Telos to sell small-arms training products on GSA

Telos International Corp. a subsidiary of Telos Corp. last week announced that it is teaming with an Israeli company to offer small-arms training simulation products in the federal market.

Under the alliance Telos is the exclusive federal distributor for IES and its small-arms training simulators: Range 2000 and Multimedia Engagement Skills Trainer (MEST). The company plans to add the product to its General Services Administration schedule by mid-July according to a Telos spokeswoman. IES under a separate agreement signed last year serves as Telos' distributor in Israel. IES is a publicly owned company with headquarters in Ramat-Gan Israel.

Range 2000 originally designed for law enforcement agencies guides individual trainees in firearms training. MEST was created with military training in mind and can be used for group instruction.

Both products consist of simulation software running on Intel Corp.'s Pentium Pro-class servers and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT a speaker system and a projector for displaying training scenarios. The scenarios are displayed using digitized video (in the case of Range 2000) or computer-generated 3-D images.

"We are anticipating a lot of interest " said David Spitz president and chief executive officer of IES.

IES and Telos officials said IES' use of commercial off-the-shelf components permits pricing well below that of competitors marketing solutions based on proprietary platforms. IES' main rival in the small-arms training simulation market is Firearms Training Systems Inc. a Suwanee Ga. company known in training circles as FATS. IES officials conceded that FATS owns a commanding share of the small-arms training simulation market but noted that FATS markets a proprietary solution.

"There is a trend of moving away from proprietary systems to COTS for all military training systems " noted David Silverberg editor of Military Training Technology. "It's cheaper to deploy and faster to get."

Silverberg said IES/Telos' ability to compete successfully against FATS will depend on the quality of the products Telos' marketing ability and pricing. "I don't think FATS will accept this lying down " he added.FATS officials could not be reached for comment.

Range 2000 and MEST will support weapons ranging from a pistol to a rocket launcher. The trainees use "smart weapons" employing microprocessors sensors and a miniaturized laser transmitter to "fire" at targets in the training scenarios. Trainees can shoot at static targets or participate in more detailed scenarios such as ambushing a military convoy or handling a hostage situation.

Customers can purchase IES-developed training scenarios or build their own using IES tools. The scenarios can be stored on Iomega Corp. Jaz drives according to Carl Sharp an IES product demonstrator. Sharp said each removable Jaz cartridge holds about 30 minutes of video.

IES' simulators also are able to compile individual or group statistics on such factors as marksmanship judgment and response time.

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