Graham Warwick/WASHINGTON DC

THE USAIR FORCE plans a contractor-financed and operated aircrew training-system for the McDonnell Douglas F-15C air-superiority fighter. The winning company will be required to fund production of the system, with the Air Force paying for training services once it becomes operational, in March 1999.

The system will consist of four networked F-15C simulators at each of two sites, Eglin AFB and Langley AFB, with options for additional four-ship systems at other locations. Each four-ship configuration must be capable of long-haul networking with geographically separate systems, such as the Boeing E-3 mission simulators at Tinker AFB.

The USAF requires 360 degree field-of-view visual systems for the F-15 simulators, but says that the space available precludes the use of dome displays. This suggests that contractors will be required to propose helmet-mounted visual displays.

The contractor will be responsible for providing the training devices and instructors, maintenance, configuration management and modification. One of the two initial four-ship systems will be the Aerial Combat Enhanced Simulator (ACES)centre - augmented with engineering tools to act as a modification and technology-insertion system. The centre will be responsible for ensuring the rapid insertion of technology to improve simulator training and facilitate aircraft concurrency.

The USAF plans to award a fixed-price contract for six years' worth of training services. The contractor will be able to win award fees by implementing new technologies to improving training capability, maintaining concurrency with the aircraft and exceeding trainer-availability targets.

Source: Flight International