L-3 builds aircrew flight trainers for F-18

NEW YORK, N.Y., 11 April 2005. L-3 Communications announced today that its Link Simulation and Training (Link) division has been awarded a $12 million competitive contract and a $10 million program option to build two F/A-18C/D Aircrew Flight Trainers (AFTs) to meet the U.S. Marine Corps' Hornet aircrew combat training requirements.

Apr 12th, 2005

NEW YORK, N.Y., 11 April 2005. L-3 Communications announced today that its Link Simulation and Training (Link) division has been awarded a $12 million competitive contract and a $10 million program option to build two F/A-18C/D Aircrew Flight Trainers (AFTs) to meet the U.S. Marine Corps' Hornet aircrew combat training requirements.

The trainers will consist of two independent cockpits for the pilot and weapons sensor operator. The crew station for each cockpit will be housed within a Link-built SimuSphere visual display system, allowing the training system to support both single seat F/A-18C or integrated dual seat F/A-18D training.

In addition, the F/A-18C/D AFTs will have a distributed training capability compliant with the Navy Aviation Simulation Master Plan (NASMP). By being NASMP-compliant, the trainers can be networked both locally and across the country.

The AFTs are scheduled for delivery in December 2006.

"We look forward to producing a training system that provides U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 aircrews with a realistic, interoperable and full spectrum combat training environment," said John McNellis, president of Link Simulation and Training. "Our low-risk solution will take advantage of Link's global investment in F/A-18 training capabilities and provide hardware and software commonality across U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and international F/A-18 training systems."

The nine-panel SimuSphere displays surrounding each F/A-18C/D crew station will provide a 360 degree out-the-window field-of-view. Link's SimuView personal computer image generation system will power both out-the-window and cockpit sensor display imagery.

These high fidelity trainers will be used to reinforce a full range of aircrew warfighting skills, including air-to-air and air-to-ground tactical employment, air refueling, carrier operations, and normal and emergency procedures training.

Link also will provide a fully integrated mission briefing and debriefing facility for each F/A-18C/D AFT. As the mission is flown, a debriefing system will capture all mission event data. Following mission execution, Hornet aircrews will have the opportunity to review their tactical performance and capture lessons learned to maximize training time.

Link Simulation and Training, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary, is a systems integration organization that delivers and supports training systems and equipment designed to enhance operational proficiency. Link's services include conducting front end analysis, program design, simulator design and production, and field support. Link has its headquarters operation in Arlington, Texas, and other key bases of operation in Binghamton, N.Y.; Orlando, Fla.; Broken Arrow, Okla.; and Phoenix, Ariz.

Headquartered in New York City, L-3 Communications is a provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) systems, secure communications systems, aircraft modernization, training and government services and is a merchant supplier of a broad array of high technology products. Its customers include the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, selected U.S. government intelligence agencies and aerospace prime contractors. For more information, see www.L-3Com.com.

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