The British Army’s 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (1 Mercian), the Salisbury-based unit specialised in urban warfare, has taken delivery of a Inflatable Walls Training System (IWTS). It is the first ever UK reference for the technology developed to create temporary urban structures for use in combat training exercises.
Survitec supplied the battalion with the Intermediate Military Package, which can be used to recreate urban structures with up eight differently sized rooms.
The flexibility of the system allows different tactical challenges to be presented to trainees that can evolve to deliver a wide variety of training objectives. The modularity of the system ensures more wall sections can be added to construct larger and more complex structures.
Martin Beagan, Defence & Aerospace Sales manager, Survitec, explained that the battalion approached Survitec independently having seen earlier incarnations of the modular system being used by other armies around the world to train their personnel.
“As defence budgets continue to fall under increasing scrutiny, the IWTS provides a cost effective, innovative and future-proof solution capable of providing enhanced training for urban conflict or protection,” he said.
“Typically, urban warfare training is carried out using static structures which can be very expensive to set up. These facilities also require transportation to and from the training location, so use of IWTS can be very cost effective, not least in reducing transportation costs and training time. The system is completely portable, allowing personnel to transport and build temporary structures wherever suits the training requirement. Unlike static structures, IWTS can be easily adapted so that personnel don’t get use to the layout of a particular building,” added Beagan.
1 Mercian and three other affiliated regiments will use IWTS, although Survitec hopes that the UK Ministry of Defence will specify the equipment for use throughout the UK armed forces.
Charles Bagshaw, Survitec Category Manager – Land, said: “As a former British Army Officer, I am very aware of the physical and mental demands urban operations place on all levels of command. The use of this system will enable the soldiers of 1 Mercian and other battalions to train more frequently, harder and more realistically, developing the tactics required to fight and win in these demanding environments.”
Survitec is exhibiting at the DSEI event at Booth S10-310, Excel Exhibition Centre, London, from the 10th to 13th September.