With more than $500 million slated for simulation-based training
systems during the next eight years, the Navy plans to rely on Indefinite
Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contracts to acquire new products
The largest portion of the Navy’s simulation plan is worth
about $375 million, said Capt. Jay Hixson, former commander of Naval
Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD), headquartered
in Orlando, where he addressed an industry briefing earlier this
This piece of the training pie includes both flight simulators
and maintenance trainers, “and just about everything else
across the board,” he said.
Keeping up with the frenetic pace of technology changes during
the past decade propelled the Navy and the Marine Corps into ID/IQ-type
acquisition practices, Hixson said.
The Marine Corps Simulation Master Plan, worth $300 million, includes
simulator operations and maintenance for the entire Marine inventory.
“There used to be a lot of big, mechanical devices, like
large, dome simulators,” he explained. “But this curve
has been broken. The future is smaller, deployable, interactive
systems. There will be no more $50 million or $100 million mechanical
The goal is to bring simulators to Navy and Marine air crews, reversing
the old method of transporting crews to the simulator. This way,
they can train aboard ships on their way to forward deployment theaters
in order to keep their skills sharp, Navy training officials said.
“Information superiority is what is being bought now,”
said Hixson. And the necessary acquisition tools for obtaining these
systems has had to change accordingly, he said. “Better information
gives you certain advantages over [simply] larger forces and greater
numbers,” he said.
In 1997, Hixson reported the Navy had 22 flight simulators on back
order. ID/IQ contracts are credited with reducing that number to
three for fiscal year 2000, he said.
“ID/IQ contracts have created more efficiency and better
technology utilization,” by getting simulation trainers into
the hands of users sooner, rather than later, said Hixson.