Lockheed Martin chooses SGI for night-vision sim

Lockheed Martin Corp. has awarded a pair of contracts to Mountain View, Calif.-based Silicon Graphics Inc. to build and install a prototype night-vision goggles simulation system for Lockheed Martin's F-16 pilot training systems. The training systems are used in the Air Force F-16 Mission Training Center program.

Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin awarded SGI a $1.6 million contract to develop the prototype, plus a second $3.6 million contract to install the simulation on 10 fielded and four additional pilot training systems.
The Air Force F-16 training center supports air-to-air and air-to-ground scenarios in a 360-degree environment. The night-vision simulation system produces imagery on a helmet-mounted display that replicates what a pilot would see through night-vision goggles.

The addition of night-vision simulation capabilities to the flight simulators will increase the flight safety and mission effectiveness, SGI said in a statement.

"SGI's night-vision goggles simulation matches the high fidelity of the immersive training environment and will seamlessly integrate with existing F-16 pilot training systems," said Charles McCoy, Lockheed Martin's F-16 Mission Training Center program director. "With [night-vision goggle] simulation, F-16 pilots will be better prepared to do their jobs under virtually any condition."

SGI is developing the simulation system with software partner MultiGen-Paradigm Inc. of San Jose, Calif., and the Air Force Research Laboratory in Mesa, Ariz.
Development of the prototype simulation solution has a functional demonstration target date of September 2004. The production phase will ramp up in parallel to the prototype, but no target date for installation has been announced at this time.

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