RAF sets new training balance

Source: Flightglobal, Mar 2014, By: Craig Hoyle

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As with other advanced fourth-generation fighters, the Eurofighter Typhoon is expensive to buy and fly, meaning that operators must seek to get the best efficiency from their training activities.

The Royal Air Force has twice sent some of its Typhoons and Panavia Tornado GR4s to Red Flag-series exercises staged from Nellis AFB, Nevada, within the past year, participated in others in Oman and the United Arab Emirates and also hosted UK-based activities with the air forces of France and Saudi Arabia. Performing such major co-operative work is essential for ensuring interoperability during coalition campaigns, but budget considerations mean such opportunities will always be limited.

At the other end of the spectrum, big changes are happening at the pilot training stage.

Inside the Typhoon Training Facility (TTF) at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, a suite of synthetic training devices is used to support instruction provided by the service’s 29 Sqn operational conversion unit (OCU) for the type. Each roughly three-month course includes four students, with around 40 pilots completing their instruction each year, including approximately eight who are undertaking refresher courses and others from the Royal Saudi Air Force.

FRONTLINE PILOTS

The infrastructure is also used to deliver continuation training to front-line pilots and instructors, and can be called upon for pre-deployment preparations, such as during the run-up to the NATO-led Libya campaign in 2011.

Currently, the RAF’s OCU syllabus is performed using a mix of 35% live flying and 65% synthetic training. “We harness the synthetics when it’s the right thing to do,” says Typhoon force commander Air Cdre Gary Waterfall, who notes: “You are not losing flying hours, but gaining operational capability. Some of the best training we’re getting is in the simulator.” Hardware includes two Thales-maintained full-mission domed simulators (ASTA FMS) and two half-dome cockpit trainers (ASTA CT/IPS-E).

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ASTA Full Mission Simulator (FMS)

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ASTA Cockpit Trainer (CT/IPS-E)

The TTF has until now had a mix of 10 BAE Systems and four RAF aircrew instructors, but by the end of 2014, a new arrangement will see industry become responsible for filling all of the positions – all with ex-military personnel. “The advantages are that we will have greater stability in terms of staff turnover, and that civilian instructors are not subject to additional demands of service life that our RAF colleagues have to face,” says the company’s aircrew training operations manager at the Coningsby site, Kev Watson.

Judging the best balance of live versus synthetic training is a subjective task, which requires the RAF and its student pilots to embrace a new culture, according to Waterfall.

In an RAF trial activity called “Pandora’s Buzzard”, supported by BAE instructors, several pilots were put through the OCU process using 100% simulator use, before performing a so-called “ghosted-solo”, with an instructor accompanying them in the jet as a safety back-up. “The trial demonstrated that the vast majority of the operational conversion course could be conducted synthetically and, on numerous occasions, a student’s first flight has been solo,” Watson says. “That’s a real boost for synthetic capability, for the ASTA [Eurofighter Aircrew Synthetic Training Aids] system.” It is also of significance as the UK moves towards fielding the single-seat-only Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from later this decade.

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Photo: Squadron RAF Coningsby Typhoon

Comandante en Jefe de La FACh Prueba Simulador de Vuelo del Eurofighter

Comandante da FACh experimenta simulador de Eurofighter Typhoon na Espanha - foto FACh

miércoles, 26 de febrero de 2014

En el marco de su visita a España, el Comandante en Jefe de la Fuerza Aérea de Chile, General del Aire Jorge Rojas Ávila, visitó las instalaciones de la empresa de defensa INDRA, donde probó un simulador de vuelo del caza Eurofighter.

Según la página WEB de INDRA, Eurofighter Simulation Systems (ESS) adjudicó a la empresa española el contrato para realizar actividades de producción del segundo lote de simuladores del Eurofighter. Este segundo lote comprende la producción de 15 nuevos simuladores para las cuatro naciones que componen el núcleo del programa: Reino Unido, Alemania, Italia y España.

INDRA produce la posición de instructor de seis de los nuevos simuladores ASTA (Aircrew Synthetic Training Aids) del EF-2000. El denominado avión alternativo, diseñado por INDRA, es una característica única de los simuladores ASTA, que consiste básicamente en su capacidad de transformarse en hasta 15 tipos distintos de avión para que un instructor a los mandos de un ASTA se haga pasar por otro avión. Así aparece a los ojos de un piloto alumno de Eurofighter que entrena en otro simulador conectado en red con él. De este modo, el alumno recibe un entrenamiento más realista luchando contra un avión enemigo o colaborando con un avión amigo.

Los simuladores están destinados al entrenamiento de vuelo y misión que deben realizar los pilotos del avión de combate europeo EF-2000, tanto de la Royal Air Force británica, como de la Luftwaffe alemana, la Aeronáutica italiana y el Ejército del Aire español. También se ha exportado el simulador, junto con el avión, a la Fuerza Aérea austriaca. Los simuladores permiten reducir los costes de formación de los pilotos de combate y mejoran la seguridad de la operación de estas complejas aeronaves. Además, adiestran a los pilotos para mantenerlos listos para combatir en todo tipo de entornos y circunstancias.

El proyecto ASTA contempla que los simuladores estén interconectados, de modo que puedan realizarse ejercicios conjuntos en los que participen diversos simuladores situados en las bases aéreas repartidas por España, Alemania, Reino Unido e Italia.

INDRA en El Eurofighter

INDRA fue seleccionada por las cuatro naciones participantes en el programa Eurofighter para liderar el macroproyecto para desarrollar toda la simulación del avión de combate europeo. Así, la compañía española lidera ESS (Eurofighter Simulation Systems GmbH), sociedad mixta europea constituida en Munich para este fin, y que incluye además a Thales del Reino Unido, a RDE/CAE de Alemania y Selex-Galileo de Italia.

Además, la compañía es uno de los principales suministradores de sistemas de aviónica embarcada en el EF-2000 y lidera, con soluciones propias, los sistemas automáticos de mantenimiento tanto de la defensa electrónica como de la aviónica de esta plataforma.

Comandante da FACh experimenta simulador de Eurofighter Typhoon na Espanha - foto 2 FACh

Comandante da FACh na Espanha - Base de Morónv- foto FACh

Kostensenkung: Piloten üben Luftkampf am Boden

Weniger Lärm und weniger Kosten: Piloten des Kampfflugzeugs Eurofighter sollen jetzt am neuen Simulator im ostfriesischen Wittmund trainieren. Kreischende Triebwerke und Kerosinfahnen am Himmel gibt es dann nicht mehr.

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Der neue Flugsimulator für das Kampfflugzeug Eurofighter, hier der Full Mission Trainer steht im Fliegerhorst in Wittmund

Wittmund. Kampfpiloten in Ostfriesland üben jetzt den Luftkampf am Boden. Die Luftwaffe hat dafür am Fliegerhorst in Wittmund einen Simulator für Piloten des Kampfflugzeugs Eurofighter in Betrieb genommen. Die rund 50 Millionen Euro teure Anlage bei der Taktischen Luftwaffengruppe “Richthofen” sei der vierte und bisher modernste Flugsimulator für das neue Waffensystem, sagte der Kommandeur Timo Heimbach am Mittwoch in Wittmund. Der Stützpunkt ist Basis für eine der deutschen Alarmrotten, die im Ernstfall den norddeutschen Luftraum sichern sollen.

Quelle Fotos: NDR, Luftkämpfer trainieren am Boden, Stand 08.01.2014

Die Nato schreibe rund 180 Stunden Flugzeit pro Pilot im Jahr vor, 40 davon könnten am Simulator absolviert werden. Dies spare erhebliche Kosten. Pro Pilot und Ausbilder fallen im Simulator jeweils rund 5000 Euro an, echte Flugstunden im neuen Eurofighter schlagen dagegen mit rund 75.000 Euro zu Buche.

In dem Vorgängermodell Phantom lagen die Kosten bei rund 20.000 Euro pro Flugstunde, weil defekte Teile von der Bundeswehr noch selbst gewartet, ausgetauscht und repariert werden konnten. Beim computergesteuerten Eurofighter übernimmt dies der Hersteller.

Die Innenansicht des Simulators ist geheim. Anders als bei bekannten Flugsimulatoren für den heimischen Computer soll die Grafik eher bescheiden sein. “Darauf kommt es auch weniger an als auf die Darstellung und Funktion der komplexen Flug- und Waffensysteme”, erklärte Heimbach. So könnten im virtuellen Cockpit ein Pilot gegen einen Gegner antreten oder zwei Piloten in zwei Eurofightern gegen mehrere “Feinde”. Ein kompletter Flug vom Anrollen im Hangar über den Start bis zur Landung lässt sich aufzeichnen und später zusammen mit den Ausbildern auswerten.

Pilot Andreas Keilen zeigte sich nach einer ersten Einweisung zufrieden mit der Anlage: “In extremen Luftkampfsituationen treten Kräfte von bis zu neun G auf, das entspricht dem neunfachen des eigenen Körpergewichtes. Davon ist im Simulator nichts zu spüren, aber die Optik und das Handling der Systeme sind schon sehr realitätsnah.”

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Eurofighter „Cockpit Trainer“; WZ-Foto: Knothe, 09.01.2014

Die Aufrüstung mit dem Flugsimulator ist Teil einer rund 140 Millionen Euro teuren Umrüstung des Fliegerhorstes Wittmund. Nach dem Ende der 40-jährigen Ära mit dem Kampfflugzeug Phantom wird das frühere “Richthofen”-Geschwader seit Jahren auf den Nachfolgetyp vorbereitet. Mit der Bundeswehrreform und einem Planungs- und Vergabestopp lag der Ausbau vorübergehend auf Eis, auch der zerlegte Simulator konnte nicht aufgebaut werden. Bei derzeit 730 Dienstposten soll die Zahl von sechs Eurofightern bis zum Jahr 2017 auf 20 Maschinen ansteigen.

Quelle Artikel: Hamburger Abendblatt; 08.01.14 Fliegerhorst in Wittmund

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Eurofighter „Cockpit Trainer“; Quelle: Friesisches Tageblatt; Foto: Oliver Oelke, 08.01.2014

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During December 2013 at Wittmund Air Base Eurofighter Simulation Systems (ESS GmbH) participated in the achievement of a significant milestone at the final acceptance by the customer of the last two ASTA Simulators procured for training the German Air Force Eurofighter.

This was a major 12 month programme of work during which the ESS team managed the successful installation, commissioning and setting to work of these two ASTA Simulators by ESS GmbH, working in close cooperation with Eurofighter GmbH.

Wittmund is now the fourth German MOB (Main Operating Base) to receive an ASTA Full Mission Simulator (FMS) and an ASTA Cockpit Trainer (CT/IPS-E) providing full mission training and procedural training respectively.

ASTA – high-quality, high-fidelity training system for Eurofighter pilots

ASTA Brochure
Col. Andreas Pfeiffer Former Wing Commander FW 74, Neuburg/Germany:

“The preparation in ASTA for the Alaska Red Flag exercise was so real, that pilots came back and reported a “déjà vu” already after the first mission. ASTA is best preparation training possible, as close to reality as it can be.”

Daniel Kraus Head of Training and Simulation Centre, Zeltweg/Austria:
“Due to the operational experiences accumulated so far, it can clearly be stated that without ASTA, a safe introduction as well as the ongoing operation of such a complex weapon system would not be achievable.
With the extraordinary volume of functionalities which ASTA provides, Air Forces of the operator nations have an efficient and indispensable tool for the education and training of their pilots. Without ASTA, this could only be partially realized through substantial additional costs.“

Anthony Gregory
RAF Wing Commander, MOD UK:

‘’The exceptionally high quality of training available from Eurofighter Typhoon ASTA simulators contributed greatly to the ability of the RAF to prepare pilots for full multirole operations in support of the recent Libyan crisis. It is testament to the ASTA, as part of an integrated training solution, that pilots could be trained to the exacting standards required for combat operations and be ready for deployment within one week.’’

Helmut Blaschke
Former German Air Force Weapon Instructor, holding over 3,000 hours on fast jets as a weapons instructor and instructor pilot, and giving training to the Eurofighter pilots in ASTA for 6 years:

„Due to the customer confirmed ‘high degree of expertise transfer’ from ASTA to the real world flying, we implemented a research based ‘Mission Readiness Training’ (MRT) into daily ASTA-Training. Mission Readiness Training includes ‘Combat Resource Management 2.0’ (CRM2.0TM) as well as ‘Threat and Error Management 2.0’ (TEM2.0TM).
Therefore MRT allows us not only to prepare pilots for the upcoming mission with a high degree of fidelity, but also to identify threats for errors of the aircrew in all regards of the combat flying envelope and the mission to come. The feedback of the p ilots so far is tremendous, because ASTA-MRT not only makes operation safer, but also more efficient.”

Col. Bernhard Teicke
Wing Commander FW 73 „Steinhoff“, Germany:
“The ASTA MOB at JG 73 “S” in Rostock-Laage, prepares all German Fighter Pilots for their future Eurofighter activities. The ASTA represents a key growth of simulation supported training for the German Air Force. Any mission profile of the current syllabus can be trained in the ASTA in advance of the real flying mission. This significantly increases training  efficiency. The result is a comprehensive aeronautical training using modern networked simulators and a unique computer based training facility. Despite the high demand for and high number of daily training missions, ASTA has proven to be very reliable and has become the backbone of German Eurofighter training.”

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text source: Eurofighter GmbH, ASTA Brochure, 2013
pictures: Eurofighter Simulation Systems GmbH, 2013

El Centro de Entrenamiento de Pilotos del Ala 11 ya cuenta con el tercer simulador de vuelo del Eurofighter

Defensa.com

Viernes 22 de Noviembre de 2013, 10:41

Spain

El tercer simulador ASTA (Aircrew Synthetic Training Aids) ya está operativo en el Centro de Instrucción en la Base Aérea de Morón del Ala 11. Del tipo “Full Mission Simulator” (FMS), el más completo, está dotado de un sistema visual de 360 grados en forma de domo y con posibilidad de entrenar con el equipo completo de vuelo. El simulador se integra con los otros dos existentes (otro FMS y un Cockpit Trainer) y permite realizar misiones en red de tres aviones de forma conjunta y simultánea.

Con esta adquisición el Centro de Instrucción de C.16 Eurofighter aumenta significativamente sus capacidades de instrucción a nivel operativo, del cual se beneficiarán las tripulaciones del Ala 11 y del Ala 14, unidades que operan este tipo de avión, además de incrementar la calidad y nivel de enseñanza impartida en el 113 Escuadrón del Ala 11 como Unidad de Conversión Operativa.

Cassidian  es la responsable de la entrega de todos los simuladores de vuelo de Eurofighter,  responsabilizándose de todas las actividades de instalación y puesta en marcha de este entrenador de cabina y de la estación interactiva de piloto (Cockpit Trainer / Interactive Pilot Station – CT/IPS-E), que junto al simulador de misión (Full Mission Simulator – FMS) forman el ASTA.

Los  ASTA están en servicio en las cinco de las naciones que operan el Eurofighter; Alemania, Austria, España, Italia y Reino Unido, destinados al entrenamiento de tripulaciones, cubriendo desde la familiarización con el avión, hasta las misiones reales en entornos tácticos altamente complejos, utilizando para ello un código software de avión adaptado al simulador para reflejar con un alto grado de fidelidad el comportamiento del avión y sus sistemas embarcados.

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foto: Ejército del Aire

Mission-ready: Anytime – Anywhere

ASTA – Aircrew Synthetic Training Aids

GAF Eurofighter Typhoon of JG-74 Neuburg over LithuaniaCopyright: Geoffrey Lee, PLanfocus Ltd

The world’s most advanced new generation multirole/swing-role combat aircraft comes with the unrivalled training capability of the ASTA (Aircrew Synthetic Training Aids) system. This high-quality, high-fidelity training system for pilots is an integral part of the Eurofighter Typhoon system. ASTA has been designed for Eurofighter Typhoon pilots to support mission readiness training and cater efficiently and cost-effectively for the mostdemanding training needs.

The ASTA suite comprises a full range of training devices, from basic to high-end, and can be specifically tailored to the needs of the Customer. ASTA is providing a fully immersive cockpit and synthetic training environment allowing full mission training. It has been designed from the outset to cover all envisaged roles for the Eurofighter Typhoon while on deployment or on active service.

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ASTA – The Winning Solution

IOS picMission Readiness Training

– Proficiency Training
– Tactical training
– Mission rehearsal
– Covering the most demanding scenarios

astaCost-effective Training

– Substituting live flying training
– More than 50% of training in ASTA
– Repetition stabilises skills on a high level
– Training availability 24/7

2Realistic Training

– Precise aircraft performance
– Realistic cockpit
– Up to 360° Field of View
– High Performance Synthetic Environment

6Customer oriented Training

– Effective customer oriented training
– Proven in Libya operations
– Trusted Air Policing (London Olympics, World Economic Forum)
– Effective preparation of several international exercises

ASTA – Pilot Performance

A combination of training with ASTA and the real aircraft exceeds the Air Forces’ 100% Training Requirement to achieve Combat Ready status.

Only training with the high-fidelity ASTA system allows training of Crew Resource Management (CRM) safety and Mission Readiness Training (MRT) issues.

ASTA Pilot Performance

ASTA – Training Cost Reduction

Only a combination of ASTA and aircraft flying training ensures combat ready status in an efficient and cost-effective way.

Training of the complete spectrum of tasks up to Flag Exercises in the simulator reduces the need and costs for live exercises.

ASTA Training Costs Reduction

Training costs of different training concepts
(Assumption: 50% Simulator Training and 50% Flying Training)
(* reach 80% capability in the ASTA only for a given time)

ASTA – Benefits for Customers

Original aircraft software

  • “Train as you fight” – no surprises in the aircraft for the pilot, the simulator has the same behaviour as the aircraft!
  • Immediate transfer of acquired skills from the simulator to the aircraft -> pilot immediately capable

High fidelity / high performance synthetic Environment

  • The pilot experiences the environmental effects, like weapon firing and impact, or Electronic Warfare like in the real world
  • Computer Generated Forces (Virtual Players) behave like manned players

Combination of original aircraft software and high fidelity / high performance synthetic environment

  • Pilot is mission ready from day one
  • Cost reduction through transfer of flight hours to simulator (extending airframe life and operational availability)
  • Situational awareness is drastically improved by repetition of non-obvious critical situations
  • Mission rehearsal and practise of war time missions which cannot be flown due to safety and/or peacetime regulations, missing assets or ranges

Use of mission data as in the aircraft

  • Preparation of the mission is identical for the simulator and the aircraft. No difference for the pilot until steptime

360° horizontal Field of View (HFoV)

  • Supports the full range of training tasks from familiarisation training up to combat-ready training

Over 500 malfunctions implemented, selectable in every possible combination

  • Intensive, best possible malfunction training for the pilots

Networking capability and integration of virtual players

  • Maximised training realism and flexibility

Extensive use of COTS hardware

  • Reduced in-service costs

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text source: Eurofighter GmbH, ASTA Brochure, 2013

ASTA Deployment 2013

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General

The Eurofighter ASTA product family provides a comprehensive portfolio of high fidelity devices addressing the full spectrum of User training tasks and needs.

  • Full Mission Simulator (FMS)
  • Cockpit Trainer/Interactive Pilot Station-Enhanced (CT/IPT-E) – Unit Level Trainer (ULT)
  • Cockpit Procedural Trainer (CPT)
  • Aircrew Part Task Trainer (APTT)

Through commonality of sub-systems and components across the device range the products are scalable enabling networked multi-mission training scenarios. This commonality also optimizes the reuse of spares and support needed.

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Key Aspects

The Eurofighter Aircrew Synthetic Training Aids (ASTA) has been developed as a result of European Staff Requirements for synthetic training to provide in excess of 30% of the overall flying training across all areas including:

  • Conversion-to-Type
  •  Combat Readiness
  •  Tactical Leadership
  • Mission Rehearsal

The ASTA devices provide a fully immersive, high fidelity synthetic environment that allows training in complex scenarios that cannot be live flown/trained reduces overall training costs and satisfies overarching environmental constraints.

Further developments, improvements and enhancements now mean that some Users can plan to meet the additional target of 50:50 live-synthetic training balance.

ASTA In-service

Existing Typhoon operators in the core NETMA Nations (GE, IT, SP & UK) and Austria make extensive use of the ASTA systems for pilot training/mission rehearsal and have collectively more than 55,000 hours of high fidelity simulated training. Through such simulated training all these customers benefit from extended aircraft life and lower cost. Such is the fidelity of the ASTA Full Mission Simulator that pilot conversion to Typhoon type has even been demonstrated with solo first flights in the aircraft. The exceptionally high quality of training available from EF Typhoon ASTA simulators contributed greatly to the ability of the User’s to prepare pilots for full multirole operations in support of the recent campaigns, where pilots could be trained to the exacting standards required for combat operations and be ready for deployment within one week.

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