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Radio controlled targets

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In a container on the flat top of a snowy hill in the north of Sweden sits a man in front of some screens operating a radio controlled car. The car weighs 2.4 tons and will soon be fired upon by a missile. "This technology helps the Swedish Armed Forces to practice on realistic targets at a low cost without the risk of anyone getting hurt", says Erik Bergstrom, Director of test systems at FMV's facility in Vidsel, Sweden.

Radio controlled military SUV`s and all-terrain carrier vehicles that can be used for missile testing and exercises are the latest technology addition to FMV`s test facility in Vidsel.

"Behind the development of radio-controlled targets is acombination of customer reqests for realistic testing and exercises, as well as our own exacting requirements for personal safety", says Erik Bergström. 

The man with the radio control is an increasingly common sight at the test site in Vidsel. Here some 150 people, 70 of whom are FMV employees, work all year around to design and conduct tests and exercises for both Swedish and international clients.

Realistic tests and exercises

"We try to satisfy the customer's requirements at a price which they are prepared to pay. This means that we use commercial market products when it is possible, and we develop the products ourselves, if we can do it better or more inexpensively. History shows that it is often both better and less expensive when we do it ourselves. It also means that we know exactly how the system works, which is necessary if the system, needs to be adapted to specific requirements."

When FMV verifies that the weapons perform in the way that the supplier claims, the possibility of our testing the missiles under realistic conditions is very important. But the Vidsel test facilities are also used for exercises where pilots can practice shooting live ammunition at realistic targets.

Customers from all over the world

With its unique expertise in radio-controlled targets, the test site in Vidsel attracts customers from all over the world, both within the Swedish Air Force and even manufacturers who want to have an opportunity to test their weapons under realistic conditions.

As head of the test systems, Erik Bergström works in close collaboration with FMV partner, The Swedish Space Corporation, SCC. They are in charge of the daily maintenance for part of the test facilities. After more than ten years in Vidsel, Erik Bergström has no plans to change jobs.

"No, I'm passionate about this. Test and evaluation is an interesting and varied field to work within. Here something new happens every day. It is also very rewarding to work with something that is this important. It is meaningful to be a part of the work that strengthens our ability to defend Sweden", says Erik Bergström.

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Published: 2013-03-07 13:50. Changed: 2013-07-09 14:03. Responsible: Show e-mail address.