The F-16 device was an older, unused Air National Guard cockpit trainer 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," says 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."
PMA-205 and L3 Communications integrated their efforts and the result was delivering this important cockpit trainer on time and on budget, Long adds.
"L3 built the original F-16 trainer," says 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 (AFB),
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, Turner adds.
"There was an excellent working relationship between L3's F-16 instructor pilot and our Navy F-16 instructor pilot, Lt. Cmdr. Wayne Oetinger," Turner says. "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," says 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, Oetinger says.
Another key capability was the testing done during the program, Turner notes.
"Since this was a Navy unique device, the software needed to be thoroughly tested before delivery to the site," he says. "Therefore, we performed government testing at the L3 facility near
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, Oetinger says.
NSAWC will hold one F-16A/B training class per quarter using the new trainer.