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DSTA supports the Army in its live-firing exercises, and manages the instrumentation suite developed to capture information for performance evaluation. The instrumentation suite comprises video recorders to collect information relating to the missile’s flight performance, as well as a telemetry recorder that gathers telemetry data of the weapon system.

At Exercise Wallaby in 2017, the Army conducted its SPIKE Long Range missile live-firing exercise, which provided valuable opportunities for soldiers to train and hone their operational proficiency, as well as evaluate missile performance and capabilities through actual live-firing. To optimise the level of support, the DSTA team participated in discussions and planning sessions in the lead-up to the exercise, which allowed them to understand the issues faced by soldiers better. This enabled the team to engineer effective solutions that improved the experience.

One of these was the deployment of low-cost heat packs to generate the required infrared target signature for night firing. DSTA studied the missile system’s heat signature requirements and explored various options, culminating in the idea of using commercial hand warmers. This low-cost solution enabled the Army to train effectively and sharpen the soldiers’ night-fighting capabilities. The set-up can also be deployed quickly without significant manpower, thus allowing the Army to plan and ramp up the number of night live-firing sessions.

After each live-firing exercise, DSTA reviewed the system’s performance and the instrumentation suite set-up to identify areas for improvement in future exercises. Through close engagement with the SAF, DSTA’s participation in the exercises enabled the team to enhance the conduct of live-firing exercises, as well as garner valuable live-firing data for evaluation of the system’s health.