LUXEMBOURG – During the first week of March 2021, the NATO AGS Force (NAGSF) completed its first "Virtual Reality Maintenance Training Demonstration" at the Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) Main Operating Base in Sigonella, Italy. This Demo session was specially designed to address some AGS UAV Maintenance Basic Type Training activities, to show the Force the possibility to conduct practical application maintenance tasks without the need of physical assets or materiel on site.
The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), as AGS Life Cycle Manager, engaged with its industry partner, Northrop Grumman, to test at Sigonella MOB the preliminary development of Virtual and Augmented Reality training modules. The training demonstration session was successfully conducted using the latest technology, such as interactive hand paddles and mixed reality smart glasses.
Following this first demonstration, the training scope might be expanded to include more complex modules, such as the replacement of the engine assembly. In addition, NSPA is preparing a new version of its Interactive Electronic Manual Viewing software to eventually enable its integration with the virtual reality environment and ensure a seamless transition between virtual views and the official technical documentation.
This is the next step towards providing the NAGSF with an embedded training capability that will further benefit NATO Nations with economies of scale for years to come.