A venerable Apache helicopter simulator has been reborn for the use of the Israeli air force.
The simulator, manufactured by LINK, was recently transferred to a new location in the USA, and is helping to train IAF pilots on this type of helicopter.
Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter pilots operated dozens of mission above the Gaza Strip during operation “Protective Edge”. They hovered above, assisting ground forces with fire and defending helicopters evacuating wounded soldiers.
Apache crews go through intense instruction prior to operational activity, including simulator training, in order to practice emergency situations.
The LINK Apache simulator was recently transferred to the IAF, after being used by American armed forces for many years.
Just 10 models of the simulator have been manufactured since the 1980s. Aircrews from around the world – including IAF crew – used to fly to the US and train in the simulator.
With the gradual retirement of Apache helicopters in the USA, the simulators are also being taken out of service.
A year ago, the last Apache simulator used by the IAF and other air forces ceased operations. “The IAF didn’t want to stop using the simulator because it is a cornerstone in training new aircrews, and is vital for maintaining operational competence,” Maj Assaf, head of the helicopter simulation department told the IAF website.
As a result, the IAF requested the transfer of the simulator from the USA.
The unit originally operated in Arizona, but with the change of ownership it was moved. However, due to high transportation costs the simulator remained in the USA.
After a year-long transferring process, the simulator is now in a different US state and being operated by a non-military company.
The IAF will be able to use the simulator whenever necessary. In addition, the service will be able to upgrade the unit’s software and display systems.
Because of the relocation efforts, the simulator was out of service for a year. In August, the simulator was reactivated and made ready to train crews from the Apache “Magic Touch” squadron.