Tens of thousands of sorties were held in the IAF's simulator centers this year. What did the field of simulators look like over the past year, and where is it headed?
An IAF simulator convention was held last week, attended by the IAF's simulator instructors, officers, simulator center commanders and simulator squadron commanders. During the convention, the participants discussed the IAF's activity in simulated training over the past year, improvement of instructional capabilities and sharing of advanced instructional means.
"The simulator instructors are, in many ways, responsible for the future of the IAF's preparedness", said Brig. Gen. Amnon Ein-Dar, Head of Training & Doctrine Division. "Aviation is dangerous and expensive, and so putting work into the field of simulators and increasing the scope of the force's simulative training is the direction we're headed in. Advanced technology and high-quality personnel will help us get very far".
The More You Know
Last year, tens of thousands of sorties were held in the IAF's simulator centers. Each simulator center trains thousands of aircrew members, RPAV (Remotely Piloted Aerial Vehicle) operators, air traffic controllers and air defense combatants, among others.
During the convention, the speakers displayed the IAF's plans for training in 2019. Over the past year, the IAF began the practice of performing pre-mission drills where the pilots drill the operational order just as they would perform it in real-time a short while later. The first division to implement this system was the "Adir" (F-35I) simulator division, and the "Nachshon Eitam" (Gulfstream G-550) division followed suit.
In the future, this mode of training is due to be in use in each of the force's divisions. Furthermore, as technology continues to advance, AI (Artificial Intelligence) is also due to become a significant facet of training in 2019.
"The simulators spread across the IAF's various airbases are responsible for training and maintaining the fitness of the force's service members. Those responsible for the instruction and training itself are the simulator instructors", said Maj. R', Head of the Simulator Department. "Their work is complex and challenging. The more we learn from each training session, the better the force's operational work will be. This tool is incredibly powerful, seeing as a large part of the IAF's training can only be performed in the simulator".
A quantum leap in simulated training was achieved when the Mission Training Center was established in Hatzor AFB in December of 2013. For the first time, aircrew members were able to drill specific sorties, fly in formation and train using virtual reality tools which provide a 360-degree view from the cockpit.
"Your work is invaluable", said Lt. Col. T', Head of the Instruction Department, to the simulator instructors. "The quality of the simulator division's manpower is incredible. We're making long processes and establishing a new grasp of simulators. It's important that you stay proactive and keep dreaming – the power is in your hands".