The Naval Aviation Training System and Ranges programme office (PMA-205) recently completed testing its next-generation air combat training system, the Tactical Combat Training System Increment II (TCTS II), on an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.
“It is a significant milestone event when a system moves from lab testing to aircraft testing at Pax River. Due to the hard work of our government and industry team, these tests are meeting program schedule dates to enable low rate production this April,” said Capt. Lisa Sullivan, PMA-205 program manager.
Traditional air combat training missions have included a combination of live and simulated range training missions designed to prepare aircrew for real world combat with adversaries.
As training requirements have changed over time, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps have worked with industry to find innovative methods to revolutionize the way air combat training is conducted while improving integrated training readiness at the same time.
The TCTS II system, developed by Collins Aerospace Systems, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is an open architecture system that enables highly-secure air combat training between aircraft.
It replaces and advances the existing range training infrastructure and fields the first certified encrypted, multiple independent levels of security training equipment in both airborne and ground equipment.
“This is one step closer to bringing these real-time training capabilities to the warfighter, in the end allowing them to train like they fight,” said Melissa Benish, PMA-205 TCTS II lead assistant program manager for test and evaluation.
“Our strategy is developmental test with a focus on mission-level requirements.”