Army re-ups L-3 division for tactical trainers

L-3 Communications Inc.'s Link Simulation and Training division won a $33.4 million contract to build four additional Army Aviation Combined Arms Tactical Trainer suites.

The latest award brings the total number of trainers built for the Army to 15. The Army plans to acquire 23 trainer suites, Link officials said. Link has been prime contractor on tactical trainer program since it was began in 1999.

The company is providing both the Army and Army National Guard with helicopter training systems that support realistic, high-intensity virtual combat training. The tactical trainer's networked capability makes it interoperable with the Army's Close Combat Tactical Trainer, a mechanized armor training system.

The tactical trainer suites consist of two mobile 53-foot trailers that house six reconfigurable simulators, a battle master control room and an after-action review theater. The simulators can be reconfigured to represent any combination of platforms, such as an Apache attack helicopter, armed reconnaissance helicopter or Black Hawk helicopter.

During a simulated exercise, commanders can mix and match rotary wing platforms to best support the training. Friendly and opposing intelligent semi-automated forces, communications degradation, adverse weather effects and visual, infrared and radio frequency clutter are among the simulators' features.

When a mission is completed, the recorded data and video is presented in the after-action review theater. During this debrief, aircrews review their performances and determine which skills or tactics further work. The after-action review theater can also be used to view training in progress.

L-3 Communications of New York has more than 44,200 employees and had annual sales of $6.9 billion in fiscal 2004.

The company ranks No. 15 on Washington Technology's 2005 Top 100 list of federal prime contractors.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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