobs and skills in the defence space and ensuring a viable local defence industry, is something they need to address when they are dealing with Government and I think that message is being heard.”
Looking forward, Stephenson thinks SMEs in the Defence simulation space should be cautiously optimistic about the future.
“Simulation is very broad, multi-faceted, and can be low cost. It can provide value for money, so I think the trend towards seek- ing out simulation solutions where they can add that value is increasing,” he said.
From a BSim perspective, Stephenson says the company is in a strong position with the capability, maturity and accep- tance of the technology it has developed, and it is investing in R&D and expanding its range of products.
“We’re bringing computer game technol- ogy into new simulators and also refreshing legacy simulators,” he said. “We are optimis- tic, we have a strong position with our cur- rent product offering, which we don’t take for granted, and we have a lot of new technology, so we definitely see growth for our business.”
Calytrix Technologies
Established in Perth in 2001, Calytrix Technologies today employees more than 60 staff in Australia and the US and is both a software development company and a ser- vices provider.
Its largest customer in the Defence simu- lation sphere is the Australian Defence Sim- ulation and Training Centre (ADSTC) and
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