Saturday, January 26, 2013

Swiss army simulators: useful but very expensive - action required

Simulators used by the military to train pilots for example are very useful, but also very expensive. The Federal Audit request that measures be taken to better control costs.

The Swiss Army has invested more than two billion francs for these simulators, which puts it at the forefront in international comparison. The Federal Audit Office examined in particular the use of simulators driving, flying, tactics and command.

Their usefulness for training is unquestionable, he concludes in a report released Friday. However, the bill is very heavy, if we sum the costs of investment, maintenance and operation.

Used less than expected

Worse, all the devices are not used as much as originally planned. In some cases, the financial advantage to training in the field or real equipment has not been demonstrated.

And the situation is unlikely to improve in the future, with the downsizing of the military. Periods of low usage will be more frequent. The Federal Audit Office recommends that optimize the use of available infrastructure.

The Swiss army could thus further collaborate with overseas training, simulators more rent to others and engage more of these devices when being repeated. In some cases, the simulators should be decommissioned.

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