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Simulator for F-35 naval test pilots ready to use
by Richard Tomkins
Washington (UPI) Mar 28, 2017

Esterline visual systems picked for Typhoon pilot training
Washington (UPI) Mar 28, 2017 - Belgium-based Esterline has been contracted by BAE Systems to deliver visual systems for Typhoon simulator training facilities.

The two visual systems are to be delivered to Britain's Royal Air Force by the end of this year and will provide pilots with high-performance, high-fidelity visual systems as they prepare for operational deployments around the world.

"The outstanding capability of the display system we have selected from Esterline was a key discriminator in awarding this contract and is vital in ensuring we deliver our training and support requirements to the Royal Air Force," Anthony Gregory, campaign delivery director at BAE Systems, said in a press release.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is an advanced, multi-role combat jet BAE is supporting for the British government, which is offering it to Belgium as part of the Air Combat Capability program.

Rockwell Collins tapped for aircraft detection system
Washington (UPI) Mar 28, 2017 - Rockwell Collins received a $142 million contract from the U.S. Navy for the procurement of the Tactical Combat Training System Increment II.

The system, also known as TCTS, is being designed to replace the Navy's current methods for tracking and detecting aircraft during tactical training exercises.

The U.S. Department of Defense says the new contract will result in environmental improvement for air combat training, range-less air combat and secure air-to-air and air-to-ground data links.

The agreement includes ground subsystems, remote range units and other capabilities for fixed and rotary-wing aircraft.

Work will be performed at various locations in Iowa, Florida and Texas, and is expected to be complete by November 2022.

Rockwell Collins received $8.3 million in fiscal 2017 research, development, testing and evaluation funds at the time of the contact award, none of which is set to expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The project will be overseen by the Naval Air Warfare center in Orlando, Fla.

TCTS uses Global Positioning System capabilities to provide real-time tracking of allied aircraft during military training events. The system can follow planes at a range of up to approximately 350 nautical miles from any remote range unit.

The system can also be used in a range-less mode with no ground infrastructure.

An F-35 flight simulator from BAE Systems is ready for use by pilots in preparation for flight trials on Britain's new Queen Elizabeth-Class aircraft carrier.

BAE Systems said the refurbished simulator comprises a cockpit moved by an electronic motion platform and a full representation of the ship's flying control tower, where a Landing Signal Officer on board the carrier will control aviation operations.

The simulator, operating at a special-built facility, provides a 360-degree immersive experience for pilots to fly the jet to and from the UK carrier in a range of difficult sea and weather conditions.

Maneuvers practiced include ski jump short take-offs and vertical landings that use both the vertical thrust from the jet engine and aerodynamic lift from the wings.

British and U.S. military test pilots who have experience of flying F-35s from U.S. Navy carriers will train with the system in advance of the British carrier becoming available next year.

"The immersive experience is as near to the real thing as possible," Peter 'Wizzer' Wilson, BAE Systems' test pilot for the short take-off and vertical landing variant on the F-35 program, said in a press release. "The data will show us exactly what will happen when F-35 pilots fly to and from the Queen Elizabeth carriers.

"The trials we can run through the simulator are far more extensive than what we will do in the actual flight trials because we can run and re-run each trial until we have all the data we need. The simulator provides greater cost efficiency for the overall program and is extremely important to the success of the first flight trials."

The previous version of the simulator was built in the 1980s for the Harrier jump-jet and the Hawk advanced jet trainer, and was later converted for the F-35.

Terma, Northrop Grumman sign MOU for F-35 components
Washington (UPI) Mar 28, 2017 - Terma A/S of Denmark has signed a memorandum of understanding with Northrup Grumman for future opportunities to produce F-35 components.

The MOU, signed Tuesday by representatives of both companies, says that Northrop Grumman will offer Terma the opportunity for continued F-35 component work for the F-35 beyond Low Rate Initial Production Lot 11 work.

"The agreement we signed today is strong evidence of Terma's present and future position on the F-35 program and it shows how collaboration can benefit Terma, Danish Industry, and the F-35 program as a whole," Terma President and Chief Executive Officer Jens Maal√łe said in a press release. "Terma has established a solid and reliable technology base for our future involvement in the F-35 program beyond LRIP 11."

Terma currently has eight different production programs for advanced composite structural parts and electronic components for F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike fighter.

Terma has been working on the program since 2002 when Denmark joined the F-35 program as a partner country.

In 2012 the company signed a long-term agreement with Northrop Grumman to manufacture composite and bonded assembly parts for all three F-35 variants.

"We appreciate the expertise that Terma employees continue to deliver for the Northrop Grumman F-35 center fuselage program," said Northrop Grumman International Procurement Manager Saima Ahmad. "This agreement exhibits Northrop Grumman's confidence that Terma will continue to produce the highest quality parts for the best value."

Pakistan orders additional AW139 helicopters
Washington (UPI) Mar 28, 2017
Leonardo of Italy reports that Pakistan has signed a new order for additional AgustaWestland AW139 twin-engine helicopters. The aircraft will be used for utility, search-and-rescue, and emergency medical operations. The exact number of the medium-lift helicopters to be delivered beginning next year and the value of the contract was not disclosed. AgustaWestland, maker of t ... read more

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