L-3 will put more AF pilots in the virtual driver’s seat

Contract option brings program value up to $109 million

The Air Force has awarded L-3 Communications Inc. a $20.9 million contract option to build another technologically advanced F-16 Mission Training Center (MTC).

Under the contract option, L-3’s Link Simulation & Training division will build and deliver an F-16 MTC suite that includes four high-definition simulators. This is the second F-16 MTC the Air Force has ordered from L-3 Link.

The F-16 MTC suites on order are being integrated with L-3 Link’s HD World simulation product line, which combines high-definition databases, image generation systems, physics-based processing technology and visual system displays to create highly realistic and relevant environments for F-16 pilot training, according to a company announcement made March 15 .

SimuSphere HD, the visual display component of HD World, provides each simulator with an immersive, 360-degree field-of-view, the announcement said.

High-fidelity F-16 MTC simulators accurately model all of the fighter aircraft’s weapon systems and ordnance.

“For the first time ever in a simulator, F-16 pilots will be able to detect, judge the orientation of, recognize and identify targets from the same distance as when flying an actual mission,” said Bob Birmingham, president of L-3 Link.

The Boeing Company will provide the instructor/operator stations and brief/debrief systems.

Under the program, the Air Force could order as many as 20 F-16 MTCs for installations in the U.S., Europe and the Pacific region.

This contract option, from the Aeronautical Systems Center’s Training Systems Product Group at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, brings the total program contract value to $109.1 million.

L-3 Communications, of New York City, ranks No. 8 on Washington Technology’s 2009 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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