ModSAF (Modular Semi-Automated Forces)


From the STRICOM ModSAF page:
ModSAF (Modular Semi-Automated Forces) is a set of software modules and applications used to construct Advanced Distributed Simulation (ADS) and Computer Generated Forces (CGF) applications. ModSAF modules and applications let a single operator create and control large numbers of entities that are used for realistic training, test, and evaluation on the virtual battlefield. ModSAF contains entities that are sufficiently realistic resulting in the user not being aware that the displayed vehicles are being maneuvered by computers, rather than human crews. These entities, which include ground and air vehicles, dismounted infantry (DI), missles, and dynamic structures, can interact with each other and with manned individual entity simulators to support training, combat development experiments, and test of evaluation studies.


From STOW ModSAF Web Pages
During the 1980's, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) developed virtual simulators for the M1 Abrams main battle tank and the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle to provide a sophisticated crew training capability. These simulators, each the replica of a single vehicle crew compartment, were then integrated on a local area network as a simulation network (SIMNET) to permit collective command and control (C2) and maneuver training of small units (armor platoon, etc.). SIMNET facilities were established in CONUS, USAREUR, and Korea.

As SIMNET users gained experience they needed a more robust and dynamic threat. DARPA therefore developed a constructive simulation to provide that opposing force (OPFOR) for users of SIMNET. This simulation used a semi-automated force (SAF) which could be task organized and given orders to execute basic military missions (attack, defend, etc.). This SIMNET SAF was an improvement but too inflexible. The SAF had been written in "hard code" and each time a change or improvement was made to the software, the SAF required 100 percent recompilation which required downtime and consumed man-hours and money.

DARPA therefore developed ModSAF. ModSAF meant, then as now, modular semi-automated forces. ModSAF version 1.0 was an improvement over SIMNET SAF because each major area of the software code (force characteristics, terrain, operating parameters, etc.) was now a separate module. Changes could be focused on the specific area requiring improvement and recompilation time was reduced.

Today, due to work by individual agencies on the different versions of ModSAF fielded for testing or use, there are many different variations available. Most of these versions have been developed by individual agencies to respond to agency-unique requirements. Users make changes to a version of ModSAF, as required, and the software modules in one user's version no longer resembles similar modules in another agency's version. The baseline versions (1.0, 2.0, 3.0) of ModSAF exist under strict configuration control of STRICOM, the ModSAF material developer.


A simulation system intended to support distributed interaction of participants in a shared environment in which some forces can be automatically generated. It supports extensive visualisation and activity recording. It supports some measure of analysis of the events played out in the simulation.

Capabilities for the planning process

See STOW ModSAF Site Operational Requirements (

AIts capabilities with respect to planning in Verb/Noun Phrase format are:


    Interconnectivity and Shared Models

    Not established. Believed to be good. AI systems such as SOAR have been connected to ModSAF.

    Relevant Scenarios

    Fort Benning McKenna Ranges MOUT site is modelled in a version of ModSAF and is in use in a training facility at Fort Benning run by Lockheed Martin.



    Machine, OS, and software requirements

    Various Unix systems including SGI, HP and Sun/Solaris. Also runs on PC's under Linux.

    Implementation Languages

    Probably primarily C.


    Via STRICOM.

    Web Resources

    See also our SUO resources page


    Different versions are available, containing modified modules and perhaps other changes. Baseline versions are controlled by STRICOM.

    ModSAF is a legacy system due to be replaced by OneSAF.