The US Naval Air Warfare Center funded a patent application, published two weeks ago, with the innocuous title of “Military Training Device”. The device turns out to be a suicide vest simulator for the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES) training system.
The proposed MILES equipped “explosive'” clothing.
The original MILES system was developed in the 1980’s to provide a realistic force-on-force training system for the US Army. The system utilized an array of sensors on soldiers clothing, equipment and vehicles. When a blank cartridge is fired from a MILES equipped rifle, the laser is activated and transmits information about the shooter, his weapon and ammunition. If a laser hits a sensor, the software calculates if the shot was a kill based on the range and what ammunition was being used. MILES is in use by many armed forces including the Australian, British, Czech, Irish, Israeli, Turkish and Canadian armies.
M4 with MILES gear attached. Camp Shelby Joint Force Training Center.
The patent application, number 20090053679, describes a system where clothing is covered in light generating devices, such as LEDs, that when activated broadcast the appropriate MILES codes for a kill over a wide area. Sensors in the “blast” zone would then calculate the distance from the “explosion” and see if it resulted in a kill. Previous simulation systems for suicide bombers have just generated smoke and sound effects.
The Kill Logic
The system also allows for defensive action against suicide bombers. Sensors would also be placed on the bomber and certain hits would be able to disable the bomb – something the Israelis have demonstrated is possible in real life.
Bomber armed with M16?!?!
The patent goes out of its way to be politically correct. The words “suicide bomber” are only used once. From the patent, emphasis mine:
In act 112, electrical circuit 18 disables offensive capabilities of military training device 10. In the particular embodiment described above in which multiple integrated laser engagement system 14 includes light generating devices 16a as well as light detectors 16b, light generating devices 16a may be inhibited from further operation until the current military training maneuver is completed. In this manner, a particular trainee simulating a suicide bomber may be disabled from inflicting damage to other trainees.
This is a very interesting system and I look forward to seeing it develop. Providing training with this level of realism can only help the troops stationed in parts of the world where suicide attacks are likely to happen.
Many thanks to Daniel Watters for the information.