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Gladiator completes its first major international exercise

The Royal Air Force’s new synthetic training system has completed its first major international exercise, Spartan Warrior.

Gladiator, a world-leading synthetic training system which links synthetic training devices (simulators) to a central hub, has been used by RAF Waddington’s Air Battlespace Training Centre (ABTC) in its first virtual large force employment (LFE) exercise.

RAF Officer using the training system

The four-day long exercise comprised of several challenging virtual air operations, requiring all the participating nations to work together in a challenging, secure, and safe environment.

The biannual event is the capstone exercise in a series of tactical role focused exercises delivered by the United States Air Force in Europe and Air Forces Africa Warfare Centre (UAWC). Specifically designed to support the training of NATO members and alliance partners the event provided training for 20 nations across all roles, including Combat Air, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and Command and Control, both on site at the UAWC in Germany and distributed across Europe.

“Being able to support our partners across NATO in this exercise was truly fantastic. This scale of exercise is only made possible through the connection of participating nations and units operating from distributed locations - what Gladiator is designed and built to do. It really does mark a step change in the UK’s synthetic Collective Training capability.”

Wing Commander Still
Officer Commanding ABTC

Having already achieved international connectivity with the US, Canada and Australia just six weeks after achieving Initial Operating Capability, the ABTC alongside the UAWC were able to demonstrate the rapid development of the system by delivering composite air operations within this exercise, thereby virtually supporting a range of critical air operations.

RAF Officer and contractor, working together with the training system

Whilst forming a crucial part of the multi-domain virtual LFE, the ABTC used the exercise as a test bed for enhancing Gladiator capability in preparation for upcoming UK synthetic training. For future RAF-led exercises, such as Exercise Cobra Warrior, Gladiator will become vital in transforming existing operational training, harnessing Live Virtual Constructive capabilities to optimise and add complexity to better replicate the contested operating environments of today.