The French Army wants to be prepared for high-intensity combat also in urban environments. The urban combat training centre CENZUB in Sissonne, northern France, is a unique real-world training environment to enhance the operational performance of units in the field and in urban terrain.
Modern combat and weapon systems demand a new level of preparation and better cooperation between military units for carrying out operations as planned. Land force joint sub-groups need to train as close as possible to combat conditions and the French Army has invested a lot of resources for building an urban training environment.
The troops should be ready to fight even in the most complex urban terrain and inside buildings. The French Army needed high-quality equipment for precise manoeuvre monitoring and simulation also inside buildings and started to look for the right partners, including advanced location technology. In the digitalized battlefield soldiers and units need to be tracked in all kinds of indoor locations; in underground tunnels, apartment buildings and in diverse industrial sites.
The French armed forces use the new-generation CERBERE training system developed by Thales Group and Ruag Defences France. The CERBERE-system powered by Quuppa simulates, tracks and analyses force engagements in urban or open environments by implementing visual and sound animation devices as well as laser systems installed on weapons, allowing for the reproduction of the combat environment including battle effects, like explosions and smoke.
“We tested different indoor location technologies in the training centre back in 2016 and the Quuppa system proved to be the best technology for precise, continuous and dynamic tracking. Their platform provides excellent scalability. We have managed the challenging evaluation process and have been able to fulfil the requirements of the French Army”, says Project Manager Alexis Richard, Thales Group. “In urban warfare you need to know in which room each soldier is and as the walls might be only 10 centimetre thin.”
The CERBERE-system has been deployed at the CENZUB urban combat training centre in northern France.
Thales has designed 3D Models of the entire combat area, including a village centre, apartment buildings, industrial buildings, supermarket, church and even a hospital. The system has 4,000 Quuppa locators in 300 buildings and more than 5,000 tags installed into military vehicles, combat shoes and explosives by the end of 2022. The troops can be located on the map.
The commanders and instructors can follow the exercises live in the theatre of operations and from their touch-screen tablets. In the CENZUB centre the French Army can organize rehearsals of 500 infantrymen and their 80 vehicles on a 120 km terrain, which is the size of a town of 3,000 inhabitants. Combat supervision can be done during and after the exercises by tactical experts.
The Quuppa system provides very precise tracking information for the most challenging indoor environments to fulfil the requirements of the end customer. The advanced combat training system CERBERE with precise tracking monitoring provides several benefits for the French Army:
- Gives a new dimension to combat training even in the most complex urban environments by reporting positions and engagements of troops in real time.
- Improves the operational performance of units also in an authentic urban terrain due to better combat training.
- Allows French Army tactical experts to supervise during the exercises and analyse
afterwards the collective or individual manoeuvres and confrontations which can
last up to 4 days by using high-quality tools and reviews.
- Enhances cooperation between units and sub-units in military operations.
- Completes the learning process in combined-arms training.
The capabilities of the training centres have been enhanced by powerful downstream analysis tools. By 2023 the CENTAC centre in Mailly-le-Camp, north-eastern France, will enable 1,000 infantrymen and 250 vehicles to be trained with the CERBERE-system simultaneously at each of the centres, contributing to a change in scale in the Army’s training system.