21 May 2019

UK and US cooperate on simulator training

New training simulator ‘Gladiator’ will allow RAF personnel and US aircrew to prepare for numerous exercises and challenges.

The training simulator programme was announced at RAF Waddington as part of an official visit. The flexible programme will allow personnel to adapt exercise capabilities, missions, tactics, and procedures during training, according to Defence Minister Andrew Stuart, who made the announcement.

The £36million contract for the technology was signed with Boeing Defence UK and will include design and manufacture of the systems and software needed. It will allow Typhoon pilots to test out simulated missions alongside US pilots as well as allowing them to interact with UK and US Joint Terminal Attack Controllers who direct combat aircraft from an advanced ground-based position.

Senior Responsible Owner for the Programme Air Commodore David Bradshaw said: “This contract award signals the go-ahead for the core element of the Royal Air Force’s future synthetic training capability. This new capability, known as Gladiator, will provide a step-change in the ability of our front-line Forces to train together in operationally realistic situations to meet an ever-increasing adversary threat.”

“Combined with other Programmes that are delivering new aircraft simulators to front-line Squadrons, Gladiator will allow aircrew to hone their skills, training with colleagues and allies. Our crews will be better prepared for a range of current and potential scenarios they may face. Gladiator is the pathfinder programme for similar synthetic training solutions planned across UK Defence.”

After initial trials, it is expected that the technology will be upgraded to include F-35 Lightning jets and navy operation training sessions. The simulations allow pilots to replicate scenarios that would be impossible with traditional training methods due to airspace, security constraints, and availability of equipment.

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