Simulators keep pace with platform innovation

As combat platforms are constantly updated, training tools must also be changed accordingly – and with the Israeli air force (IAF) upgrading its fleet all the time, this parallel process is inevitable.

With the arrival of new platforms, the IAF’s main training and operational planning tools – its simulators – are being upgraded.

While a new connected simulator farm is being operated for the benefit of the force’s Lockheed Martin F-16′s pilots, older simulators are getting an upgrade that will keep them useful.

The IAF’s Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter simulator at Palmahim air base will be upgraded in the coming months.

According to a contract signed earlier this year with simulator manufacturer CAE, changes will be introduced to the simulator to bring it up to the new cockpit configuration of the Black Hawk 2025 helicopter. The new cockpit configuration is the result of an extensive avionics upgrade that has been performed in recent years.

According to the IAF website, in addition to changes in configuration, the display infrastructure will also be replaced. Because the transport helicopter simulator is built with selectable displays for both Sikorsky CH-53 and Black Hawk helicopters, the enhancement will also assist aircrews using the CH-53 simulator.

The IAF will use the interchangeable simulator to train Black Hawk and CH-53 flightcrews, but also for the planning of special operations.

The upgrade will enhance the capability of the simulator to be a vital tool in planning complicated missions – like those performed during the recent Protective Edge operation in the Gaza Strip.

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