American aerospace firm Lockheed Martin has introduced its new state-of-the-art training simulator for the F-35 combat aircraft that reportedly has better features than the F-35 full mission simulator.
Dubbed the Mission Rehearsal Trainer – Lightning Integrated Training Environment (MRT-LITE), the system has three screens, glass cockpit handles, touchscreen devices, and other add-ons necessary to simulate F-35 mission and rehearsal tasks.
The company also revealed that the simulator has a smaller “hardware footprint” than the previous version, making it easy to transport.
One MRT-LITE platform can reportedly fit into a space smaller than 10 square feet. Eight of them can fit into a facility currently taken up by one F-35 full mission simulator.
“You can still raise landing gear, do the engine run switches — all those kinds of things you would normally do in a cockpit trainer,” Lockheed official Erik Etz said, as quoted by National Defense. “It’s just a much-reduced hardware footprint to provide both a space savings and affordability option for our customers.”
The MRT-LITE platform utilizes Lockheed’s advanced mission training technologies to link pilots across military platforms and support their training in various environments.
Training simulator devices also have “significantly lower” costs than those integrated into the F-35 full mission simulator.
With all the cutting-edge features of the new simulator, Lockheed is awaiting customer feedback before integrating augmented reality elements into the head-mounted display.
No contracts for the MRT-LITE platform have yet been signed. However, the company said clients from the US and other countries have shown interest in the technology.
“More pilots can be trained, and our customers are screaming for more and more training — internationally and domestically,” Lockheed vice president of F-35 training and logistics Raashi Quattlebaum remarked. “This will allow them to get more people trained, [and] it will also be an affordable solution and it’s portable.”