Raytheon Australia has been selected to supply three new F/A-18 Hornet flight simulators for the Royal Australian Air Force, Defence Minister Robert Hill announced today.
The $74 million contract for acquisition and support of the simulators will significantly improve pilot training in the use of the new weapons and systems being acquired for our fleet of fighter aircraft.
Two simulators and a debrief facility will be located at RAAF Base Williamtown in New South Wales, the home of the Hornet fleet, and one new Hornet simulator and debrief facility will be located at Tindal in the Northern Territory. Raytheon will also be contracted to provide full in-service support and this will create a moderate number of new jobs at both Williamtown and Tindal.
The simulators are manufactured by L3 Communications Link Simulation and Training and are based on the latest production Hornet simulators being provided to the United States Navy and Canadian Forces.
“The simulators will improve training for pilots by allowing them to conduct basic conversion training to adapt their skills from other aircraft to the Hornet through to full advanced tactical training,” Senator Hill said.
“The computer simulated combat environment will provide pilots with the opportunity to practice their skills in air-to-air combat and intercepts, bombing and formation flying.
“The technology will allow individual and multiple pilot training with simulated friendly and hostile aircraft.
“The simulators will represent another key element of a modern, networked Defence Force. They can be linked so that pilots in Williamtown and Tindal will be able to engage in mock battles and other tactical training. In time they will be able to conduct combined simulated training missions with other ADF assets, such as the Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft.
“They will then be able to replay their missions in the debrief facility so they can go over what they did right and learn from their mistakes.”
Senator Hill said the new simulators would ensure that the RAAF’s combat aircrew – already its most potent asset – maintained their edge into the future.
Pilots will start training on the new simulators from mid 2006
Advanced F/A-18 Hornet Simulators for the Royal Australian Air Force