Elgin Air Force Base in the US set to house an integrated training centre for the F-35 fighter programme.

The F-35 joint strike fighter, being developed by Lockheed, Northrop and BAE Systems, is a fifth-generation stealth fighter that is equipped with fused sensor information and is capable of network-enabled operations.

Lockheed Martin vice president and F-35 deputy programme manager Eric Branyan said the centre would feature a full mission simulator that will be networked to other trainers on site, enabling formation flying and virtual war gaming.

“Technology is integral to the training centre and allows pilots and trainers to experience hands-on interaction,” Branyan said.

“The trainers include a stick and throttle and helmet-display glasses, along with a realistic F-35 panoramic cockpit display, voice command and internet connectivity for multiship formations.”

The training centre will open in 2010, with F-35 deliveries to Eglin AFB also scheduled for 2010 and initial operational capability scheduled for 2013.

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