2021 Predictions: BISim Experts See Continued Growth in Simulation Training Beyond the Pandemic

Simulation Training

As 2020 comes to a close, it’s now time to start looking forward to 2021 and how the important lessons we’ve learned over this past year will be applied to future progress. The Modern Integrated Warfare team reached out to various experts across the defense community to see what experts predict will transpire in the year to come for multi-domain warfare. Executives from Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim) offered some thoughts on trends in the simulation training market based on their relevant expertise.

Here’s what they had to share with us:

Simulation Remains Essential in the Face of the Pandemic and Beyond

In order to speak to lessons learned during 2020, we must examine the impacts of the global pandemic on remote training. “For leaders responsible for future military training systems, the pandemic has heightened the recognition of the ‘resilience’ and flexibility of simulation training (i.e., military personnel can continue to train virtually even though they cannot physically travel or train in large formations),” stated Rusmat Ahmed, BISim’s Sr. VP of Sales-EMEA. “Having noted this, the value of simulation has become, and will continue to be, an essential component of training systems in 2021 and beyond, pandemic or no pandemic.”

Ahmed built on this sentiment, delving into the agility that comes with adopting commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions in the training modernization process. “With no new technical standards necessary for remote training, standard software applications in use by gamers and companies to enable first-person gaming and virtual training will allow defense organizations to continue successful remote training in 2021,” he said. “By applying existing commercial software, defense organizations can keep costs down and set up quickly while continuously implementing the latest technologies available to militaries.”

Military Technology Requires Flexibility and Scalability to Achieve In-Theater Agility

Mark Dzulko, BISim’s Technical Board Advisor, spoke to the shifting requirements for data accuracy and availability and how it affects all parts of the warfighting environment. “Defense organizations are becoming more and more technologically advanced, leading to a higher dependency on availability and accuracy of the information,” he explained. “In the next few years, massive increases in cyber warfare and pointed attacks towards the technology backbones of modern militaries will require even more flexible and scalable training domains which can only be achieved through virtual training.” 

Adoption of Cloud-Based Technology Bolsters Interoperability Efforts and Terrain Training Accuracy

“The COVID-19 pandemic has left defense organizations demanding accuracy from remote training programs now more than ever,” remarked Pete Morrison, BISim Chief Commercial Officer, touching on points made by both Dzulko and Ahmed. “Cloud-based military simulation allows for frequent updates to terrain, weaponry, and operations. The momentum surrounding the scalability of cloud-based military simulation and advancements of photogrammetry will replace traditional military interoperability in the next five years,” predicted Morrison.

Elaborating further on advancements in training realism with regards to terrain, Morrison added, “Accuracy is an important aspect to military simulation, both in warfare and its surroundings. Current advancements of photogrammetry I previously mentioned will account for more accurate 3D terrain data in 2021, allowing soldiers and troops to become familiar with and train virtually anywhere in the world.”

Military Simulation Capabilities Grow by 2025

Morrison concluded with his thoughts on simulation growth: “Defense organizations in the U.S. and U.K. are becoming increasingly aware of the capabilities of military simulation. By 2025, training will likely include real-world replications of civilians, traffic, etc. combined with military constructive simulations of brigades and divisions, portraying up to 10,000 entities simultaneously. This level of simulation will produce effects soldiers otherwise wouldn’t experience in traditional training, including the ripple effects among cities, civilians, and first responders.”

Pushing the envelope for training realism continues to be a top priority for defense leaders and industry partners are key in producing the training programs that will effectively equip warfighters with the skillsets they need in-theater.