Over the next three years Navy Pacific Fleet F-35C pilots will gain access to a state-of-the-art flight simulation facility at Lemoore Naval Air Station in Central California that will involve training tasks ranging from basic flight skills to team-based mission rehearsal that will mimic challenging combat conditions.
Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., announced a $20.8 million order earlier this month to the Lockheed Martin Corp. Aeronautics segment in Fort Worth, Texas, to build a sophisticated F-35C training & simulation facility at Lemoore.
The Pacific Fleet Strike Fighter Wing is based at Lemoore, as will be all Pacific Fleet F-35C squadrons. Lockheed Martin is the F-35C aircraft manufacturer and flight simulator integrator.
Through early 2019 Lockheed Martin will deliver, install, configure, and stand up an F-35C Training Infrastructure System (TIS) and Pilot Fitting Facility at Lemoore. The TIS provides the integrated training center elements that are co-located with the Pacific Fleet F-35C fleet and training squadrons that are based at Lemoore.
The TIS includes a wide variety of F-35C flight simulators, computer workstations, briefing and debriefing rooms, and mission-planning areas, and threat stations to mimic threats to F-35C pilots like enemy jet fighters and surface-to-air missiles.
The TIS has advanced single-ship and multi-ship distributed flight simulation; computer-based training stations; advanced simulation and maintenance trainers; a briefing and debriefing facility; mission planning; electronic classroom and observation center; and threat stations.
The F-35C TIS at Lemoore is part of a larger network of joint strike fighter training and simulation centers throughout the U.S. and the world. Integrated training centers are completed or in progress at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.; Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station, S.C.
F-35 simulators have been delivered to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.; Yuma Marine Corps Air Station, Ariz.; and Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Each F-35 simulation facility will have networking capability that eventually could enable F-35 pilots training in flight simulators at separate facilities to train together on cooperative missions.
This contract to Lockheed Martin also calls for the company to install a Pilot Fitting Facility (PFF) at Lemoore that will fit and train F-35C pilots to use sophisticated joint strike fighter equipment like integrated flight helmets and G-suits.
The PFF is a one-stop shop for custom-fitting pilots for the sophisticated F-35 pilot flight equipment, Lockheed Martin officials say. Experts at the PFF perform anthropometric measurements of each pilot, and then issue everything from helmets to socks. The idea is to custom-equip each F-35C pilot for optimum performance.
F-35C pilots will use special flight helmets that are data linked to six cameras pointed outside the aircraft. This enables pilots to "see through" the aircraft and see straight down and all over the aircraft. The F-35C G suit will enable pilots to withstand maneuvers as intense as nine Gs. F-35C flight suits also are air conditioned to reduce stress on pilots.
On this contract Lockheed Martin will do the work in Orlando, Fla.; Greenville, S.C.; and Fort Worth, Texas, and should be finished by March 2019. For more information contact Lockheed Martin Aeronautics online at www.lockheedmartin.com/us/aeronautics, or Naval Air Systems Command at www.navair.navy.mil.
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