F-15 aircraft

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract to deliver a comprehensive ground-based training environment for the Royal Saudi Air Force’s (RSAF) F-15 Saudi Advanced (SA) aircraft modernisation programme.

Awarded by the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center as part of a foreign military sales (FMS) agreement, the $253m contract covers production and supply of F-15SA pilot and maintenance training systems to the air force.

Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training business training solutions vice president Jim Weitzel said the complement of F-15SA training systems begins with desktop trainers and gradually increases in capability to full mission weapons systems trainers.

"This creates a cost-effective programme since the appropriate level of technology is applied to meet the training objectives," Weitzel added.

"Manufacturing work under the contract will be carried out at the company’s facilities in Ohio and Florida, US."

Designed to be used for air-to-air combat, air-to-surface missions, air combat manoeuvres and tactical intercepts, the 360° full mission pilot trainers also feature a single dome over the dual-seat cockpit, to enable crew coordination training.

The company will also supply egress, avionics and desktop trainers for procedure training by pilots.

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Maintenance trainers include basic maintenance, landing gear and arresting hook, armament, as well as flight controls and jet fuel starter trainers to support training without the requirement for actual aircraft.

Manufacturing work under the contract will be carried out at the company’s facilities in Ohio and Florida, US, with deliveries scheduled to be completed by 2020.

Lockheed has previously also delivered weapons systems officer training programmes for RSAF, having acted as its F-15 training partner for more than three decades.

An upgraded version of F-15 Eagle aircraft, F-15 SA is designed to provide RSAF with an all-weather, multirole fighter capability to conduct long-range, high-speed interdiction missions, without relying on escort or electronic warfare aircraft.

Image: The Royal Saudi Air Force’s F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft being refuelled in flight. Photo courtesy of TECH. SGT. H. H. DEFFNER.

Defence Technology