Called the M134D Virtual Trainer, the simulator is modeled after the M134D Minigun, a six-barrel electric-powered machine gun that fires 7.62mm rifle rounds. Its high-rate of fire — up to 50 rounds per second — makes the M134D exceptionally effective at suppressing hostile forces in a wide variety of combat situations. The same characteristic, however, also is a major drawback because training personnel to use the M134D with live rounds is incredibly expensive.
“You are talking a dollar a round, and you are shooting 3,000 rounds a minute,” said Tony Padgett, Product Line Immersion Training Manager for the Cubic Simulation Systems Division in Orlando.
Cubic’s trainer recreates the ballistics of an actual M134D in a virtual training environment as well as weapon sounds and other characteristics. Two of the simulators are scheduled to be delivered to Department of Energy facilities, where they will be used for facility protection and counterterrorism training along with Cubic’s Warrior Skills Trainer (WST), a virtual vehicle trainer that uses high-fidelity graphics projected on large screens for training scenarios. A third M134D virtual trainer will go to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, as part of a mobile Cubic training system being used to train U.S. Army special forces units.