HELSINKI — A push for improved simulated training and battlefield protection for troops is driving higher levels of research, development and investment among Nordic militaries.

The militaries are looking for technologies that are On the Nordic military procurement side, there is also an increased focus on purchasing strategies that deliver more cost-effective and readily deployable, while interoperability of equipment , as Nordic forces deepen their commitment to multinational operations, is becoming a more critical factor in material acquisitions. issue within the sphere of warfare technologies R&D, planning and material acquisitions.

These needs are growing need on the part of Nordic militaries to find more cost-effective and ready-to-use land-warfare solutions is producing closer strategic partnerships among local defense industry players such as Systematic, Terma, Saab and IFAD A/S, the Danish mission-critical networked simulation training technology specialist.

These and other defense companies are seeing a greater share of national military budgets allocated to soldier-protection technologies, interoperable command-and-control solutions, as well as simulated combat training and battlefield management systems.

Significant defense-industrial partnerships are emerging in this demand-led environment. The Danish Army is currently testing a new realistic-environment training simulation system based on C2 Simulation Gateway technologies jointly developed by Systematic and IFAD. under an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partnership.

The C2 Simulation Gateway command-and-control system, which comprises Systematic's scalable battle management SitaWare suite and integrated C2 information system, bridges the simulator with the C2 system to enable users to react to events using identical C2 systems employed in combat.

"The agreement gives the Danish Army a national industry partnership that provides them with a better and more modern educational environment,  based on the C4i – and training systems that they already have today," said Benny Graff Mortensen, IFAD’s CEO.

According to Mortensen, the C2 gateway can be integrated within a short timeframe. Given that the interface is platform and protocol independent, the system carries the added value of short- lead in deployment times.

In deploying this new C2 Simulation Gateway simulated battlefield training system, The Danish Army hopes the C2 Simulation Gateway will reduce its live field-based combat training costs by providing a more cost-effective alternative that also has the capacity to mirrors life-like combat operations and specialized mission tasks across different military units.  

The core C2 Simulation Gateway system has the capacity to provide military units with a uniform standard of information using cameras, radars, sensors and information systems.

Apart from cost-efficiencies and a life-like simulated training experience for combat soldiers, The C2 Simulation Gateway is expected to answer the Danish Army’s future requirement for a high-performance solution that delivers a modern and innovative training system that promotes can achieve interoperability and improves situational awareness in collaboration with other forces in multinational operating environments.

The perceived underlying value to their long-term growth is driving More Nordic defense sector companies are pursuing home-market partnerships with national militaries. Terma, for instance, established Market Development Denmark in August. This new unit’s mission is to identify and commercialize combat support technologies in collaboration with the Danish Defense Forces.  

"As our global expansion continues into the United States, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, we are aware that we are ultimately a Danish company with close relations to the Danish government and administration and that our long history with the Danish Defense Forces and the Danish Acquisition and Logistics Organization in particular is fundamental to our success," said Jørn Henrik Rasmussen, Terma's senior vice president, Market Development.

Market Development Denmark, which is headed by Kristoffer Groth Jakobsen, will be responsible for coordinating Danish customer relationships, offset opportunities, and interaction with defense and foreign ministries.

Terma’s land warfare R&D investments and activities have grown most in areas such as command-and-control systems, combat management, and soldier/equipment survivability systems. 

The company's Terma MASE pods, which comprise the self-protection Terma ALQ-213 Electronic Warfare Management System, missile warning sensors and chaff/flare dispenser modules, are being integrated into Dutch Air Force multirole NH90 helicopters.

Systematic’s SitaWare Frontline battle management system, meanwhile, is being used in the digitization of the Danish Army’s Leopard 2 tanks. The upgrade will improve the tank’s computer, digital radio, sensors, routers and GPS target-designation equipment. That upgrade is running parallel to the ongoing installation of the Danish Army’s improved tactical communication network. 

SitaWare Frontline's battle management suite can provide real time situational awareness of friendly and hostile units during combat.

The Leopard 2 digital upgrade forms part of Denmark's the DDF’s plan to add a battlefield digital-electronic mapping capability to the tank. ’s combat capabilities. The system will replace outdated analogue-mapping that relied on establishing visual contact with hostile units and using radio communication to relay tactical situation data and firing directions. to DDF forces within and outside the combat-zone.

The battle management system (BMS) component in the Leopard 2’s digital upgrade also contains a n important friendly fire prevention function. All data, including from tank sensors, is processed by the BMS and fed into a digital map updated in real time. The system not only enables all units to share situational data on the positions of both friendly and hostile forces, but accelerates decision-making. leading to faster strike-response times. 

In total, the tactical communications network program will involve digital upgrades to over 4004 heavy and light armored fighting and transport vehicles in the Danish Army’s fleet. , including armored infantry vehicles and battle tanks. 

The Norwegian Army, which is looking to reduce its overall organization operating costs in 2016-2020, is also planning to invest more of its procurement budget on battlefield training technologies. 

The Norwegian armed force’s Combat Training Center (CTC) is to upgrade its training and simulation systems ’ capability under a new agreement with Saab that is set to run to 2020.

The $16.8 million contract, reached between Saab and the Norwegian Defense Logistics Organization, includes the delivery of new generation sight simulator units for vehicles.

The investment at the CTC, which operates as a battalion-level training facility for soldiers, vehicles and anti-tank weapons, is intended to strengthen combat readiness and training capabilities, particularly for international missions.

On the troop and equipment-protection side, a number of Nordic militaries are thought to be interested in Saab's troop-protection counter-rocket, artillery and mortar system (C-RAM).

C-RAM's primary use is to shield friendly forces from hostile fire, with the system's sensors capable of providing detection and early warning against small, mobile and so-called "hard-to-find" threats such as rocket and mortar fire.

Saab recently agreed to terms on a $20.5 million contract to deliver the C-RAM to Australia's Defense Forces.