Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System
The Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System or MILES is used by the U.S. military and other armed forces around the world for training purposes. It uses lasers and blank cartridges to simulate actual battle.
Individual soldiers carry small laser receivers scattered over their bodies, which detect when the soldier has been illuminated by a firearm's laser. Each laser transmitter is set to mimic the effective range of the weapon on which it is used. When a person is "hit", a medic can use the digital readout to determine which first aid method to practice.
Different versions of MILES systems are available to both US and international militaries. The capabilities of the individual systems can vary significantly but in general all modern systems carry information about the shooter, weapon and ammunition in the laser. When this information is received by the target, the target's MILES system uses a random number roll and a casualty probability Lookup table to determine the outcome. For example, a MILES transmitter emulating an M16 rifle cannot harm an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), but could still "kill" a commander visible in the hatch of the vehicle.
Vehicles are typically outfitted with a belt of laser sensors or individual wireless detectors. Dismounted soldiers often wear a vest or harness with sensors as well as a 'halo' of sensors on their helmets. MILES systems can be coupled with a real-time data link allowing position and event data to be transmitted back to a central site for data collection and display. More sophisticated systems for tanks and APCs exist that use various techniques (including scanning lasers and coupled radio systems) to allow more precise targeting of armored vehicles.
Circa 1980, MILES was introduced to the U.S. Army for direct-fire, force-on-force training capability at home stations and combat training centers. It used a laser module which was mounted to the barrel of a real weapon, a blank-firing adaptor for the weapon, and an integrated receiver consisting of sensors on the helmet and load-bearing vests of the soldiers. When a blank shot was fired by a weapon, it caused the laser to fire a coded burst in the direction that the weapon was aimed. If that burst was sensed by the receiver of another soldier, the "hit" soldier's gear beacon made a beeping noise to let them know they were "dead." MILES had serious problems—when hit, the receiver did not prevent the further firing of the weapon, and it was tempting and easy for soldiers to "cheat" by turning the receivers off and back on again, resetting the system and therefore "respawning" or "resurrecting" themselves. In addition, no data about the engagement was kept so it was impossible to positively identify who shot whom on the battlefield, a critical piece of information when attempting to develop new tactics. MILES was also very encumbering and soldiers sometimes experienced neck pain when using it.
Versions made after 1986 used a loud tone to signal when a soldier was "killed". In order to turn off the noise, the soldier had to remove a yellow key from the laser module on his rifle and insert it into the box on his harness. By removing the key from the laser, the weapon could no longer score hits using the MILES system. With some systems the hit soldier is required to lie on his back to stop the noise and signal others that he is "dead".
MILES 2 was released in 1991 - 92, and the SAWE (Simulated Area Weapons Effects) add-on was first fielded in 1992 using GPS and RF messages so that vehicles and individual soldiers can be killed from a central location due to artillery strikes, or Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical weapons strikes. Implementation in the Summer and Fall of 1992 was at Hohenfels, Germany at the Combat Maneuver Training Center. In 1993, the range at Fort Polk was installed and tested. At the time, there were plans to add SAWE at the NTC at Fort Irwin, although instead this was implemented by using SAWE-like features via the DCI radio network. This was superseded in aircraft by the implementation of SMODIM (Smart Onboard Data Interface Module) instrumented in 1996 at all three training centers.
As of July 2008, the latest version of MILES is MILES IWS, provided by Cubic Defense Applications.
As of July 2012, the latest version of MILES is MILES IWS2, provided by Cubic Defense Applications.
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- Czech Republic
- India (uses a System similar to MILES, although not from the same manufacturer)
- Ireland
- Israel (for urban warfare training)
- Mexico (uses own system called SAVLE (in Spanish Sistema de Adiestramiento Laser Virtual Electromecánico))
- Norway (uses a similar system manufactured by Saab AB)
- South Korea
- Thailand (uses a similar system; the civilian edition of the system has become a game in Thailand)
- United States
- Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System information
- Lockheed Martin MILES XXI web site
- ICE- Developer of SMODIM and military training solutions
- Cubic Defense Applications (CDA) developer of Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES) Tactical Engagement Simulation Systems (TESS)
- Prob-Test, Inc. (PTI) Developer of MILES Laser Tube Assemblies (Single & Dual types)
- "Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES) Communication Code (MCC) Standard". United States Army. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
- "Lockheed Martin Simulation, Training & Support (LM STS) - Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES) (United States), Land systems - Tactical engagement simulation". Jane's Information Group. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
- National Training Centre "Krtsanisi". Ministry of Defense of Georgia. Retrieved 2011-03-01
- "FX-05 SAVLE" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2010-12-14.
- "U.S. laser system donation presented to military". B92. 13 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
- "Mega Force Gun Simulator" (in Thai). Retrieved 2010-07-13.