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Aerospace & Defense Technology Magazine

This article first appeared in the December, 2015 issue of Aerospace & Defense Technology Magazine.

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Military training tools must work effectively with reduced staff numbers and simulate a large variety of situations. Following 12 years of collaboration, the French Armed Forces have expanded their use of SWORD, a constructive simulation software package developed by MASA Group.

SWORD is an automated war game that is powered by artificial intelligence technology, enabling simulated units to act according to the Army's doctrine validated by subject matter experts. This unique capability means large-scale exercises are conducted in the most realistic way possible, while minimizing the combined operating costs and animation effort.

Preparing military staff for action is made much more efficient by training in a realistic operational environment, with joint forces and allies, in a variety of different battlefield scenarios. SWORD provides an immediate solution to SOULT (the simulation program for Combined Forces and Ground Logistics Units’ Operations), for the operational preparation of combined forces at division, brigade, and battle group command posts. SWORD's simulations also target specialist training areas, including engineering, intelligence, logistics, or CBRN-Chemical. Large-scale exercises are conducted in realistic ways, minimizing operating costs and animation efforts.

The Centre of Expertise for Information validation and SIMulation (CEISIM), which oversees simulation and digitization within the French Armed Forces, will manage the simulation program for SOULT and its assimilation into the Army. The SOULT program will be rolled out gradually, beginning with the Training Centre for Command Posts (CEPC), to ensure the continued service of the current SCIPIO system, which already operates with previous versions of SWORD and has been deployed and used operationally by the CEPC since 2006. SOULT will also progressively replace the JANUS software -which is currently used in several training centers for French and foreign command units, as it comes to the end of its lifecycle. The CEISIM has already tested SWORD's capacity to engage in the exercise, traditionally undertaken by JANUS software, at the Armed Forces Engineering School in Angers.

Training centers, brigades and regiments will steadily be equipped beginning in 2016, giving them their first decentralized capability for self-training and allowing them to make the best use of their training sessions in force readiness centers.

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