Universal Motion Simulation Wins $21.4M Contract to Sustain Australian Army Boxer 8X8 Training Simulators

Universal Motion Simulation Pty Ltd (UMS) has been awarded a $21.4 million support contract for the sustainment of training simulators for the Australian Army’s new Boxer 8X8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRVs).

In addition to supporting Boxer training, the simulators can be reconfigured to train Army drivers on other types of armoured vehicles including the M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank (MBT) and the future Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs).

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said this milestone was another step towards modernising Australia’s armoured vehicle fleet through the $5 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability project.

“The new Boxer vehicle fleet is part of the Government’s $200 billion investment in our defence capability to deliver a more potent, agile and capable Australian Defence Force,” Minister Reynolds said. “The new vehicles will provide a world-class capability to the Australian Army with their high levels of protection, firepower and mobility.”

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the Australian Government is committed to maximising Australian defence industry involvement in the project.

“This seven-year contract will provide long-term employment opportunities for Universal Motion Simulator Pty Ltd and its Australian workforce,” Minister Price said. “The potential for growth for this Geelong-based company is indicative of this Government’s commitment to further strengthen Australia’s defence industry.”

The acquisition of six driver training simulators by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) was announced in February 2019, with the first simulators expected to be delivered in 2022.

The Reconfigurable Driver Simulator (RDS) commercialises the Deakin University-developed technology, led by researchers in the University’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI). The RDS is marketed by Universal Motion Simulation Pty Ltd (UMS) which is based at Deakin’s advanced manufacturing business incubator, ManuFutures.

The RDS includes a common motion platform comprising a robotic arm, an instructor operator station, vehicle-specific simulation software and cabin. The cabin simulates the driver’s position of the actual vehicle with replica controls and functions, while the simulation software mimics the physics of the vehicle for the Trainee.

It has a large six degree of freedom (6DoF) range of motion, compared to traditional simulators, and two axes of continuous rotation, enabling realistic accelerations and manoeuvres that cannot be replicated by existing motion platforms.

Quickly interchangeable cabins support operator training for multiple platform types, including rotary and fixed wing aircraft, tracked and wheeled armoured vehicles, light vehicles, trucks and boats. The RDS uses haptic vehicle controls, detailed vehicle dynamics and terrain modelling to accurately replicate the experience of driving each vehicle type.

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