Netherlands to Receive Virtual MANPADS Trainer From BlueHalo

Virginia defense firm BlueHalo has secured a $30-million contract to produce and deliver a virtual man-portable air defense system (MANPADS) training solution for the Netherlands.

MANPADS is a portable weapon system equipped with infrared capabilities to launch surface-to-air missiles against threats accurately.

Variants developed under the MANPADS concept, such as the FIM-92 Stinger, commonly have a lightweight design to sustain rapid deployment and availability for foot soldiers.

Advanced Stinger Trainer

The BlueHalo agreement includes the company’s proprietary Advanced Stinger Trainer (AST), a platform incorporating digital environments and multiple-threat scenarios for operational and combat preparation. 

AST simulates a multidimensional experience with 360-degree high-resolution virtual reality terrains and surround sound audio. This feature enables simultaneous practice for up to four teams.

The technology integrates an untethered MANPADS replica with weight, size, and functions as a real-life Stinger missile system.

Alongside the weapon, personnel can use binoculars with position auto-zoom to support gunners in neutralizing virtual targets.

US soldiers use a Stinger missile to target a simulated unfriendly aircraft. Photo: US Army

AST employs an instructor-operator station that provides facilitators full control over the environment, targets, and the corresponding difficulty level, as well as analytics and detailed scoring in each training session.

“MANPADS weapons require a high level of operator skill to successfully eliminate air threats during battlefield engagements,” BlueHalo Sector President Jimmy Jenkins stated.

“BlueHalo’s Advanced Stinger Trainer gives warfighters the opportunity to become familiar with the equipment and develop the required skills through realistic virtual training, limiting costly and logistically complex live fire testing while increasing warfighter effectiveness with the Stinger missile.”

Netherlands-US Military Cooperation

BlueHalo CEO Jonathan Moneymaker added that the company is honored to provide its next-generation technology to the Netherlands, “a critical partner and ally to the United States.”

“This contract marks a significant step not only for Dutch air defense but for BlueHalo as we continue to disrupt and transform the global defense technology market and serve our Nation’s allies.”

Prior to the latest award, BlueHalo signed contracts to develop Stinger training facilities for the US Department of Defense.

Among the supported sites are the US Army Air Defense School in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, the North Dakota Army National Guard, and other US Marine Corps MANPADS training areas in California and North Carolina.

Related Articles

Back to top button