Transportable Jet Simulation Trainers Coming to Navy Fleet
PATUXENT RIVER, Md. — The days of walking into the ready room on a ship and seeing a makeshift AV-8B cockpit, with its controls, buttons and knobs drawn on boards surrounding a “pilot” chair, are numbered thanks to a new U.S. Marine Corps training device coming to the fleet, Naval Air Systems Command said in a Dec. 7 release.
On Aug. 17, the Naval Aviation Training Systems Program Office entered into an $8.4 million procurement contract with Logistics Services International Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla., to provide eight Deployable Mission Rehearsal Trainers (DMRTs). These transportable AV-8B cockpit simulation trainers are inclusive of radar operation; hand-on-throttle-and-stick operation; heads up and multi-color display; and control monitor set functionality.
This first-of-its-kind deployable trainer for the AV-8B platform will provide pilots with critical training when they are deployed to forward areas or aboard a ship, said Brian Trago, Marine Corps AV-8B Training Systems Integrated Product Team Lead.
“The deployable nature of these devices will allow AV-8B pilots to take their safe, simulated training environment with them,” Trago said. “In doing so, pilots will have the ability to continue to train the way they will fight versus training while they are fighting.”
The importance of the DMRT can’t be overstated, Trago explained, expanding on the increased safety the trainer will provide.
“In addition to being a safe, no-risk environment for our pilots, ground-based simulated training is a fraction of the cost of flying,” Trago said.
Marine Corps Aviation Training Systems Lead Anthony Singleton said the DMRT will serve as an improvement to situations in which deployed pilots have drawn up the aircraft’s cockpit layout on whiteboards surrounding a chair where they practice and train for upcoming missions.
“We recently heard an account of a deployed carrier air wing whose pilots were conducting mission rehearsals on whiteboards,” Singleton said. “The DMRT advances that concept. It is comprised of a simulated out-the-window view with flat screens depicting the cockpit’s displays, buttons, knobs and switches which the pilots will be able to virtually utilize along with a mock AV-8B cockpit seat, stick and throttle.”
The first deployable mission trainers are expected to be delivered to the fleet in July 2018.