The air force's flight instructor farm in Hazor.
Operational tasks can be practiced on the ground before takeoff (Photo: Ministry of Defense)
The IDF is increasing its efforts to transfer training to simulators, as a means of saving valuable engine hours and flight hours and conducting complex training without risking and without disturbing the public and harming the environment.
The procurement manager at the Ministry of Defense has agreed with the Elbit company on the expansion of the mission training center (MLAM) that operates at the Hazor base and contains trainers for the army's F-15 and F-16 aircraft.
The center established in 2016 will now be expanded to allow doubling the amount of flight hours performed in coaches, while reducing expensive flight hours performed in the air.
In the future, the center will also enable connectivity for the training of the ground forces as well as for additional trainers in the Air Force.
The value of the deal is estimated at NIS 400 million.
The center makes it possible to practice on the ground a wide range of flight situations, from basic familiarization with the plane, through simulating emergency situations to practicing operational tasks before taking off for them.
"This is a significant upgrade of the Air Force's training capabilities both in terms of the scope of training and in terms of upgrading training capabilities while thinking and looking at the reception of future platforms for the Air Force. In addition, shifting flight hours to training at the training center will yield cumulative multi-year savings amounting to hundreds of millions of shekels," he said VP and Chief Executive Officer, Avi Dadon.
The stealthy F-35s were picked up in advance at Nabatim base with an advanced simulator, and their pilots perform 50% of their flight hours on the ground.
The Air Force does not disclose its flight hour costs, but an F-35 flight hour in the US Air Force is estimated at about 30-40 thousand dollars.
Flight time Flight on F-16 is cheaper.
The Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Lt. Col. Eyal Greenboim, said that "as part of the renewal for the challenges of the future, the center for the simulation mission training of the battle array will be expanded. This is in order to strengthen the competence of air crew fighters and the competence of the Air Force as a whole, and at the same time bring about economic efficiency."
Last week, Elbit received another contract from the Ministry of Defense, also for NIS 400 million, for three training centers for armor in the IDF. Here, too, it is an attempt to save expensive engine hours for the Chariot Mark-4 tanks and the consumption of expensive armaments.
CEO of Elbit Systems Keli Pilot, Yoram Shmueli, explained that armies around the world are redesigning their training capabilities while striving to improve operational readiness at the same time as streamlining.
Winning this contract emphasizes the positioning of Elbit Systems as a leading company in the field of advanced training."
The big question that accompanies the transition is whether the simulators really manage to professionally replace the many hours of training in the cockpit and crew quarters of the tanks, and the physical practice of combat flight in high G.
The answer will come only in the next war.