L-3 Communications recently announced that it has been awarded a follow-on production contract from the US Army to build three additional US Army Aviation Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (AVCATT) suites. This award calls for L-3 to build AVCATT suites 21 through 23.

Since 1999, L-3 has been the prime contractor and system integrator on AVCATT. To date, L-3 has delivered 15 AVCATT suites that are enabling US Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve aircrews to execute complex, combined arms missions within contemporary operational environments.

This new order calls for L-3 to deliver AVCATT suites to US Army active and reserve component training sites at Hammond, LA; Fort Bliss, TX; and Fort Campbell, KY. In January 2009 the first of these newly ordered AVCATT suites will be delivered. Follow-on installations will occur in March and May of 2009.

“Over the years AVCATT has proven its value in preparing Army aviators to effectively operate as teams and achieve mission success,” said Lenny Genna, Vice President of US Army programs at L-3 Link Simulation and Training. “The training capabilities offered by AVCATT not only have increased the skills of Army aviators, but also have contributed to the development of effective commanders responsible for making critical mission decisions.”

AVCATT enables multiple suites – each consisting of six reconfigurable simulators – to be networked. Collective training exercises involve simulated attack, reconnaissance, utility and cargo helicopters, in addition to friendly and opposing intelligent semi-automated forces. AVCATT also can be networked with the US Army’s Close Combat Tactical Trainer system and other virtual simulators, providing an unprecedented level of training realism involving both rotary wing and mechanized forces.

Each AVCATT suite consists of two mobile 53-foot trailers that house six reconfigurable simulators, a battle master control room and an after-action review theater. The simulators can be reconfigured to represent any combination of AH-64D, AH-64A, OH-58D, UH-60A/L and CH-47D platforms.

AVCATT’s battle master control station, home to the battle master, training unit observer controller, semi-automated force controller and role players, provides the capability to monitor and record each unit’s mission performance. Four role player stations in the battle master control room enable individuals to serve as artillery, joint air support, ground, engineer or logistics force commanders.

When a mission is completed, the recorded data and video is presented in the after-action review theater. During this mission debrief, aircrews review their performance and determine which skills or tactics need to be further honed. The after-action review theater can also be used to view training in progress.