F/A-18 TOFT system

L-3 Link Simulation & Training (L-3 Link) has handed over two ready-for-training F/A-18C Hornet tactical operational flight trainer (TOFT) systems under contract to the Kuwait Air Force (KAF).

The trainers were ordered by the US Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division under a $24.1m foreign military sales programme contract for replacement of the KAF’s existing F/A-18 weapons tactics trainers in November 2010.

In addition to simulators, the company supplied two instructor operator stations, a brief/debrief system, associated computational systems, as well as a theatre-specific visual system database.

L-3 Link Navy and Marine programmes vice president Frank Casano said the new simulators will significantly increase the air force’s training capability.

”The trainers enable Kuwait F/A-18 pilots to enhance their tactical skills over a full range of mission areas in an immersive environment that represents the same configuration as the Kuwaiti aircraft,” Casano added.

Equipped with L-3 Link’s SimuSphere 360° field-of-view visual display, both simulators will enable KAF pilots to jointly conduct simulated air-to-air and air-to-ground tactics, normal and emergency procedures, and night vision goggle operations in a robust synthetic environment.

Additional features include the 19C(K) and 23X(K) operational flight programme, and associated aircraft systems to support simulation of the aircraft’s comprehensive weapons and sensors suite that includes the advanced targeting forward-looking infrared system.

The simulators also share a common architecture with the US Navy’s Roadmap Procurement Program F/A-18 TOFTs, which will eventually result in simplification of future simulator upgrades and reduction of the lifecycle cost of the KAF’s overall training system.

Widely delivered to the navy, Marine Corps and other international militaries, the F/A-18 TOFT trains pilots in field and carrier takeoffs and landings, low altitude flight, air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons delivery, electronic countermeasures and emergency procedures.

Image: An F/A-18 Hornet tactical operational flight trainer system installed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Japan . Photo: US Navy photo.

Defence Technology