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I/ITSEC 2021: Lockheed Martin Small-Footprint F-35 Training Device

Offers 75% FMS Functionality Within 10x10ft Footprint

Lockheed Martin used I/ITSEC earlier this month as an opportunity to unveil its new F-35 Mission Rehearsal Trainer (MRT) – Lightning Integrated Training Environment (LITE) prototype.

The company’s internal investment in the F-35 MRT-LITE offers customers a solution that will prepare pilots for the high-end fight by providing training at the point of need. The trainer leverages Lockheed Martin’s investment in distributed mission training to conduct multi-ship training exercises across a dispersed environment, and offers life-cycle savings across the current programme of record pilot training devices, which it also provides.

The MRT-LITE represents an additional capability that we have been forecasting as a need to increase capacity at training sites because, frankly, 5th-gen tactics are maturing,’ said Erik Etz, Senior Manager of New Business, Strategy & Roadmaps. “Four-ship missions may have been suitable before, but we see a need for more aircraft to be linked together in a common training environment, so we designed MRT-LITE as a small-footprint device to fit in existing facilities. It has the same software backbone as our Full Mission Simulators, so it can plug right in and provide training capability beyond four-ship training, and it also enables mission rehearsal training.”

The MRT-LITE has a 90% reduced footprint in comparison to a Full Mission Simulator. Its modular configuration provides flexibility for on-demand training, as it leverages existing Distributed Mission Training technology to train in the joint domain environment. This also enables it to be broken down into eight components for ease of transport. The assembled trainer occupies a 10x10ft space.

Lockheed Martin states that approximately 75% of Full Mission Simulator Training Task List items can be accomplished in MRT-LITE, which itself promotes pilot currency/proficiency and squadron training of Mission Essential Tasks (METs).

The MRT-LITE is optimized for beyond-visual-range training,” said Etz. “It’s intended for those 5th-gen rehearsal tasks that the F-35 is executing now around the world. The only thing you lose is some rear-aspect field of view, and some of the things that go along with PVI [Pilot Vehicle Interface], like switches in the cockpit, since the MRT-LITE has flat panel iPad-like functionality. You can still do all the tasks you would do in a normal cockpit trainer, but it’s a much-reduced hardware footprint which provides space savings and affordability as well.”

Juan Atavega reporting from Orlando

The MRT-LITE prototype on show at I/ITSEC 2021. (Photo: Juan Atavega)

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