The airplane is only the beginning – Charles DAlberto

Raytheon’s T-X solution will teach fliers to master complex missions

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The T-100 will provide the U.S. Air Force with state-of-the-art technology at the lowest acquisition and life cycle costs of any advanced trainer on the market.

The airplane is only the beginning.

Raytheon is developing an integrated training system to prepare pilots for the increasingly sophisticated combat missions of tomorrow. The company is partnering with aircraft manufacturer Finmeccanica to build the T-100 Integrated Air Training System, its contender for the T-X, the U.S. Air Force’s highly competitive challenge to create an advanced new jet trainer. A decision on T-X is expected in the fourth quarter of 2017.

“Next-generation combat programs require a next-generation training system,” said Brick “Bluto” Izzi, a 25-year veteran F-16 fighter pilot who now serves as chief engineer for business development at Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business. “The T-38, the Air Force’s current jet training system, is simply not capable of presenting tomorrow’s pilots with the avionics and mission scenarios that will prepare them for next-generation aircraft.”

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The T-100 Ground Based Training System is designed to mimic 5th generation fighters. It uses the same operational flight program software as the actual aircraft, enabling training with the same aircraft feel even before a student takes flight.

Raytheon brings decades of sensors and electronics expertise to its partnership with Finmeccanica, which is supplying the airplane: The T-100, a variant of the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 advanced jet trainer, currently in use by the Italian Air Force, Republic of Singapore Air Force, Israeli Air Force and Polish Air Force.

The Raytheon/Finnmeccanica trainer will be manufactured in the United States.

“I’ve flown the F-16 as a USAF weapons school instructor for almost 20 years, and I’ve flown this trainer, and it provides two key advantages: thrust-to-weight that leaves no question about excess power, and truly amazing, embedded tactical training,” said Izzi. “It is a superior instructor platform.”

In the T-100, pilots will be immersed in a realistic, complex training environment with cutting-edge avionics and pilot-vehicle interfaces, including the ability to simulate tactical scenarios, sensors, threats and weapons while in flight.

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The T-100 is capable of conducting sustained high-g operations, aerial refueling, night vision imaging and data-link operations.

“The M-346 is a proven, mature, eminently flyable aircraft, qualities that are critically important for any new trainer,” said Rick Yuse, president of Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. “Even more critical are the sophisticated electronics that will prepare trainees to fly in the information-rich environment of current and future technology.”

Air dominance

Raytheon technology can already be found on combat aircraft flown by the United States Air Force and more than 36 allied nations.  The company’s integrated avionics, sensors, radar and weapons perform hand-in-hand to help fighter pilots take control of the skies with combat air power.

On the ground, the United States Army relies on Raytheon for training in virtual environments.

The T-100 builds on Raytheon’s heritage as a developer of high-performance training solutions, having served as prime contractor on the T-6 Texan II and T-1 Jayhawk.

Also partnering with Raytheon and Finmeccanica on the T-100 proposal are Honeywell Aerospace and CAE USA Inc.

 

Posted By Charles D’Alberto

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Posted By Charles D'Alberto

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