Thales UK Army

The world is changing. The battlefield is changing. And the MOD’s training systems need to change with it.  Thales’s world-leading knowledge in simulated training, further enhanced with the recent acquisition of RUAG Simulation and Training (S&T), is poised to bring training transformation to the British soldier.


The UK Army’s Collective Training Transformation Programme (CTTP), born in 2018 after a Collective Training Review, sets out to transform the management and delivery of on-the-ground training, and aims to ‘turn world-class soldiers into world-class fighting teams.’


Part of this transformation is around putting the soldier at the very front and centre of training technology, understanding current training, using data analysis insights and leveraging digital capabilities to deliver a more evidence based transformation that is future-proofed.


John Ellis, Expert in Land Training at Thales, served in the military for over 20 years. Here, he discusses the challenges facing the UK MOD, what strategic training partners need to think about to transform training, and how Thales’ acquisition of RUAG means the company can now deliver what the British Army needs in terms of global TES (Tactical Engagement Simulation).


The Demands of Future Training


Already, global forces are embracing innovative, synthetic solutions to prepare forces for combat. In the UK, over the next decade, the CTTP looks to deliver a training system that will convincingly simulate an almost unlimited range of battlefield scenarios anywhere in the world. It’s a tough task, and the MOD needs strategic partners who can support.


We know threats are more complex. We know combat is evolving, and we need our armed forces to be ready for anything. This is why the training of tomorrow needs to deliver in a way that embraces digital transformation, connects soldiers and provides real insight and actionable data. It’s all about making training as real-world as possible, to enable better decision-making when British troops are actively engaged.

Transforming Training – The Primacy of Data and Exploiting Digital Tech 


From our perspective, when it comes to improving how we train soldiers, there are a couple of fundamental priorities.


One, we need to understand if current training is efficient and effective, so we can improve it. Equipping military personnel with the skills they need, starts with capturing and analysing enterprise-level data.


Using insight and analysis to qualify what is good and what needs improvement, and then exploiting that insight to create a more evidence-based transformation for improvement. We need to be able to look back in ten years and demonstrate that we have progressed through the CCTP initiative.


Secondly, we need to leverage our experience outside of the defence sector and understand how technology can further influence training of the future. Digital transformation is a word we hear in all walks of life – but it’s something governments and militaries around the world simply need to embrace to be effective. We, as defence companies, can lean on civilian technologies and experience to transform the training we give to our soldiers.


The British Army needs to be trained to fight on so many levels – from large-scale deployment to sub-threshold combat, counter terrorism, supporting UK civil authorities and even disaster relief. There is a huge spectrum to cover and technology is undoubtedly part of the answer.

Embedding Existing Capability into Army Training


At Thales, we have a real vision for the future of how military and collective training can happen. We bring decades of experience across digital identity, data capture and analytics, artificial intelligence, secure networks and communications, so we have that broad understanding of how technology can be utilised in a training context. And we have been delivering large scale training to our global partners for decades.


Thales’ solutions, enhanced by the RUAG acquisition, combine the latest digital learning practices with the most realistic simulated scenarios and highest levels of training expertise, helping us to accelerate the speed with which we deliver digital training solutions for the military.


Similarly, Thales’ Tactical Engagement Simulation (TES) solution enables strategic partners to deliver exercises that provide troops and commanders with unprecedented data-driven analysis and insights to evaluate and improve performance.


Thales’ synthetic digital land training offers benefit from decades of expertise amassed from the company’s air simulation and training activities, including proven military-grade encryption and robust high-speed connectivity.

The Thales Approach


The ultimate industry goal must be to open up a road map for innovation in military land training in the UK.


Our ambition is to support in the delivery of a successful CTTP by bringing together the individual needs of the British Army, via technology, to deliver training that is connected, secure and analytical.


Thales offers a compelling capability to deliver collaborative, relevant, realistic and effective land training, bringing an end-to-end, adaptable solution, developed through the lens of a wider understanding of the entire defence industry

About Thales


Thales is a global technology leader in the Aerospace, Transportation and Defence & Security markets. In 2019, the company generated revenues of €18.4 billion with 80,000 employees in 68 countries. With its 30,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, working with customers and local partners around the world.


Thales in the UK is a team of over 7,000 experts, including 4,500 highly skilled engineers, located across 9 key UK sites.


Each year Thales invests over £575 million into its UK supply chain, working with over 2,000 companies. It is dedicated to research and technology, working with partners to invest over £130m+ in R&D in the UK annually.

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