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Advanced video games for US Navy pilot training

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April 29, 2007

F/A-18C/D Aircrew Flight Trainer in use by a US Marine pilot

F/A-18C/D Aircrew Flight Trainer in use by a US Marine pilot

April 30, 2007 It's the ultimate flight sim video game. 360 degree cockpit views, multiplayer, totally realistic instruments and the option to have a separate gunner in the back seat of your F/A-18 Hornet as you dogfight the others or engage in air-to-ground missions. Sadly, you'll need to sign your life away to play it.

L-3 Communications announced today that its Link Simulation and Training division has delivered two F/A-18C/D Aircrew Flight Trainers that have achieved ready-for-training status to the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar, CA.

The trainers consist of two independent cockpits for the pilot and weapons sensor operator. The crew station for each cockpit is housed within an L-3-built SimuSphere visual display system, allowing the training system to support both single seat F/A-18C and integrated dual seat F/A-18D training.

In addition, the F/A-18C/D AFTs have a distributed training capability compliant with the Navy Aviation Simulation Master Plan. The F/A-18C/D AFTs also are networked with two F/A-18C Tactical Operational Flight Trainers that are part of the U.S. Navy's F/A-18C Distributed Mission Training program that L-3 installed at Miramar in December 2006. Collectively, these F/A-18 training devices are able to support multi-ship training and, ultimately, engage in joint and coalition networked simulation exercises.

"The advanced training technologies integrated on these F/A-18C/D Aircrew Flight Trainers support realistic, interoperable and full spectrum combat training," said John McNellis, President of L-3 Link Simulation and Training. "Our low-risk solution has taken advantage of L-3 Link's global investment in F/A-18 training capabilities and provides hardware and software commonality across U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and international F/A-18 training systems."

The nine-panel SimuSphere displays surrounding each F/A-18C/D crew station will provide a 360 degree out-the-window field-of-view. L-3 Link's SimuView(TM) personal computer image generation system will power both out-the-window and cockpit sensor display imagery.

These high fidelity trainers will be used to reinforce a full range of aircrew warfighting skills, including air-to-air and air-to-ground tactical employment, air refueling, carrier operations and normal and emergency procedures training.

L-3 also has delivered a fully integrated mission briefing and debriefing facility for each F/A-18C/D AFT. As the mission is flown, the debriefing system will capture all mission event data. Following mission execution, Hornet aircrews will have the opportunity to review their tactical performance and capture lessons learned to maximize training time.

L-3's Link Simulation and Training is a systems integration organization that delivers and supports training systems and equipment to enhance operational proficiency. Its current services include conducting front-end analysis, program design, simulator design, production and field support, and aircraft logistics support. L-3 Link has major operations in Arlington, TX, and other key bases of operation in Binghamton, NY; Orlando, FL; Broken Arrow, OK and Phoenix, AZ.

Headquartered in New York City, L-3 Communications employs over 63,000 people worldwide and is a prime system contractor in aircraft modernization and maintenance, C(3)ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) systems and government services. L-3 is also a leading provider of high technology products, subsystems and systems. The company reported 2006 sales of $12.5 billion.

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz loves motorcycles - at the age of two, he told his mother "don't want brother, want mogabike." It was the biker connection that first brought Loz to Gizmag, but since then he's covered everything from alternative energy and weapons to medicine, marital aids - and of course, motorcycles. Loz also produces a number of video pieces for Gizmag, including his beloved bike reviews. He frequently disappears for weeks at a time to go touring with his vocal band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain
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