France is changing the way it maintains its combat vehicle fleets

The French Ministry of Defense’s procurement and technology agency (DGA), supported by its Defense Innovation Agency (AID), has entrusted the KNDS-ARQUUS consortium with spearheading the experimentation of the first-ever digital twin demonstrator for a ground combat vehicle.

This pioneering initiative, known as the defense technology project “Digitization of maintenance” (NumCo), marks a significant milestone in the realm of ground combat systems. The focus of NumCo is to develop and test a digital twin demonstrator specifically tailored for the VBCI infantry fighting vehicle, representing a paradigm shift in maintenance strategies within the defense sector.

Powered by advanced modeling and simulation capabilities, the technology envisioned by KNDS and ARQUUS will facilitate the creation of a virtual twin of the VBCI vehicle. This virtual counterpart will play a crucial role in supporting engineering and maintenance activities, offering a dynamic platform for predictive maintenance and operational analysis.

Building on the consortium’s expertise garnered through initiatives like the European Commission’s FAMOUS defense industrial development program, the NumCo digital twin demonstrator will undergo an iterative development process over two years. Subsequently, it will be refined with data collected from 20 instrumented VBCI vehicles, with the potential for further expansion to additional batches.

Central to this experimentation are Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) sensors deployed on physical vehicles, tasked with gathering extensive data for analysis and conversion into digital models. Leveraging predictive algorithms, these digital representations will assess mechanical components’ lifespan, preempt potential breakdowns, and streamline maintenance protocols, ultimately enhancing vehicle reliability and mission readiness.

Anticipated as a cornerstone in KNDS’s and ARQUUS’s modernization endeavors, the NumCo digital twin technology is poised to revolutionize maintenance practices within the French Army’s vehicle fleets.

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