The Australian Air Force (RAAF) has introduced a new technologically advanced visual environment maintenance trainer at its base in Amberley for training for its new F/A-18F Super Hornet.

Minister for Defence Personnel Materiel and Science Greg Combet said the Visual Environment Maintenance Trainer consists of a mock Super Hornet cockpit with touch screens that allow air force maintenance students to perform diagnostic and system functional checks in a realistic setting.

“The cockpit simulator provides students with the opportunity to work on complex maintenance issues without actually being in a real aircraft,” Combet said.

“The new trainer can also be quickly reprogrammed to create new faults and allow students to do more diagnostic analysis in a shorter period of time than could be performed using other training tools.

“These new features will ensure that the air force is at the forefront of Australian aviation technical training and will allow students to gain greater experience on Super Hornet systems before applying their new skills to real aircraft.”

The 24 new F/A-18F Super Hornets, acquired by the air force to aid the transition to a mature joint strike fighter capability and allow the air force to replace its F-111 fleet, will be delivered to the RAAF base at Amberley in 2010.