11th March 2019 08:31:55 Hours
The Centre for Research and Development (CRD) of the Ministry of Defence, making one more significant stride in the sphere of military innovations, introduced the first Digital Close Quarter Combat Theatre (MILO Range) of Sri Lanka which could facilitate live-firing training sessions of Commandos and Special Forces when the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake recently called at the CRD at Pitipana, Homagama.
This exceptionally-designed low-cost digital training theatre, equipped with live firing facility was specially designed for Commandos and Special Forces and operates on a digital platform similar to the MILO ranges in the US. The new system uses life size real videos running on surrounding digital screens to provide trainees real time feelings, combined with stress and ambiguity, instead of 3D objects, generally projected in traditional simulators,
Live firing can be used in this way to train special operation soldiers and evaluate their performance under stress and different training scenarios, like shoot or no shoot, skill-building, decision-making, etc. The system also includes an instant feedback system which playbacks every episode for the trainees and instructors to see their performances in return for self-evaluation.
The newly-developed Digital Close Quarter Combat Theatre is an innovation of Major Bandula Nishshanka of the Army, attached to the CRD. Major Bandula is a forensic ballistics specialist and an expert in ballistic, firearms and ammunition and a senior officer of the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps. He is also the designer and developer of the recently-introduced first ballistic rubber sheet in Sri Lanka for the use of Armed Forces' training.
This new live firing theatre, designed by him is expected to make a revolutionary change in military training of Sri Lankan Armed Forces since this hi-tech method can also be incorporated into varieties of military training modules, either combat or non-combat.
The project was launched as per guidelines given by the Director General of the CRD, Brigadier (Dr) Thiran De Silva who is taking a painstaking effort to uplift the military capabilities of our Armed Forces. According to him, it is now possible to introduce this low-cost system to the international market also while proving the hi-tech defence related production capability of our country to be on par with other global partners, in addition to its local production.
The ability to take prompt decisions under stressful situations is one of the important training aspects that Special Operation soldiers muster during their training. However, this has been a challenging task due to impossibility of creating real time simulated situations which induce real feeling of stress in soldier`s mind.
MILO Ranges is the current limit that virtual reality in military training programs have reached so far, designed to address this issue, how much has it become not affordable for Armed Forces of developing countries, like Sri Lanka.
The Commander of the Army after closely reviewing the system praised the CRD and the researcher for the innovative thinking and the introduction of the new theatre system which could now be used for training purposes, saving a big chunk of expenditure for the country. Digital Close Quarter Combat Theatres are to be installed initially for Commandos, Special Forces and Training facilities before it will be introduced to the Sri Lanka Air Force, Navy and Police in the near future.