The Israeli air force’s “operational simulator” has been officially opened.
When you hear the word “simulator”, you likely think of the cockpit of an aircraft that allows pilots to train on reacting to different situations encountered during a mission.
The operational simulator at the IAF Hazor air base is something else. It’s a huge simulator “farm” that allows the air force to plan a mission for a full squadron – or more than one – and perform it on the ground, to debug it before the fighter’s engines are started.
The facility includes 8 F-16I full-dome, high-definition simulators supplied by Elbit Systems.
The Israeli company built the facility under a private financing initiative programme, and is selling simulator hours to the IAF according to a 15-year contract.
The simulators are networked together and with other simulators used by the IAF, located in other bases.
Two operator stations in the facility are used by “Red Squadron”, which injects adversary scenarios to the F-16I simulators.
The IAF wants some artificial intelligence capabilities, and these will be added in the future.
In the next few months the operational simulator will be upgraded to allow F-15 pilots to take part in the networked training.
In a complex, demanding region this new simulation capability will enable operations to be performed after all the minute details have been checked and rechecked.
As many operations involving the IAF have only a “one go” situation, the new simulator is essential – like the aircraft and the weapons they carry.