Brisbane-based Gaardtech has won contracts to provide advanced robotic vehicle training targets to the ADF and the British Army.
Founded by former Australian Army tank commander, Steen Bisgaard in 2017, Gaardtech produces 2D and 3D robotic targets that are representative of adversary armoured vehicles such as tanks, IFV/APCs, and surface-to-air missile systems.
The targets are full scale, can be fitted with electromagnetic and thermal emulators, can withstand a substantial amount of small and large calibre arms damage before needing to be refurbished, and the 3D targets are mobile and able to move alone or in formations.
The ADF contract will see Gaardtech provide close air support (CAS) training service to Australian Army special forces unit with its robotic enemy vehicles. In a brief statement on January 21, the company says, “the vehicles will be deployed to challenge the air-to-ground fires training audience, by day and night”, using the company’s high-fidelity thermal system.
On January 11, the company announced it had secured a large contract with the British Army to supply 32 3D robotic enemy vehicles for live-fire training for strike assets against large doctrinally correct enemy formations.
The UK order follows a previous smaller order for Gaardtech targets in February 2020 by the British Army for live-fire trials.
“This export has been a growth milestone in the progression of GaardTech Pty Ltd, and we are extremely proud of the Robotic Enemy Vehicles and the training which they enable,” Bisgaard said in a January 8 release.
“These training systems are our most advanced offering, and a formation of this size will represent an enemy battle group conducting movement cross country, in formation, by day and night thanks to their active thermal signatures,” he added. “Tanks, APCs, and anti-aircraft platforms will be provided, and every layer of the UK joint force will get a high degree of training value.”
Bisgaard anticipates the British Army will use them to train Apache helicopters, Challenger 2 tanks, AJAX IFVs, 155mm artillery, and ISTAR drone crews to identify and attack enemy armoured vehicles. “There has never been a live-fire training scenario of this scale, primarily because the technology and training mechanism were not developed or invented,” he said.
“This has been the mission of GaardTech Pty Ltd since I founded it in 2017 – to recreate as many aspects of combat as possible to train forces under realistic combat live-fire conditions.”
The targets will be manufactured at GaardTech’s Brisbane facility, and will be shipped as flat-packs.