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Gerhard Heiming 

In order to train operators for its 18 M3 Amphibious Bridge Devices, the Indonesian Army has started using Virtual Reality (VR), allowing the trainee to immerse themselves in the real environment with illusory stimulation (immersion), enabling intensive and effective practical training. To start with, participants learn the theoretical basics of operation by means of an e-learning programme, then they drive the amphibious vehicles in the simulation individually on land and in the water, followed by training for the transition from land to water and vice versa. In virtual team training, the interaction of several amphibious vehicles for the construction of ferries and bridges is taught with the ferry driver, who is in charge of the entire operation and equipped with a VR headset, giving commands with the help of hand signals that are transmitted via VR in real time.

The de-briefing room is used to debrief the exercise, during which, the following group in the simulator room is already conducting the next exercise. Only when the participants have shown in VR that they can operate the vehicle safely and build ferries as a team, are they allowed to move to the real 28-ton vehicles.

Record breaking

The manufacturer of the VR Team Trainer for Indonesia (VTTI) is Szenaris, which has developed and installed numerous applications for e-learning and handling training with simulation in armed forces, government agencies and industry. The M3 is produced by General Dynamics European Land Systems-Germany, and was introduced to the German Armed Forces in 1996 as the first user, after which it has been sold to five others (Brazil, the UK, Indonesia, Singapore and Taiwan). It is a two-axle, all-wheel drive and all-wheel-steered floating wheeled vehicle that can be coupled to form a floating bridge or operated as a ferry. During the NATO Exercise Anaconda in 2016, German and British engineers built a 350 m long floating bridge with the M3, a world record.