New simulation technology for UK, US pilots
The UK Ministry of Defence has awarded a contract to Boeing Defence UK to deliver a new simulation technology which can replicate up to three real-life scenarios simultaneously and independently of each other.
The new capability, known as Gladiator, will allow British pilots to undertake simultaneous, virtual exercises with their US counterparts, with all aircrew experiencing the same battle environment and threats.
The £36 million contract includes the design and manufacture of the simulation systems and software, and the first five years of support. The equipment will be installed at RAF Waddington.
The new capability will give the RAF training flexibility, enabling pilots to exercise capabilities, tactics and procedures that would be impossible in the live environment due to airspace, aircraft availability or security constraints.
The manufacture and design of the capability is expected to be complete within two years, with aircrew to start training in autumn 2021.
Initially, Typhoon pilots will be able to fly virtual missions alongside their counterpart aircrews in the US and interact with UK and US Joint Terminal Attack Controllers who direct combat aircraft from an advanced ground-based position. F-35 Lightning jets are expected to be added to the package by September 2021.
The RAF will also look to include Wedgetail early warning radar aircraft in the future, as well as upgrading the capability to enable the Royal Navy and the army air assets to undertake collective training exercises.
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The total cost of the design and construction contract will be €15 million (US$16.2 million) with a completion deadline of 18 months.
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