BAE Systems has opened its new £2.3M Training and Simulation Integration Facility (TSIF) in Warton, Lancashire that the company says is set to transform the future of cockpit development and military training. The facility developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering sports some of the latest gaming technologies, including commercially available interactive headsets and gloves, that are being used in conjunction with advanced military aircraft simulators and F1™ engineering, and it features simulation capabilities for multiple aircraft types including BAE Systems’ Hawk, Typhoon and future concept aircraft.

The TSIF provides an immersive environment for pilots, customers and engineers to analyze, evaluate and experiment with the next generation of military aircraft cockpits and future training solutions and demonstrates different technologies to show existing and potential customers what future capabilities could look like, including:

  • A Next-Generation Training Cockpit designed with Williams Advanced Engineering that harnesses advanced F1™ technologies and engineering know-how. A twin-seat cockpit simulator can be reconfigured to resemble a range of training and fast jet cockpit environments and allows users to trial the latest in human machine interfaces.
  • An Augmented Reality Environment that uses virtual and augmented reality technology to create a fully immersive 3D environment for engineers and pilots to enhance their aircraft maintenance and training skills in complex environments.
  • A Classroom of the Future featuring wall-to-wall interactive displays allowing trainees to ‘virtually’ tour the body of an aircraft using a number of synthetic training aids designed to enhance the learning experience, reduce the reliance on expensive physical tools and increase the rate of learning.
  • A Networked Synthetic Environment that uses a suite of high-speed desktop simulators for multiple aircraft types, including Hawk and Typhoon, that are all connected via a dedicated engineering network. The technology allows pilots and engineers to train together in a synthetic environment and simulate a range of realistic mission training scenarios involving multiple aircraft types.
“This new facility represents a fresh blueprint for the future training of pilots and engineers,” says Steve Timms, Managing Director, Defence Information, Training & Services at BAE Systems. “Such an innovative application of virtual reality and simulation technologies offers a wealth of advanced, more affordable techniques for the training of teams on the maintenance and design of advanced fast jets – and this is just the beginning of possible applications for that technology in the sector.”

TSIF is part of a wider investment in training from BAE Systems, in which the company will invest more than £10M in training and simulation facilities at its Warton site. A new Mission Systems Integration Facility that will be co-located with TSIF is planned to open later this year for future concept aircraft testing and evaluation.