Defence - Simulation & Training

Simulation & Training

In 1990, an increased lack of training areas, rising ammunition costs and the growing need for more time-efficient training, led the Dutch Ministry of Defence to form a joint effort team with Van Halteren Technologies to develop Howitzer Crew Trainers. Howitzer Crew Trainers enable training the units to the highest proficiency while spending the least amount of resources.

After delivering and evaluating the first Howitzer Crew Trainer, Van Halteren Technologies gained international attention. Numerous international customers followed the Dutch MoD by ordering Howitzer Crew Trainers. The growing customer base and their user-feedback, helped VHT to continuously invest in the further development of these systems.

Van Halteren Technologies are now world-leading supplier of Howitzer Crew Trainers. The highly advanced simulators are aimed at bridging the gap between theoretical training and ‘live firing’. The challenge for today’s training is to ensure that the highest level of competence is achieved in the most efficient way.

Besides these trainers VHT also deliver other training systems:

  • Artillery (e.g. towed, self-propelled guns, heavy mortars, simulated fire control systems)
  • Infantry (e.g. infantry fighting vehicle, mortar, handguns)
  • Submarine simulators
  • Airplane evacuation trainers
  • Driving simulators (using motion technology)
  • Simulated Ammunition

Howitzer Crew Trainers (HCT)

High-fidelity replica of self-propelled or towed howitzers

Howitzer Crew Trainers (HCT's) are aimed at bridging the gap between theoretical training and ‘live firing’. Van Halteren Technologies are experienced in replicating any type of self-propelled or towed howitzer while providing a simulated solution for the laying, loading, firing and manoeuvring in a fully integrated, measured and assessed manner. Combined with an instructor station and plenty possibilities for after action review, Van Halteren Technologies create a realistic and feedback-based training environment. Potential add-ons to simulated Fire Control System are available.

Howitzer Crew Trainers allow for a training method that:

  • saves ammunition;
  • is less time-consuming;
  • is safer to the training units;
  • and is less hazardous to the environment than live training. 


Appended Howitzer Crew Trainers

Van Halteren Technologies design and produce appended Howitzer Crew Trainers, which are constructed to be interchangeable with the customer's original Howitzer. The Howitzer remains original, while the barrel is simulated and fully interchangeable with the original barrel. No modifications are made to the original equipment and full functionality is maintained. The simulator can be reconfigured to its original state within 1 day.

A full firing cycle can be performed on the original Howitzer, whilst indoors.

Mortar simulators

Van Halteren Technologies and the Netherlands Land Forces realized a gap in the training of mortar crews after complications with live firing. Jointly, a range of mortar simulators was developed, giving a realistic and immersive fire simulation capability to support the delivery of technical and tactical Fires training at Individual, Trade, and Collective levels and to enable the assessment and validation of training competency.

Our mortar simulators train soldiers to perform firing procedures. Simulated failures can be introduced by the instructor to replicate those dangerous scenarios which happen only too often in the field.

The simulated mortar is supplied with an aiming sight which includes a rendered world view display. All settings are captured and can be viewed by the instructor. Impact point and timing are calculated and displayed on screens or dome. This makes both direct and indirect firing possible.


  • Real operational procedures (bedding, leveling, aligning, firing)
  • Original rates of fire, duration of fire, firing shock
  • Simulated ammunition (shape, weight, obturator ring, amount of charges)
  • Simulated failures (jammed round, firing pin, no shock)
  • Connected to synthetic environment, including direct fire

Simulator essentials

Each movement and every setting performed by the trainee -  including loading and aiming - is carefully sensed and reported to the instructor for direct monitoring as well as after action review. 

Typical simulator essentials are:

  • Projectiles (Weight, COG)

  • Charges (Bag, modular) 

  • Fuzes (mech, time, prox, inductive)

  • Primers 

  • (Inductive) Fuze Programming

  • Full feedback aiming sights


Van Halteren Technologies