It was one of the more popular booths at the Modern Day Marine show this week.
A huge screen with little computerized Russians running around and a couple Marines plinking them off like a warm sunny day on the Fulda Gap. That’s the Virtual Battlespace Trainer and it’s about as close to real life as a video game can get.
Except it’s much more than that. According to Dale Pruna, Range Systems Manager for Laser Shot, the simulator has a full ballistics calculation capability and can track and map where shooters shoot and how badly they miss. The scenarios are totally programmable, so if you have an HVT mission with specific intel on the house layout and where targets are, you can run through it with full diagnostics.
The system also has target shooting programs that work on marksmanship skills against running targets and there’s a module for shoot-no-shoot scenarios using live video images rather than computerized footage.
Pruna also said the services are looking at the company’s live fire version of the simulator which uses a reusable rubber screen that can absorb everything from 5.56 to 7.62 rounds.
I gave it a whirl and it was fun as heck. And darned realistic too. All I can tell you is I’m glad I’m a better shot than I am a pilot (on a simulator).