A new training system that claims to bridge the gap between ground-based simulators and using sophisticated aircraft is being demonstrated for the first time by Israeli company Elbit Systems.

The Advanced Combat Training System (ACTS) grew out of a Romanian air force requirement that formed part of Elbit's late 1990s update of the IAR99 Soim advanced trainer/light attack aircraft. "We've developed ACTS beyond what was requested," said Arie Tal, Elbit's corporate secretary, at the show yesterday.

Using a ground-based station and datalink, an instructor can produce virtual performance in the airborne aircraft - it can, for example, produce virtual radar performance on a cockpit display, even if no radar is fitted to the aircraft.

Radar performance can either be generic, or customised to the radar used by an individual customer. Threats, missiles and electronic warfare scenarios can also be artificially reproduced.

"It's an extremely effective way of training pilots that is much better than doing it on a ground simulator, but it is very cost-effective," says Tal. "The fact that we can interact from the ground and inject threats, assess kills and hits during the flight makes it more real.

"The concept is to bridge the gap between trainers on the market, many of which are very old, and the advanced platforms that are flying today. ACTS imitates systems that you might find on a modern aircraft."

Elbit cites as an advantage over other ground-based air combat training systems the fact that the flights do not have to take place over an instrumented range.

Source: Flight Daily News