Lockheed has been awarded a contract by the US Air Force (USAF) to provide for the first phase of the C-130J maintenance and aircrew training system (MATS) II programme, including programme management and engineering services.

Under the $84.3m contract, the company will deliver four weapons systems trainers to the Air Mobility Command, Air Combat Command and Air Force Special Operations Command for aircrew instruction.

The realistic training system features an electronic motion platform, an enhanced visual system and distributed mission operations networking.

The equipment allows aircrew and maintenance personnel to engage in ground-based training with remote and virtual participants before commencing training on the actual aircraft.

Instruction on the weapons systems trainers will begin in 2014.