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Air Force Picks L-3 Communications’ Simulation Programs for UAV Training

Software and visual-system databases simulate aircraft performance

The U.S. Air Force’s Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio selected L-3 Communications’ Link Simulation & Training division to provide simulation programs for the Air Force’s Predator Mission Aircrew Training System, which instructs crews on the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Air Force awarded the re-compete contract to L-3 Communications, a provider of command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, because L-3’s “PMATS system is a proven, efficient and cost-effective platform for unmanned aircraft simulation,” said Steve Kantor, L-3 Electronic Systems Group’s president.

In 2005, the Air Force became L-3 Communications’ “first unmanned-aircraft system training customer,” Kantor said. “We remain committed to providing MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper combat operators with a maximum level of training realism as they prepare to undertake missions of global vigilance, reach and power,” he added.

Initial transitional funding will be used to provide L-3 Link’s ongoing contractor logistics support and Training System Support Center activities for all 26 PMATS devices located at Air Force installations throughout the continental United States, the company said.

Each PMATS training system uses an actual ground-control station that is integrated with L-3 Link’s simulation software and visual-system databases to create a high-fidelity environment that simulates aircraft performance, weapons, sensors, communications, data-link operations, emergencies, degraded video feeds and environmental conditions.

Predator and Reaper crews can gain initial qualification, mission qualification, continuation and mission rehearsal training in PMATS units, L-3 said.

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