As the competition for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) “basic wing course” request for proposal heats up, Aermacchi’s M-311 is making waves as the only jet-powered contender to bid against turboprop trainers. But the aircraft is also unique in demonstrating BVR Systems’ embedded virtual avionics (EVA) and is the first such device to perform synthetic ground-mapping radar simulation during an actual flight.
Embedded simulation has become the “must have” item on training procurement officers’ wish lists and is a technology that BVR Systems has been working on since 1995. The company is a leader in training and simulation and has been trying to interest markets in the embedded simulation concept, with only limited success–until recently.
Today the benefits in terms of “force multiplication” and maximizing each training sortie are becoming widely accepted and BVR has supplied systems integrators such as Galileo and CMC while working with Honeywell on a proposal to install the system in the Boeing T-45 Goshawk. The Raytheon T-6B Texan II is also seen to be a candidate.
Aermacchi has enthused over BVR’s EVA embedded training solution on-board the M-311, the company’s senior vice president engineering Massimo Battini commenting that it “performed over and above expectations and was greatly appreciated by the pilots and engineers performing the test.” BVR’s CEO Ilan Gillies echoed his pleasure at these results.
The advanced sensors and avionics simulation on-board the M-311 significantly expands the training envelope of the aircraft, not only for pilot cadets but also for weapon system operators. Working with Galileo, BVR Systems has also provided Aermacchi with EVA for integration in the M-346.
Although export approval would be needed for any overseas order, BVR notes that the EVA has been designed to be unclassified and consequently the company is taking the opportunity to promote the system to other integrators as well as visiting air force delegations.
BVR has developed a mature embedded simulation suite that places it in a strong position to get on board both future and existing trainers. The fact that the system trains pilots for a wide range of mission scenarios on a variety of avionics system has been noticed by the UK Royal Air Force, which is also evaluating the M-311 as a potential replacement for its Tucano turboprop trainers.
The on-board training capabilities made possible by embedded simulation include a virtual radar suite with a full range of air-to-air and air-to-ground radar modes in addition to ground mapping capabilities. A virtual electronic warfare (EW) suite includes radar and missile warning plus countermeasures dispensing systems. Integration in all types of aircraft is as simple as plugging a new card into the avionics computer but the bottom line is that EVA cuts overall training costs.