Experimentation of the first digital twin demonstrator for a ground combat system

The French MOD’s procurement and technology agency (DGA), with the support of its Defense Innovation Agency (AID), entrusts the KNDS-ARQUUS consortium with the experimentation of the first digital twin demonstrator for a ground combat system. This digital twin demonstrator is the first to be applied to a ground combat vehicle. The development of this demonstrator will lead to a full-scale deployment on 20 VBCI vehicles, and to the experimentation of predictive maintenance for an initial fleet of Army’s vehicles.

The first digital twin for ground combat systems

The defense technology project "Digitization of maintenance" (NumCo) aims to develop and experiment with a digital twin demonstrator of the VBCI infantry fighting vehicle. It will be the very first digital twin in the field of ground combat systems.

Thanks to advanced modeling and simulation capabilities, the technology developed by KNDS and ARQUUS will enable the industry, the DGA, and the Army to jointly implement a virtual twin of the VBCI vehicle to support engineering and maintenance activities.

The NumCo digital twin builds on the experience gained over several years by the KNDS-ARQUUS consortium, particularly within the framework of the European Commission’s FAMOUS defence industrial development programme. These innovative technological developments are at the heart of the digital architectures of future combat vehicles.

The future of maintenance

The NumCo digital twin demonstrator will be developed through an incremental and agile approach over two years and then improved over two years with the training data from 20 instrumented VBCI. The experimentation could be extended to an additional batch of 20 VBCI.

As part of this experimentation, several Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) sensors will be deployed on the physical vehicles to collect large amounts of data, analyze them, and transcribe them into digital models and virtual representations. The system will rely on multiple predictive algorithms that will determine the lifespan of a variety of mechanical parts based on vehicle usage, anticipate breakdown risks, and personalize maintenance operations for each vehicle, facilitating failures diagnosis.

Ultimately, the NumCo digital twin technology is expected to be the central element of KNDS's and ARQUUS's offers for the modernization of maintenance of the Army's vehicle fleets.

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