Sponsored by Meggitt Training Systems
25 Mar 20. Leonardo extends its training services capabilities to rotorcraft unmanned aerial systems. Leonardo has extended its training services capabilities to include rotorcraft unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to provide 360° training solutions to its growing customer base for maximised mission effectiveness and safety. The Company has recently obtained an Authorized Training Organization Certificate for UAS released by ENAC (Italian National Civil Aviation Authority). With this certification Leonardo is now able to supply training services for light and very light category remotely piloted systems (up to 25 kg) through its Helicopter Training Academy headquartered in Sesto Calende (Northern Italy).
This certification heavily adds to the overall quality level and versatility of training services provided by Leonardo, making the Company the world’s first rotorcraft OEM with this capability – it is expected to be recognised by EASA in 2021. This latest service addition allows Leonardo to respond to the evolving market demands by those helicopter operators who are increasingly using small UAS for their missions, including those carrying out disaster relief and emergency response tasks.
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Furthermore, Leonardo is also developing a comprehensive training package for the AWHERO 200 kg class RUAS. The AWHERO was also involved in the successful maritime surveillance capability demonstration performed in the framework of the European OCEAN 2020 initiative in the Mediterranean Sea at the end of 2019. The training syllabus will exploit solutions and methodologies available for piloted helicopters leveraging the long-established and rapidly growing training capabilities of the Company offered to operators worldwide through Training Academies and Centres in terms of technologies and simulation. Among the available services, a mission planning system tool based on the Leonardo SkyFlight system will allow customers to include one more operational service for the AWHERO. (Source: aerodefenseinternational.com)
25 Mar 20. Large-scale exercise in Arizona deemed mission essential by top Marine canceled over COVID-19. The remainder of a large-scale air and ground integration exercise in Yuma, Arizona, involving nearly 4,000 Marines has been canceled as COVID-19 continues to rapidly spread across the U.S., according to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One.
The exercise known as the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course — which was deemed mission essential by Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David Berger — was slated to run from March 8 through April 26.
Col. Steve Gillette, commanding officer of MAWTS-1, told Marine Corps Times in an emailed statement late Tuesday that the exercise had been suspended to “preserve the safety of our troops during this time.”
Gillette explained that WTI has concluded academics and that the remainder of the course had been suspended. Marines attending and in support of WTI will travel back to their duty stations.
That travel will take place during a Defense Department domestic travel ban implemented on March 16 that’s slated to run till May 11. The travel ban was imposed to stem the tide of COVID-19.
“The priority is a safe return for each Marine in order to protect the force. Special consideration and minor delays may be in place for Marines traveling outside the United States,” Gillette said.
The large-scale exercise was criticized by Marines and the local community as creating unnecessary risk amidst a viral pandemic that has killed about 20,000 worldwide.
Yuma has roughly 104,000 residents with nearly 20 percent of the population over the age of 60 — a sizable population especially vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus.
On March 20, the Corps confirmed at least one Marine had tested positive for COVID-19 aboard the Yuma air station. Lt. Adara Story, a spokeswoman for MAWTS-1, told Marine Corps Times the Marine who tested positive for the virus was not participating in the WTI exercise.
Concerned residents viewed a town hall March 20 to hear the latest updates about COVID-19 from city officials and Col. David Suggs, the commander of the Yuma air station.
Suggs attempted to quell some rumors floating around social media regarding large and crammed formations of Marines not abiding by social distancing guidelines. He also provided updated information related to Marines traveling from outside the country for WTI training.
The Yuma commander told the town hall that the base since March 16 has implemented a number of restrictions to help stem the spread of the virus.
As of March 16, no more than 50 Marines can congregate at one time. Suggs said he saw posts on social media showing large groups of Marines standing around in crowded groups.
One such photo was leaked to Marine Corps Times, which shows a large gathering of Marines on board the base not abiding by social distancing guidelines advocated by health professionals across the globe.
A Marine official, who spoke to Marine Corps Times on condition of anonymity, said the photo depicting the large gathering was snapped early March 20.
Suggs told the Yuma community that those formations are no longer authorized. Suggs also explained that the Yuma base has roughly 5,000 Marines, and getting word to junior officers presents a number of challenges.
“I can tell you now there are no meetings greater than 50,” Suggs said during the town hall.
As of March 16, Marines assigned to the base are not authorized to go to bars or restaurants in town. However, they are can get takeout or pickup orders. Suggs explained these restrictions were made to protect service members but also the community.
Suggs also said the Yuma air station has closed the gym and exchange, and only 50 Marines are allowed in the chow halls at any given time. He said the base has shut off TVs and WiFi at the dining facilities.
Travel outside the base beyond 50 miles requires the approval of a lieutenant colonel or colonel, Suggs explained.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 253 reported cases of COVID-19 across Arizona. (Source: Marine Times)
24 Mar 20. A new training system for the Air Force’s airborne ICBM launch center is coming soon. Next month, the Air Force is expected to get a new training system for its airborne ICBM command post after the older system was damaged in devastating floods in 2019.
Offutt Air Force Base, located near Omaha, Neb., is set to receive a shipment for a virtual Airborne Launch Control System trainer in April, said Lt. Col. Matthew Hlivko, commander of the 625th Strategic Operations Squadron.
The ALCS is an incredibly unique nuclear weapons system that provides the U.S. military a way to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles from an aircraft, giving the Pentagon another option if launch control centers on the ground are destroyed. The ALCS is operated by Air Force personnel onboard a Navy E-6B Mercury, and only 16 of those Boeing 707-based planes are operational.
“The new virtual system will create a better training environment for students and will include improved hardware, software, 3D graphic displays and higher fidelity touch panels,” said Hlivko, whose 625th STOS is responsible for the operation of the Airborne Launch Control System.
The new training system is made by Northrop Grumman.
Last March, floodwaters from the Missouri River and Papio Creek rose and spilled into Offutt, leaving much of the base underwater and damaging aircraft simulators, hangars and upwards of 50 buildings.
For the 625th STOS, “the biggest thing we lost was our simulator,” Col. Hayley James, deputy group commander for the 595th Command and Control Group, told Defense News during an October trip to Offutt. To keep up their skills over the past year, the squadron has had to fly across the country to Vandenburg AFB for contractor-provided training.
When James spoke with Defense News, the Air Force was still deciding whether it would eventually buy a full tactile trainer, which has physical buttons, switches and keys that exactly replicate those on the system, giving a more immersive experience.
“The Air Force wants to do more [with] virtual capabilities just because there is an expense piece tied to it,” she said. “I think the idea is that in the next 18 months to two years they’ll bring on the full training solution. We don’t know what that’s going to look like but my guess is it will be a combination of tactile and virtual training. It probably will not look the same as what we had before.”
The Air Force will eventually buy a full tactile ALCS trainer but remains in the early stages of the process, Eighth Air Force spokesman Justin Oakes said in a statement. There is no current estimate for when the trainer will be delivered or deployed.
Missileers who are learning to use the ALCS go through a six to eight week initial qualification training that involves both simulator training and training aboard the E-6.
The squadron has already conducted two initial qualifying classes using the new simulator at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The next qualifying class is scheduled to be held at Offutt AFB in early May once the new virtual trainer has been delivered and installed, Hlivko said.
But aside from simulator training, the squadron has multiple ways to keep up readiness.
Missile crews get training time during monthly E-6 training rides, which cover the full gamut of ICBM operations. Those rides are “very vocal, very loud, very fast paced,” Hlivko said. “You’re taking [the mission] with another crew member, so there’s a lot of crew coordination with one person taking action, on person vocalizing what those actions should be.”
Because the Air Force and Navy maintain an E-6 and ALCS on 24 hour alert, meaning that they are ready to take off at any moment in order to execute a mission, the missile crews also take turns standing alert for weeklong periods.
“We are the survivable portion of the ICBM of the triad. We always have an operational Airborne Launch Control System that is ready to go and execute that mission at all times,” said Capt. Blake Friend, an ALCS planner. “We’re always tethered to the plane and ready to fly away at any second.” (Source: Defense News)
24 Mar 20. Singapore and Australia sign military training treaty amid Covid-19. Singapore and Australia have signed a treaty on military training and training area development in view of the global Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. The treaty was signed by Singapore’s Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen and Australian Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds in Australia. Signed during the 5th Singapore-Australia Leaders’ Meeting, the treaty is an upgrade of the bilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in 2016 on military training and training area development in Australia. The MoU was signed under the Singapore-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP). It marks a significant milestone in defence relations between both countries.
Under the latest agreement, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will get improved military training access in Australia.
The treaty also facilitates the joint development of military training areas and facilities in an expanded Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) and a new Greenvale Training Area (GVTA) in Queensland.
Furthermore, within the expanded SWBTA and the new GVTA, advanced training facilities such as the Combined Arms Air-Land Ranges and Urban Operations Live-Firing Facilities will be built by 2024 and 2028 respectively.
Once completed, the SAF will be able to conduct integrated training across all three services for up to 18 weeks. This will involve up to 14,000 personnel a year, for 25 years in training areas.
The advanced training facilities, which will deepen defence cooperation, will also benefit the armed forces.
Previously, the SAF and the Australian Defence Force carried out extensive interactions including bilateral and multilateral exercises, professional exchanges, cross attendance of courses, and joint operational deployment. (Source: army-technology.com)
24 Mar 20. Royal Marines conclude training in Belarus. The British Royal Marines have concluded a two-week peacekeeping training exercise with Belarusian forces. Under the peacekeeping training exercises, Green Berets from Plymouth-based 42 Commando worked with the Peacekeeping Company of the 103rd Guards Airborne Division at the Losvido Training Areas in northern Belarus. During Exercise Winter Partisan, commandos were trained by the Green Berets on general tactics and abseiling employed by Royal Marines for peacekeeping missions. In exchange, the Belarusian troops shared their survival, navigation and tactical skills at the training area located near Vitebsk. It was the first time Belarusian troops had offered training to any country in its recent history. The training was conducted in two mixed troops of Belarusians and commandos. It concluded in an exercise under the cover of darkness.
The final phase of the training programme included tests on a 25km yomp. This phase tested the skills learned by the commandos during the training programme. Lima Company commanding officer Major John Whiteman said: “Exercise Winter Partisan was a great experience for Lima Company, where the exchanges of tactical and survival skills enhanced the company’s abilities for the future.
“Visiting the Khatyn Memorial was a memorable visit. This was a very sobering affair and highlighted the brutality that was experienced on the Eastern Front. The company also visited the Afghan museum and Partisan museums in Vitebsk.”
The combined training peace-making mission is aimed at building trust and mutual understanding.
Lima Company had also visited museums and the Khatyn Memorial during the training. The memorial is a tribute to almost three million Belarusians who died during World War II. (Source: naval-technology.com)
23 Mar 20. USAF bombers conduct familiarisation flight with RNLAF F-35A. Two US Air Force (USAF) B-2 Spirit stealth bomber aircraft have conducted a fifth-generation integration familiarisation flight with a Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) F-35A Lightning II fighter jet over the North Sea. The aircraft are assigned to the USAF 509th Bomb Wing and the Missouri Air National Guard 131st Bomb Wing based at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. They are currently operating out of RAF Fairford in the UK as part of a Bomber Task Force (BTF) deployment.
US Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander Jeff Harrigian said: “Conducting interoperability missions between the B-2 and fifth-generation platforms are crucial to enhancing partnership capacity and capability.
“It demonstrates our ability to deliver decisive, agile and lethal combat power, alongside our Nato allies to any adversary, anytime, across the globe.”
The B-2 Spirit stealth bombers earlier performed tactical integration training with RAF F-35s and Norwegian F-35s.
For the first time, B-2s have integrated with Norwegian and Dutch F-35s.
Airmen from the 509th BW and the 131st BW are deployed to RAF Fairford and will carry out training in a joint environment with partners and allies during the BTF rotation that started on 9 March 2020.
Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the B-2 low-observable, strategic, long-range, heavy bomber.
It is capable of penetrating sophisticated and dense air-defence shields and has a range of more than 6,000nm unrefuelled and over 10,000nm with one refuelling.
In December 2017, the USAF tested Raytheon’s Military-Code (M-Code) Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver on board a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
23 Mar 20. Inzpire Limited Deliver Electronic Warfare Training to European Delegates. UK-based Inzpire Limited has recently concluded the delivery of electronic warfare training to European military delegates in Estonia.
Named No.1 Baltic’s Electronic Warfare course, the training saw 25 ab-initio students including air surveillance radar personnel, intelligence personnel and aircrew from Estonian, Latvian and Polish armed forces studying a tailor-made electronic warfare curriculum.
The course was delivered at Amari Airbase and week 1 of the training introduced students to the principles of electronic warfare, examining radar systems, radar weapons, infrared weapons and electronic support measures. The second week of training focused on advanced techniques and technologies including pulse-Doppler radar, focal plane arrays and electronic countermeasures.
Inzpire’s electronic warfare experts designed the purpose-built training specifically for Baltic delegates. The course was designed to give students an enhanced ability to assess and understand electronic warfare capabilities, weapon systems and potential countermeasure mechanisms.
Luke Cabot, Inzpire’s operations and training specialist delivered the training and said: “it was my absolute pleasure to provide training to the participants of No.1 Baltic’s EW course. The audience included a broad range of operational experience; all the participants were hard-working, inquisitive and discovered new principles that can be put to good use within their representative areas of work. It is exciting to be delivering specialist electronic warfare training to new customers in Europe and we very much hope we can extend this provision to provide more courses in the future”.
Matt Hing, Lieutenant Colonel and Defence Attaché to Estonia said: “it was a pleasure to host Luke to deliver the No.1 Baltic’s EW course. The fact that there were participants from Estonia, Latvia and Poland proved that there is regional interest in the subject. It was obvious from my interaction with the course members that Luke’s teaching style really grabbed their attention and allowed him to explain complexity in an effective way. This is an excellent example of the U.K. supporting our allies to develop their capabilities”.
Inzpire’s electronic warfare experts deliver training across a wide spectrum of topics at both introductory and post-graduate level and have to date delivered training to over ten different European nations.
Inzpire’s Training Services Division
Inzpire’s training services division provides integrated, sustainable and cost-effective training solutions for military and civilian customers. Our operationally experienced instructors design and deliver bespoke training in simulated, live and collective environments and provide full training analysis services. Our Training Academy provides classroom-based and practical training across a wide range of subject areas including electronic warfare, cyber and human factors.
Technical Services Expertise
Within the UK, Inzpire’s technical services experts are integrated into service commands, delivery teams and MoD headquarters. They provide continuity, experience and technical knowledge that supports military output. Their expertise includes: equipment capability development and assessment; integrated test, evaluation and acceptance plans; mission data; electronic warfare; and concept development.
19 Mar 20. Nato firefighters train on new F-15 Mobile Aircraft Fire Training asset. Nato firefighters have completed training on the new F-15 Mobile Aircraft Fire Training (MAFT) asset. The training was conducted as part of Nato Firefighter Fundamentals course held from 9 to 13 March. The course was hosted by the 435th Construction and Training Squadron (CTS).
The course was conducted to train personnel in handling aircraft mishaps and pilot-extraction scenarios. The training was attended by 22 Nato firefighters from Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic.
A mock-up of the MAFT aircraft has been in development since 2018 and was used for training purposes for the first time on Ramstein AB.
The training involved multiple aircraft crash events. Additionally, it offered knowledge on potential hazards of F-15 Eagle aircraft and C-130 Hercules aircraft.
435th CTS fire rescue and contingency training instructor staff sergeant Robert Wellborn said: “We have students from all of the world coming to train.
“A lot of them have these aircraft at their base. Some might not, but they get the opportunity to train before they (are reassigned) to another base with the aircraft.
“It’s a little difficult in some respects with the language barrier but every country has someone that speaks English to translate and make it work.”
The course is conducted three to four times throughout the year.
435th CTS fire rescue and contingency training non-commissioned officer in charge technical sergeant Frank Butler said: “One of the key advantages of the MAFT asset is its mobility.”
The MAFT asset can be easily transported on a trailer to multiple locations whereas the C-130 mock-up fire trainer is fixed near the flight line. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
19 Mar 20. GAIC promoting JL-9 as carrier training aircraft for the PLAN. There are indications that procurement activities for a carrier-borne jet trainer for China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) may be initiated shortly or are already under way. The Guizhou Aviation Industry Corporation (GAIC), which builds the JL-9 Shanying (‘Mountain Eagle’) advanced jet trainer aircraft, has posted an image on its Weixin/WeChat social media site, representing the aircraft flying over one of the PLAN’s aircraft carriers with the caption “win a new victory in the development and production of the naval version of the Mountain Eagle”. The social media post has been picked up by the state-owned Global Times newspaper, which quoted other Chinese media outlets as saying that the JL-9 ‘Mountain Eagle’ trainer is set to be modified for aircraft carrier operations. (Source: Jane’s)
19 Mar 20. USAF to contract F/T-7X aircraft for fighter pilot training. The US Air Force (USAF) plans to contract a small number of trainer aircraft to teach skills specific to air combat under its Reforge proof of concept (RFX) programme. A notice of intent to award a sole-source contract to Hillwood Aviation for between four and eight advanced trainer aircraft to provide a total “turn-key” flying solution out of Langley Air Force Base (AFB) in Virginia was posted on behalf of the USAF’s Air Combat Command (ACC). These aircraft will be designated F/T-7X, in line with the T-7A designation recently given to the Boeing-Saab Redhawk that was selected to satisfy the USAF’s wider T-X Advanced Pilot Training (APT) requirement.
“ACC [has] drafted a concept of operations to rebuild the current fighter training forge (Reforge CONOP) employing an F/T-7X, ACC variant of the T-7, in a 12-month focused training programme. The CONOP deliberately develops and experiences fighter aviators with relevant tactical skills prior to their fighter’s Formal Training Unit (FTU). Reforge pilots will be eligible for the FTU/Track-1 course, taking about half as long as the Basic course”, the notification said.
As noted by the ACC, the new aircraft should have similar capabilities to the T-7A Redhawk that is currently in its engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase, and will provide approximately 3,000 sorties/4,500 flight hours annually for one day short of five years.
The notification states that the Acquisition Management Integration Center (AMIC) has identified Dallas-based Hillwood Aviation as the only source capable of providing aircraft with an active radar capable of detecting a fighter-sized target no later than 20 miles or the ability to install one without lapse or disruption of service within one year; with an embedded (synthetic) training system, or the ability to install one without lapse or disruption of service within one year; and with a closure rate of at least 1,100kt when conducting in-unit air-to-air combat training. (Source: Jane’s)
Meggitt introduces the next generation of immersive training — the FATS® 180MIL.
Delivering 180° high definition projection and 5.1 surround sound, the FATS 180MIL increases training realism, heightening awareness and proper use of force responses. Three borderless screens fit into almost any space with at least a 10’ tall ceiling, providing a 150” X 84” (16:9 aspect ratio) borderless projection surface. It also includes:
- Military Validation – The same high-fidelity ballistic engine validated by the US Army, USMC and other military customers.
o Provides accurate ballistic characteristics in flight.
o Supports and enforces the proper fundamentals of marksmanship.
- Immersive Training – Supports both 3D Marksmanship and Judgmental training.
- Courseware – Delivered with full array of training courseware.
- Hit Detection System – Three digital cameras interface directly with Off-CPU real-time (OCR) processor used by FATS® 100 system for easy upgrade path.
- Projectors – Ultra short throw projectors provide freedom of movement, displaying stunning visuals in 180°environment.
- Low-Light Subsystem (optional) – Practice in simulated low-light conditions with hand-held and weapon-mounted flashlights.
- Rack – Uses same transportable rack as the FATS 100 system.
- Realistic Sounds – Self-powered audio system plays scenarios in 5.1 surround sound. Using directional sound effects board, the instructor can incorporate unsettling sounds from any direction, including barking dog, crying baby, gunshots and more to elevate situational awareness.
- Supports up to 60 simulated weapons, including FATS weapons and ammunition types. Up to 4 simulated weapons can be assigned to a single user.
With the FATS 180MIL, users feel they’re in the action, facing decision-making pressures while maintaining situational awareness.