The Israeli air force will officially inaugurate a mission training centre (MTC) at Hazor air base on 15 December, with the Elbit Systems-built facility already used to support pilots of the service's Lockheed Martin F-16C/D and F-16I combat aircraft.
The MTC is to be operated under a private finance initiative model, with Elbit responsible for providing instruction, operations and maintenance services.
Elbit vice-president Alon Afik says the centre's establishment marks a significant breakthrough in the operational training sector. "The system enables training in various mission scenarios in different theatres, with the relevant threat environment for each theatre," he says. "The MTC brings an advanced training capability that was not available to the Israeli air force in the past."
The centre enables coordinated mission training between pilots, both within the Israeli air force and at an interoperable strategic level. It is based on Elbit's “One sim” infrastructure, which incorporates an advanced arena generator which injects simulated inputs into a realistic virtual environment, as well as infrastructure to support the environment used. The image generator employed was jointly developed with Barco.
Israeli crews will be able to train in formations of two, four or even eight aircraft, under the supervision of flight inspectors, who can take an active part in each training session by controlling adversary forces, if required. The system also enables pilots to train together with operational controllers from various of the air force's control units, by planning missions together using orders issued by the MTC team.
Afik says the centre's high-quality training capabilities will allow the air force to conduct operational-style training sorties using ground-based equipment, rather than fighters, allowing it to maximise the use of its resources, reduce life-cycle costs and enhance the readiness and effectiveness of its crews.
Two stations in the MTC will be used by the air controllers which staff the different centres that manage and follow all air traffic over Israel and its neighbouring areas.