Technologies from existing flight simulators, such as the Air Force
F-16 and the Navy F/A-18 trainers, will be incorporated in a future
training suite for the next-generation Joint Strike Fighter, known
as the F-35.
The F-35 prime contractor, Lockheed Martin Corp., is looking at
all available technologies before it decides how to develop the
JSF trainer, said JoAnn Puglisi, the company’s director of
the JSF trainer program. “In the first couple of years, we
are going to do a very thorough honesty analysis,” said Puglisi.
Lockheed is developing three versions of the JSF, for the U.S.
Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and the United Kingdom.
The overall training system, including upgrades, is expected to
generate up to $750 million in contracts through 2012. The first
aircraft are scheduled for production by 2008. “We proposed
to have a late-to-lead date,” said Puglisi during a briefing
to reporters. “We backed up from the airplane arrival date
and looked back in a three and a half year time frame.”
During the next several years, she said, “We are going to
be involving industry in building the courseware, building that
final suite of trainers and we are backing it up from the due date,
because we want the maturity of the airplane to be there,”
Lockheed’s strategy, she said, is to “take advantage
of technology, computer systems, flight systems and course systems.”
The development of courseware is expected to begin in 2004. “With
the first airplane arrival in 2008 that is when we are going to
have the training system ready,” said Puglisi.
The JSF system will include both pilot and maintenance trainers.
“We felt that it is much more affordable to do it by product,
because nowadays products for maintenance training and pilot training
begin to merge,” said Puglisi. “We proposed a product
across the top to get the affordability and then the differentiation
in the uniqueness in the pilot and maintenance devices, pilot courseware
and maintenance courseware.”
As far as the courseware is concerned, said Puglisi, “it’ll
all be database-driven, because we have the diversity, we are not
going to build three different courseware systems. We are trying
to have as much commonality as possible and also with the pilots
The JSF training program will follow a new approach that Puglisi
coined autonomic logistics. “It is something that is done
without thought or human intervention, like your breathing system,”
she explained. “Everything is going to be electronically connected
throughout the whole program, so that data is set in one place and
can be tracked without human intervention checking all the time.
“With autonomic systems, we communicate the training systems
requirements, web-based training, passing information, passing a
major faction form and download it into the system,” Puglisi
noted. “It is a very information-oriented type of concept.”
Puglisi noted that a portion of the JSF trainer work will be outsourced
to firms other than Lockheed Martin.