Cole Engineering joins Leonardo-led team pitching to provide British Army Collective Training Service

10 April 2024

Today at the International Training Technology Exhibition and Conference (IT²EC) in London, Leonardo signed a teaming agreement with Cole Engineering Services, Inc. (CESI), the premier provider of synthetic training technology for the United States Army.

Under the teaming agreement, CESI will join Leonardo UK and Valiant, bidding together as ‘Team Aurelian’, to pitch for the British Army Collective Training Service (ACTS). ACTS will see around 60,000 troops training each year in a blend of live, virtual and constructive (LVC) simulated environments. 

CESI brings its experience and capabilities as the lead developer and provider of the U.S. Army’s Synthetic Training Environment (STE) software and the U.S. Army’s immersive Reconfigurable Virtual Collective Trainer (RVCT). STE brings together LVC training environments into a single, blended-training platform to deliver distributed, collective training.

Together, the Team Aurelian partners will be able to update the UK’s systems to ensure that British Army training remains world-class in the digital age. Leonardo will draw on its specialist UK onshore skills and facilities to develop the new technology, architecture and digital capabilities necessary for the programme. Valiant will bring to bear its experience as the main provider of large-scale, complex training programmes for the U.S. Army, Air Force, National Guard and Special Forces.

Pictured above: Stu Armstrong, Chief Technology Officer, Cole Engineering Services Inc. (left) and John Wells, Campaign Director Collective Training Transformation Programme, Leonardo UK (right)

The addition of CESI enables Team Aurelian to put forward an offer that will transform how the Army conducts collective training. By providing soldiers with an immersive, data-driven and tailored experience, they will be ready to face increasingly complex potential warfare scenarios. Leonardo will also draw on its nationwide supply chain, as well as UK SMEs and academia to provide niche expertise. With their offer of a unique blend of expertise and innovation, the partners have named themselves Team Aurelian after the Roman emperor known for his resilience, strategic acumen, and innovation.

In addition to the specific teaming agreement targeting the ACTS contract, today Leonardo and CESI's parent company By Light also signed a wider Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see the two companies working together to seek out synergies in, and opportunities for, their respective synthetic environment capabilities and other complementary capabilities.

John Wells, Campaign Director Collective Training Transformation Programme, Leonardo UK, said: “Leonardo, Valiant and CESI, together as Team Aurelian, have the skills, proven technology and experience to deliver this long-term, large-scale, highly-complex programme. CESI has been competitively selected by the U.S. Army on multiple occasions to provide synthetic training technologies and we will be proud to work with them to transform the training capabilities of our Armed Forces here in the UK.”

Stu Armstrong, Chief Technology Officer, Cole Engineering Services Inc., said: “Our partnership with Leonardo and Team Aurelian extends our working relationships even further to provide best in breed technical expertise and untouched technology solutions. We are proud to bring our deep capabilities in delivering innovative and modern synthetic training environments, at scale, to deliver training that allows soldiers to truly succeed.”

Dan Corbett, Chief Executive Officer, Valiant Integrated Services, said: "We're thrilled to join forces with Leonardo, CESI, and our other teammates to form this experienced and strategic team. Together, Valiant, Leonardo, and CESI bring unparalleled training expertise and cutting-edge simulation solutions to deliver next-generation solutions that prepare warfighters for the ever-changing battlefield."

Leonardo’s recently-launched 2024-2028 industrial plan highlights the company’s commitment to leadership in the data and digital domain, with its programme of massive digitalisation, domain interoperability and investment in Artificial Intelligence. In the UK, Leonardo has already signalled its progress with the launch of a new data-driven approach to design and manufacturing called ‘digital electronics factories’ at its electronics sites across the UK. In 2023, the company also deployed the cloud-based Azure platform across its UK business, making it the first major defence contractor in the UK to migrate key applications onto the secure cloud.

Leonardo is already delivering digital-driven and synthetic training, including from its International Flight Training School (IFTS), a strategic partnership with the Italian Air Force and in collaboration with CAE that delivers end-to-end training with a core LVC component. The company’s technologies also underpin major distributed training operations, including for the NATO Spartan Alliance and Spartan Warrior exercises.

About CESI

Cole Engineering Services, Inc. (CESI), a By Light Company, is a premier integrator and provider of modeling and simulation, wargaming and cyber training solutions. Since 2004, CESI has been at the forefront of developing, maintaining, and integrating simulation-based training, serious gaming, technical services, training and other support in LVC and cyber domains. CESI designs, builds and runs infrastructure, platforms, applications and processes that enable converged training for the integrated multi-domain force. As a full-spectrum LVC and cyber developer, integrator and services provider, CESI delivers open-source solutions that empower our warriors. Learn more at