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AFRL Breaks Ground on Wargaming and Simulation Lab in New Mexico

Modeling and simulation

AFRL Breaks Ground on Wargaming and Simulation Lab in New Mexico

The Air Force Research Laboratory has begun construction on a new facility in Kirtland Air Force Base dedicated to wargaming and simulation activities.

The $6 million Wargaming and Advanced Research Simulation laboratory in New Mexico will house the Directed Energy Wargaming and Simulation Branch and the Space Vehicles Simulation and Analysis Branch, AFRL said.

Col. Eric Felt, director of the Space Vehicles Directorate, said the WARS building will advance AFRL’s three strategies for deterring conflict: innovation, speed and partnerships.

“We in the Department of Defense are concerned about competition with our adversaries across all domains of warfighting,” Felt said.

The WARS laboratory will include an auditorium with more than 90 workstations that engineers across the DOD can use to collaborate in a digital environment.

Felt said the facility will take advantage of digital engineering to save time and resources in the hardware development process.

Digital engineering is a modern design method that uses tools like simulations, 3D models and digital twins, which are digital representations of real-world objects.

Air Force officials have touted the benefits of digital engineering in bolstering the defense community’s manufacturing capabilities, especially during times of war.

Felt said that digital engineering will create more opportunities for AFRL engineers to collaborate with partners in the industry.

Col. Jon Luminati, head of the Space Vehicles Directorate’s integrated experiments and evaluation division, added that model-based systems engineering will improve system performance in addition to its cost benefits.

AFRL expects the WARS laboratory to be completed in the spring of 2023. It will replace a facility that has been in use since 2005.

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