Simulator contract is the real thing

L-3 Communications’ Link Simulation and Training division has been awarded $34 million by Boeing to build and upgrade flight simulators for F/A-18 aircrews operating from Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia. Two expected program options will increase the total program value to $46 million over three years.

Under the contract, Link will build one new F/A-18E/F Tactical Operational Flight Trainer (TOFT), upgrade an existing F/A-18E/F TOFT with Link’s SimuSphere visual system display, and modify one 40-foot F/A-18C Weapons Tactics Trainer (WTT) dome simulator to the latest F/A-18E/F aircraft configuration.

The first option requires Link to upgrade the second F/A-18C WTT dome at NAS Oceana to an F/A-18E/F aircraft configuration. The second option requires Link to make significant hardware upgrades to one of the fielded F/A-18E/F TOFTs, including changing the cockpit aft seat configuration and upgrading existing host computer and instructor operator station technology with a more modern, cost-effective personal computer solution.

The new and upgraded F/A-18E/F TOFTs, integrated with seven-facet SimuSphere visual system displays, will provide aircrews with out-the-window imagery over a 300(degree) horizontal by 130(degree) vertical field-of-view.

Each F/A-18E/F TOFT also will be integrated with Link’s SimuView personal computer image generation system, which uses video, data base and distributed processing technologies to deliver realistic imagery of terrain, sky, moving models and special effects. The two F/A-18E/F TOFTs will be networked to support multi-aircraft combat readiness training.

The upgraded F/A-18E/F WTT dome simulators also will be integrated with a new visual system that includes Link’s SimuView image generation system, a target projection system; and an advanced laser projection system developed by Link team member Jenoptik LDT GmbH.

The F/A-18E/F WTT domes, which offer aircrews a 360(degree) field-of-view, will be networked to the new F/A-18E/F TOFT and allow for high fidelity audio communication between all pilots, weapon system officers and instructors.