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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

DND starts procurement of Tank Gunnery Simulator for the Philippine Army

The Department of National Defense (DND) has started the procurement phase of the Tank Gunnery Simulator Acquisition Project for the Philippine Army.

This is in line with the improvements being made on the capability of armor units, specifically with the Mechanized Infantry Division. 

With the Philippine Army expecting new light tanks coming in soon, they now have more reason to get a tank gunnery simulator to train future tank crew while enhancing their skills without the need to actually use the tanks to train.

An example of what appears to be a gunner station simulation system, mocking a tank turret. Photo taken from KMW website.

An example of the interior of a gunner station for the gunner and commander. It needs to be a mock up of what the PA's tank turret would be.


With the Philippine Army planning to acquire light tanks as part of the Horizon 2 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program, they also included the need for a tank gunnery simulator to help train armor crew on tank operations and application in combat scenarios.

Originally the plan was to acquire 2 tank gunnery simulators with a budget of Php36.2 million. 1 system each for a wheeled and tracked tank, both simulating a tank with a 105mm gun turret.

But it appears that the budget is not enough for 2 systems (another sign of lack of efforts to research properly or make use of Request for Information or Pricing before making a proposal). 

So only 1 system will be acquired, although MaxDefense believes that there could be future requirements to acquire more to allow training as a small unit instead of just a solitary tank.

Should the Notice to Proceed be released within the year, the simulator should be delivered within 9 months, most likely around mid or late 2020. This is still earlier than the tanks itself which usually take more than a year to deliver.

Realism of graphics is also important to simulate actual terrain and conditions. Photo taken from Rhinemetall Defense.

What is a Tank Gunnery Simulator?

According to the technical specifications of the project, as I quote:

A "Tank Gunnery Simulator is a portable gunnery and crew simulator for 105 mm light tank which will be the premier training tool for live precision gunnery and combat training for Armor Personnel. It simulates all tank gunnery operational modes via mockup cabin that replicates all the system controls of a 105 mm light tank." 

"It basically has crew gunnery station where commander and gunner interact with each other in order to properly execute target acquisition in a given scenario."

"It has driver station which can simulate tracked or wheeled platform allowing the entire crew to feel the ride of a tank depending on what terrain is given in the exercise scenario."

"It has Instructor station where instructor operates a preset scenario and can see the performance of the students. Instructor station can allow exercise debrief through replaying the training scenario allowing everyone to see how the students perform in the exercise. Radio communications among the students can also be replayed through its voice recorder capability in order to hear and review the students’ voice command during the exercise." 

The instructor's station will also have the control panels to set the simulation and training conditions while also have monitors where the instructor/system operators can also see what's happening inside the gunner and driver stations, but also see what the trainees are looking at.

"All the required hardware and software; generator; air condition and cooling system; generator; electrical and power source needed for the tank simulator to be operational from the start of the delivery should be provided by the proponents."

The tank gunnery simulator will be a full motion type, allowing the simulation of terrain as shown on the simulation.

It will have a gunner station for the gunner and commander, a driver station as well as an instructor's station.  

The driver station (top) simulates the driving of the vehicle platform, while the gunner station (above) simulates the loading, aiming, firing of the gun by the tank's gunner, as well as commanding the vehicle and providing instructions to the team by the tank's commander. Credits to original sources of photos.

MaxDefense's Opinion:

Since the tank gunnery simulator is dependent on the model of tank/s the Philippine Army will be procuring, MaxDefense believes that this should have been packaged together with the Light Tank Acquisition Project rather than separating it.

In a bidding, the DND or Philippine Army cannot specify the tank model that they are after especially when it is not finally decided yet.

The Pre-Bid Conference is where we believe the proponents will be informed of selected Light Tank model to use as basis.

This is important since the tanks offered to the PA use different platform vehicled and different turrets. 

On the turret alone, the layout, controls, and performance between those made by Oto Melara and CMI Defence Cockerill differ from each other. 

Driver layouts also differ from each vehicle platform. Thats why its interesting to see how a single tank simulator can simulate 2 different platforms (tracked and wheeled). For example, how can it simulate a ASCOD 2 and a Pandur 2 vehicles?

The software is also the important factor. How good is the realism of the simulation software and responsiveness. This would be similar to using software engines similar to those used by video games that includes realistic render of terrain, structures and vehicles. The output as well, through the video screens must consider the latest video and video processing technology.

 It would be best if the software was made to consider Philippine terrain, or if better, match it to certain real locations in the Philippines rather than a software that simulates the European terrain.

It would be best also if the training system can simulate outside the turret like the one above.

Light Tank Acquisition Project Winner?

MaxDefense will discuss soon on which company was finally selected by the Philippine Army to supply the tracked and wheeled light tanks. We can now confirm that the selection was finally done, which we will discuss in a separate blog entry.

All MaxDefese can say for now is that the winning models were among those we mentioned in earlier blogs regarding the Light Tank Acquisition Project.

Meanwhile, all updates on the Tank Gunnery Simulator acquisition project will be made on our resource page for the project which we will release soon. Keep tabs on our resource portal for these updates.

Project Summary:

Tank Gunnery Simulator Acquisition Project

Note: Edited as of 07 August 2019.

* End User: Philippine Army (Mechanized Infantry Division)

* Quantity: 1 set plus associated items and services as part of package

* Modernization Phase: Horizon 2 Phase of RAFPMP

* Project ABC:

Acquisition Mode: Public Bidding

* Source of Funding: GAA Funded

* SARO Release: TBA

* Winning Proponent: TBA

Product for Delivery: TBA, 270 days upon released of Notice to Proceed (NTP)

* Contract Price: 

* First post by MaxDefense:
22 September 2018

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PATankGunnerySimAcquisition

* Status: Bid process starting, bid submission on 29 August 2019.

First edit and release: 07 August 2019
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines

1 comment:

  1. Hi sir Max would it be more also appropriate and convincing if the PA also get their own actual "training tank" from the winning bidder aside having a Tank Stimulator? This will further stimulates and enhances the experiences they are going to get when the actual delivery of medium tanks already in our soil.


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