The newly installed F-16A/B Fighting Falcon cockpit simulator at Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC), Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev. U.S. Navy photo.
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (April 28, 2010)—NAVAIRs Naval Aviation Training Systems program office (PMA-205) delivered a newly updated F-16A/B Fighting Falcon simulator to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC), Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev. on Mar. 2.
The F-16 device was an older, unused Air National Guard simulator that was updated to reflect the Navy F-16A/B cockpit by PMA-205 and L3 Communications.
This new F-16 trainer is a force multiplier for our F-16 pilots at NSAWC, said Capt. Darryl Spike Long, Naval Aviation Training Systems program manager. The F-16 provides the Navy's only dissimilar, high performance adversary aircraft, an important capability for enhanced air-to-air training for numerous Navy and joint customers.
Of course getting a simulator that replicated the F-16A/B Block 15 cockpit was no small feat.
PMA-205 and L3 Communications integrated their efforts and the result was delivering this important cockpit trainer on time and on budget added Long.
L3 built the original F-16 trainer, said Cyndi Turner, the acting Adversary Training System Integrated Program Team Lead, PMA-205. L3 re-used the same simulator visual databases as the Air Force use at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and Nellis AFB, Nev. in order to keep the simulator cost down.
The original F-16 trainer had a three-screen visual system which we updated to the single-screen Britebox display in order to lower maintenance costs added Turner.
There was an excellent working relationship between L3s F-16 instructor pilot and our Navy F-16 instructor pilot, Lt. Cmdr. Wayne Oetinger, said Turner. I consider this to be the number one reason for the success of this program.
Having an F-16 simulator now greatly enhances NSAWC's ability to continue being good stewards of our aircraft in the years ahead, said Lt. Cmdr. Wayne Oetinger, F-16 Program Manager at NSAWC. The new simulator will provide an enhanced training capability for the 38 pilots currently qualified to fly the F-16.
Other than a few Foreign Military Sales (FMS) countries, NSAWC is one of the last organizations to operate the Block 15 variant. PMA-205 was able to work with L3 Communications to procure the components necessary to reassemble a Block 15 simulator said Oetinger.
Another key capability was the testing done during the program added Turner.
Since this was a Navy unique device, the software needed to be thoroughly tested before delivery to the site. Therefore, we performed government testing at the L3 facility near Hill AFB, said Turner. The trainer was installed and accepted without any discrepancies.
NSAWC has already put five new pilots through the F-16 training syllabus using the new simulator and looks forward to using a fully functional F-16 simulator in the years ahead added Oetinger.
NSAWC will hold one F-16A/B training class per quarter using the new trainer.