Mortar Training Blended Learning Solution

CDS Defence Support was tasked to develop a blended learning solution for the Army Mortar Training School.

 Case Study Mortar


The Challenge

CDS was tasked to develop a Blended Learning Solution (BLS) for the Army Mortar Training School. The aim of the solution was to allow students in training to use mortars to practice and develop the skills associated with map reading, calculating bearings and judging distance based on the terrain’s features.

Scanning the Landscape

The solution needed to be able to generate targets randomly at a variety of distances within a set training area. The students would then be required to manually scan the landscape to identify potential targets.

Bearing Calculation

The students also needed to be able to use a service prismatic compass to acquire the target’s direction.

Map Reading

After calculating the bearing, the students would have to accurately identify target locations on the map.

Making Corrections Based on a Missed Shot

The students would have to have the ability to make adjustments and re-engage the target an unlimited number of times.

Working closely with a number of SMEs, CDS interpreted the requirements and developed an application that delivered the required features whilst adding additional benefits at every stage.

The Solution

Our BLS allows both the students and the instructors to have sight of the students’ process of acquiring and engaging a target.

The students navigate round a geographically accurate virtual environment, based on a known training area, where a number of randomly generated targets appear at different distances. Once a target is identified, the student must use the skills learned in practical training to make the correct calculations and effectively engage the target.

Complex background algorithms accurately simulate, in real time, the characteristics of a mortar round’s velocity, trajectory (fall of shot) and the time of flight. The student can then watch the round hit or miss the target and can make multiple corrections to re-adjust and re-engage until a Fire for Effect (FFE) order can be given.

This solution can also be integrated with Learning Management Systems.


Other optional features include:

- Encryption to allow for off-site use.
- Secure data link to record students’ information including usage and strike rate.
- Auditable confirmation of training and competency.


A BLS has many advantages including:

- Students can be trained for multiple-operational scenarios and terrains prior to deployment.
- 24/7 access to training – no down-time due to adverse weather conditions or range day losses.
- Costs are reduced by negating the need for additional range time, ammunition and coaching/training staff.
- The application has cross-platform functionality and is able to run on Android, iOS and other similar operating systems.
- The Mortar Training can be digitally tailored to suit any combination of ammunition including illumination, smoke rounds and differing terrains.


In addition to the Mortar Training, CDS has also developed a 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Gun BLS. This unique tool presents the students with a geographically accurate virtual map, a protractor, a series of range tables and issue fire control data.

The students will identify and process the 8 figure grid reference number, the altitude above sea level, the bearing and distance and finally use this information to calculate the elevation adjustments required prior to engaging the target.

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