The RAAF will use a US-developed virtual simulator to train and maintain the air force's new F/A-18F Super Hornets.
The Visual Environment Maintenance Trainer, which has been introduced to the RAAF Base Amberley (Queensland), was developed by The Boeing Company in cooperation with human machine interface (HMI) development firm, DiSTI.
In October 2008 it was announced DiSTI’s training technology was going to be used by Boeing for development of the Student Aircraft Interface Trainer Station (SAITS) for the RAAF's Integrated Visual Environment Maintenance Trainer (IVEMT).
Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, Greg Combet said RAAF technicians are familiarising themselves with the simulator.
“The Visual Environment Maintenance Trainer consists of a mock Super Hornet cockpit with touch screens that allow Air Force maintenance students to perform diagnostic and system functional checks in a realistic setting,” he said in a statement.
“The cockpit simulator provides students with the opportunity to work on complex maintenance issues without actually being in a real aircraft. This high tech problem solving can be monitored by an instructor who can bring up teaching points as the student works toward finding a fault.”
In the $US6 billion deal Australia is purchasing 24 Super Hornets, the first of which took off from Lambert International Airport in St. Louis on July 20 in an unveiling by Boeing on July 8 this year, to replace the ageing F-111 fleet.
Training for the Super Hornets currently takes place in the US but is expected to commence on the virtual simulator from January in Australia.