In February 2023, the premiere of a Russian simulator for training UAV operators, which has no analogues in the world, will take place in the UAE.

Valery Kholodenko, Marketing Director of Alpha Mobile Polygon, told RT about this.

“The world premiere of the simulator will take place on the 20th of February in the UAE at the IDEX 2023 International Defense Industry Exhibition, which will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC),” Kholodenko said.

The simulator "Basket" was presented to the Russian public in Moscow at the specialized exhibition "Equipment", which was held on December 16-18.

According to Kholodenko, the product has already been put into mass production and is available for orders.

“Now we communicate with the military, practitioners, we receive feedback from them.

Next year, the plant plans to produce 600 simulators, and in 2024 - twice as many.

The cost of the simulator will depend on the number of targets.

As standard, the number of targets is 5 and 10 pieces,” Kholodenko added.

"Compact and simple"

The "Basket" simulator helps to work out the three main tasks that a drone operator has to solve in a modern theater of operations (THD): reconnaissance, artillery fire adjustment, and hitting targets with ammunition that is placed on the device itself.

The unique Russian complex allows drone operators to be trained in these skills from scratch, and also makes it possible to improve the use of UAVs by fighters who have already gained experience in the practical use of unmanned vehicles.

A standard training course on the simulator takes several days.

  • RF Armed Forces UAV operator control unit

  • © Ministry of Defense of Russia

“Training can take place on any terrain, at any time of the day and at any time of the year.

Trainings are carried out both individually and as part of a group (swarm) of UAVs.

You can simulate conditions close to combat, work out reconnaissance and defeat engineering structures, equipment of a mock enemy, ”said Kholodenko.

The "basket" consists of a remote control unit (for the instructor) and targets, consisting of a block module, an explosion simulator flashlight, an object simulator in the thermal spectrum (for training at night), a device with a vibration programmable device for recording the results of hitting the target.

All electronic equipment of the simulator is placed in a standard case.

The instructor's control unit is capable of receiving and transmitting information at a distance of up to 3 km.

The autonomy of the simulator is at least 12 hours.

“Our wireless simulator actually replaces an entire training ground several square kilometers in size.

The complex is compact and easy to operate.

At the same time, it provides an opportunity to achieve tangible results.

At the end of the training, the drone operator must adjust the fire with high accuracy and hit the target himself with the minimum allowable error, that is, be able to literally put the grenade in the basket,” Kholodenko explained.

Alpha Mobile Polygon is based in Tver.

The enterprise specializes in the production of tactical fire training complexes and steel targets for the Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation.

Experts interviewed by RT positively assess the development of the Tver enterprise.

According to Denis Fedutinov, editor-in-chief of the Unmanned Aviation publication, an important feature of the Basket is the effective control of the student's actions, which is carried out by the instructor.

“The description of the system provided by the development company is rather general.

But as far as I can tell, the simulator contains physical targets with feedback, which may be relevant, for example, to assess the accuracy of dropping ammunition, ”Fedutinov said in an interview with RT.

According to the expert, it makes sense to introduce the use of the "Basket" into the training program for UAV operators as a separate stage of training.

  • RF Armed Forces quadrocopter

  • © Ministry of Defense of Russia

According to Fedutinov, an alternative or addition to such a course could be a computer simulator that “simulates a certain area with targets on the surface, as well as containing digital models of various types of drones with the appropriate tactical and technical characteristics and combat capabilities.”

As follows from the information of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, a three-stage training program for UAV operators has been adopted in the Russian army.

First, theoretical classes are held, which study the basics of aerodynamics and varieties of drones.

Then the military personnel practice the control of drones on simulators.

The final stage is dedicated to the use of drones at the test sites.

As Fedutinov explained, the use of virtual complexes is most relevant for teaching the management of expensive and heavy UAVs.

To prepare light-class drone operators, it is enough for instructors to conduct a theory course and several practical exercises, the expert says.

"Special Status"

Currently, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation pays close attention to the training of drone operators as part of partial mobilization.

Colonel-General Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, announced this earlier during an inspection of the training of those mobilized at the training grounds of the Central Military District.

“Unmanned aerial vehicles play an important role in solving the combat missions of a special military operation, which gives the training of UAV operators a special status,” Yevkurov emphasized.

According to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the mobilized are trained in the use of various drones, including copters, taking into account the specifics of the SVO.

First of all, military personnel master the skills of air patrolling, reconnaissance and fire adjustment from various types of weapons, including MLRS, mortars and other artillery systems.

For example, in November, on Sakhalin, mobilized mobilized held classes in which, using quadrocopters, they learned to detect accumulations of enemy equipment and manpower in the forest.

As part of the training, the UAV operators transmitted the coordinates of the “enemy” to the command post of the battery of 120-mm mortars “Sani”.

This allowed the crews of the guns to deliver accurate strikes on the positions of the imaginary enemy.

“Calculations of the 120-mm Sani mortars fired a sighting salvo, after which they adjusted the fire and delivered an accurate blow to the enemy.

Live firing was carried out at targets simulating enemy military equipment and manpower at a distance of 2 to 5 km, ”the press service of the Eastern Military District says.

Also, military personnel of the RF Armed Forces are trained in the effective use of drones in dense urban areas, in open areas and in strong gusty winds.

As noted in the Ministry of Defense, during training, much attention is paid to organizing the interaction of quadrocopter crews with tactical level commanders at the platoon-company-battalion levels.

In addition, military personnel are trained to use drones equipped with infrared sensors and video recording cameras for reconnaissance of the area at night and opening camouflaged enemy positions.

  • RF Armed Forces quadrocopter

  • © Ministry of Defense of Russia

Another important skill that the mobilized get is the accuracy of throwing ammunition from UAVs.

In particular, military personnel are training to drop grenades from a quadrocopter into an improvised hatch of a combat vehicle or an enemy trench.

“The educational process is built in such a way that, in the given time, the mobilized could master all the necessary competencies of a classic UAV operator, taking into account the specifics of a special military operation,” the military department notes.

In an interview with RT, military observer Alexander Khrolenko noted that almost every soldier in a combat unit should be able to control small-sized unmanned vehicles. 

“Even small UAVs are now very good helpers for the troops.

Without them, military reconnaissance, fire adjustment, and the defeat of unprotected targets are already unthinkable.

Of course, operator training must be at a high level.

In this context, the use of polygon simulators seems to be a very useful tool,” Khrolenko concluded.