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GTS - Simulating Realistic Combat Scenarios

August 20, 2019

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By simulating realistic combat scenarios on Link 16 and other TDL networks the GTS provides an innovative, cost-effective way to let pilots train as they fight - see why in this video.



Video transcript for the hearing and visually impaired 

“It prepares us for what we can actually expect to use in a real world op.”

“It helps us do training here that we can only get other places.”

“It does assist me in being a better fighter pilot.”

“It’s the ultimate SA builder.”

If combat is the true test of a fighter pilot’s abilities then training under those conditions is the best way to prepare. That’s why TCG’s Tactical Data Link System or GTS® was developed. By simulating realistic combat scenarios on Link 16 and other TDL networks the GTS provides an innovative, cost-effective way to let pilots train as they fight.

Maj. Athanasios Gkioles, Hellenic Air Force:

“If you want to be a better fighter you train as you expect to fight in the real environment and that for me means that you replicate what people expect to get as close as possible.”

Sqn Ldr. David Boulton, UK Royal Air Force:

“So if we can make our training environment more realistic by replicating platforms and by replicating the real C2 environment, it makes us prepared for real world operations and that obviously increases our operational effectiveness.”

While fighters are airborne, A GTS operator can generate a variety of tactical training scenarios from the ground such as red V blue. The GTS fully utilises Live Virtual Constructive, or LVC technology, allowing an operator to simulate Command and Control operations, display virtual aircraft like AWACS, Joint STARS and RIVET Joints and even integrate live assets dynamically, enhancing the realism and effectiveness of a training mission.

Lt. Col. Kenneth Smith, US Air Force: “What it allows us to do is fill in some of those gaps that we would not normally have. For example, I can put notional players out there , if I want to put an RJ Cap or a SEAD Cap or notional players on the ground – I can do that through the BOSS® system.”

Capt. Jason Kiggins, US Air Force: “I want it to utilize SEAD assets and EW assets where we don’t have those here on base but through the GTS we are able to simulate that those guys are out there so we can enhance our de-confliction plan, targeting plan, air-to-air, air-to-ground game plans, things like that.”

The GTS is designed to be an integral part of daily operations. It provides a Link 16 ground station for multiple squadrons and functions as the net time reference or NTR.

Maj. George Watkins, US Air Force: “BOSS/GTS: here we’re using it as our NTR. It helps get everybody on the same network, especially when you have two flying squadrons multiple goes per day. Everybody can link into the same network so we don’t have a split net.”

The GTS also allows pilots to jump into the jet and connect to the net by greatly simplifying the often challenging Link 16 entry. Its Terminal Control Wizard provides an intuitive interface that automates entry with just 6 clicks to the net.

Frank Newark, Vice President, Engineering, TCG: “It steps the operator through choices that he has to make and in 6 mouse clicks he can be confident that he has established a solid Link 16 network.”

Capt. Mike Ress, US Air Force. “It allows us to get on the link easier and get all of our players between the two squadrons here at Aviano on the link at the same time so we can see all players and increases our situational awareness when we’re out there in the airspace being able to know where everybody is as long as we are all up on the link at the same time.”

The GTS increases the situational awareness of a supervisor of flight as well through real-time monitoring of aircraft status and improved network communications.

Lt. Col. Kenneth Smith, US Air Force: “The SOF can now expand his or her SA bubble beyond just a RAPCON – you can look on one picture and see where everybody is in the airspace and be able to use that data to his advantage.”

This heightened SA can save lives, particularly in support of search and rescue missions.

Frank Newark, Vice President, Engineering, TCG: “On Link 16 there are indicators for emergency or bail out and what an operator might do once he notices that this has occurred – ‘Hey, we’ve got a bailout’ – is scan the area for any other type of help and issue an order to go investigate.”

Maj. Athanasios Gkioles, Hellenic Air Force:

“It’s really critical to know the what, when and who and the status of every aircraft. So in a SAR situation, position, weather, who’s close, who has the fuel to stay there, CAP over the survivor hopefully. That’s something that will be critical in a scenario like that.”

The GTS is built upon TCG’s renowned Battlefield Operations Support System, or BOSS, and is appropriate for any Link 16 application. With advanced training software and additional hardware, the GTS is a rugged transportable turn-key system that is easy to set up and learn.

Maj. George Watkins, US Air Force:

“The GTS system is, once it’s already set up and powered on, a little bit of training will take you through the steps to send out a free text message or initiate pseudo tracks or put threats out on the link. So that part is fairly easy. It takes a couple of days training to learn how to power the whole system on.”

Investing in the GTS is a smart decision; it’s cost-effective and maximises training budgets.

Maj. George Watkins, US Air Force:

“I would definitely recommend it for training. The benefits outweigh the costs in my opinion as far as getting information to the jets and getting simulated training. I think it’s a huge benefit”.

TCG’s Ground Tactical Data Link System has been proven in joint and coalition operations and is employed globally in over 30 nations. They have learned first-hand that the GTS:

  • Lets pilots train as they fight;
  • Integrates LVC players into training exercises;
  • Improves SOF situational awareness that can save lives;
  • And, most importantly, develops better combat fighters.

At the end of the day, the GTS helps make reality the words “Mission Accomplished”.

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