For the first time Mulino will use a rotation principle, allowing training to take place simultaneously at a variety of stations. An electronic identification badge worn by each participant tracks and records his activities over several weeks.
Before rotation, participants will take part in an introductory qualification phase involving practical and theoretical objectives using computer-based training modules. Only after basic qualification will participants be allowed to move to other training stations, including live combat simulation, commander training and marksmanship at Mulino's firing ranges.
Mulino will be capable of training 30,000 troops a year. The training center will be designed to train a reinforced motorized infantry or tank brigade. After several weeks of training, each brigade will have attained a certified level of proficiency. Use of RATC is expected to be a big advance over the Soviet-style choreographed set-piece battles of past exercises.
Ironically, GUZ (the basis for RATC) is a military exercise area used since the 1930s, including by Soviet forces in then-East Germany during the Cold War. In some ways, Mulino will be more advanced than the GUZ; for example, MOUT instrumentation will permit precise detection of soldiers in buildings, which was not a Bundeswehr requirement.
Construction of the training center started at the beginning of the year and is scheduled to last two years, in parallel with the development and production of software. Personnel will be trained in Germany at the beginning of 2013 and on-site in Russia later that same year. Installation and commissioning will begin in mid-2013 until Mulino is ready for training in mid-2014.
Valued at €100 million ($123.6 million), the Mulino contract represents the first major breakthrough by the German defense industry in Russia. Rheinmetall foresees opportunities for follow-on orders as Russian forces modernize. Four training centers are envisioned, one in each Russian military district, Kriewitz says.