TESS has been in use with the U.S. Army since 1998 and is operated at each of the Combat Training Centers (NTC, JRTC, JMTC) and Home Stations.

Aviation TESS training systems include the following:


FMS Customers of Aviation TESS


ICE Aviation training systems utilize the Tactical Engagement Simulation System (TESS) developed for the AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter to provide Force-on-Force live training participation and weapons engagement. TESS allows instrumented aircraft to be tracked and engaged, significantly enhancing collective combined arms training. Designed for advanced weapons, TESS supports pilot competency in preparation for transition to combat while providing individual and collective training performance evaluation. AH-64D Apache Longbow TESS enables pilots to safely perform aerial gunnery weapon engagements and normal Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) without firing a round. TESS is comprised of an aircraft system, ground vehicle system, TESS Training Missile (TTM) and a Mobile Command and Control (MCC) system or Exercise Control (EXCON) system.


The TESS Aircraft System consists of an "A" kit that becomes part of the aircraft, and a "B" kit that is added to the aircraft for training exercises. The "A" kit includes the Smart Onboard Data Interface Module (SMODIM) Tray Assembly, modified software in the weapons display and systems processors, with cable connection provisions. The “B” kit includes the SMODIM, TESS Training Missile (TTM), Eye-Safe Laser Range Finder/Designator (ESLRF/D), Training Gun Control Unit (TGCU), Aircraft Internal Boresight Subassembly (AIBS), GPS and telemetry antennas.


Modular SMODIM

The Modular SMODIM interfaces electronically to the aircraft weapons system to provide a training mode, weapons emulation and a simulated weapons inventory. Exercise data is actively monitored, tracked, recorded and transmitted to the Ground Host System for analysis and After Action Review (AAR). Collected data includes aircraft position location, weapon events, aircraft status, aircraft heading, aircraft velocity, sensor heading, sight azimuth, Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE) status and Real Time Casualty Assessment (RTCA).


Geometric pairing is used for all Longbow weapons including Hellfire missiles, rockets and 30mm guns. The TESS Training Missile (TTM) replaces and emulates the Hellfire missile in size, shape and weight. It interfaces with the aircraft to provide weapons emulation and enable training mode. If the TTM is not present, training mode is not activated. A weapons effect simulator signals a missile launch, and the Aircraft Kill Indicator (AKI) visually reports player status.