UAS simulators – Israeli solutions for a booming market

Air forces around the world have increasingly incorporated simulators during the past 20 years.

Machines range from desktop models to huge, moving versions housed in hangars. As a natural development, the number of simulators that help train unmanned air systems (UAS) operators started to grow five years ago. It is only the beginning.

If one assumes the Lockheed Martin F-35 will be the last manned combat aircraft to be manufactured, this will lead to a complete change in the simulator “scene” in air bases around the world.

Israel has developed and manufactured some of the most advanced UAS systems operational today and simulators help to train operators.

Simlat, a small Israeli company, identified the growing need for UAS simulators and in a few years has become a major developer and supplier.

Yuval Peshin, Simlat president, says the company is now active in 20 countries.

“In many cases we come into a market as subcontractors of the UAS manufacturer, but we also go there alone,” he said.

Peshin said the platform allows every UAS operator to adapt the system to its specific operational needs.

“The UAS has become more expensive and so is the situation with the payloads they are carrying,” Peshin said.

“The simulator decreases the risk of losing an operational system during training,” he said, adding that was one reason for growing demand.

Simlat’s simulators are designed to train all crew members of a UAS system, in most cases an external pilot, a system operator and a mission commander.

“The simulators allow the crews to train for a specific mission and for many types of scenarios, including those that are defined as homeland security,” Peshin said.

Simlat has a co-operation agreement with General Dynamics’ Information Systems and Technology Group to supply training for UAS operators in the US armed forces.

Recently, Simlat delivered a customised Israel Aerospace Industries Heron UAS payload operator training system to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

The simulator is designed to provide focused training for the payload operator and supports diverse training goals, from basic operation to mission rehearsal and intensive currency training.

According to Simlat, the system enables the customer to train its people in a realistic replica of the operational environment by providing high-end simulation of payload, sensors, platform and operational stations, and by adjusting mission scenario contents to suit the RAAF.

The training system is also equipped with a STANAG 4609 metadata output, allowing the RAAF to easily stream data into any standard-supporting device, such as imagery analysis systems.

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