January 28, 2009 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The U.S. Air Force has contracted L-3 Link Simulation & Training to develop a simulator for the F-16 fighter pilot training program.
L-3 Link was awarded the contract from the Air Force Aeronautical Systems Center's Simulator Systems Group. Under the $68.2 million contract, L-3 will support the Air Force's F-16 Mission Training Center (MTC
) program development with simulator technologies.
The F-16 MTC has to provide Air Force pilots with basic and advanced tactics and mission training with technologies that replicate the F-16's weapon systems and which maximizes the war fighters' operational readiness.
Boeing Training Systems & Services will assist in the development of the MTC program as part of the team led by L-3 Link.
The multiyear contract includes options for the production, delivery and sustainment of up to 20 four-ship F-16 MTCs at Air Force installations in the United States, Europe and Pacific region. High-fidelity F-16 MTC simulators, which will accurately model all of the fighter aircraft's weapon systems and ordnance, will be delivered in Block 40/42 and 50/52 configurations to support basic and advanced pilot mission training, tactics validation and mission rehearsal.
If the contract options are exercised, Boeing Training Systems & Services will provide F-16 MTC Synthetic Forces Entity Simulation, weapons simulation, instructor/operator stations and brief/debrief stations.
L-3 Link will develop and deliver the F-16 simulation, crew stations and visual system, in addition to being responsible for overall system integration, program management and logistics support.
The first of the new simulators should be open by March 2011, said Capt. Jackie Belka, program manager for the project at Air Force Materiel Command's 677th Aeronautical Systems Group, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
Each F-16 simulator will include a 360-degree visual system, robust synthetic environment, instructor/operator station and brief/debrief station. The simulators can be operated individually or linked together to provide four-ship training, both within the MTC and linked to the DMO network.