YUMA, Ariz., 18 Oct. 2012. Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has completed the installation of the first F-35 Lightning II Full Mission Simulators (FMS) at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma, Ariz. The air station will be home to the first operational Marine Corps F-35 squadrons worldwide.
Two of six planned Joint Strike Fighter FMS systems have been installed on site. The FMS installation and software completion will allow pilot familiarization and transition scenarios to begin later this year.
Simulation is important to the F35 program. The goal is to lower cost of training pilots and increase their effectiveness. "Due to the fidelity of the simulators, approximately half of the core syllabus flights for the F-35 program are accomplished in the simulator,” said Lt. Col. Dwight DeJong, director of the Joint Strike Fighter Site Activation Team for MCAS Yuma. “This becomes extremely cost effective with realistic training that is independent of the weather, maintenance and range availability that can challenge daily operations.”
The FMS includes a high-fidelity 360-degree visual display system, replicating all F-35 sensors and weapons deployment.
The F-35 Lightning II 5th Generation fighter offers fighter speed and agility, fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, and advanced sustainment. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with principal industrial partners Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.
The F-35 comes in a conventional-takeoff-and-landing (CTOL) version for the Air Force, aircraft carrier variant (CT) for the Navy, and a short-take-off-and-vertical-landing (STOVL) version for the Marine Corps.
MCAS Yuma will host five F-35 squadrons and one operational test and evaluation squadron. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 will be the first operational F-35 squadron on station.