Pilots at Buckley Air Force Base (AFB) will shortly be training on four newly delivered F-16C Block 30 simulators featuring MetaVR’s Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG).
The F-16C four-ship training simulators have been installed at the new mission training center at Buckley AFB, Colorado, where they will be used for proficiency and currency maintenance pilot training by the 140th Wing of the Colorado Air National Guard.
The simulators were relocated from Vermont Air National Guard facilities at the Burlington International Airport prior to their delivery to Buckley AFB, and underwent a significant upgrade, which included bringing them up to the current Block 30 System Capabilities Upgrade 9.0 (SCU-9.0) configuration being used in the F-16C Block 30 aircraft.
The simulators feature 60 VRSG channels to simulate multiple views: out-the-window, embedded HUD, HMD/HMIT, real-time streaming protocol (RTSP) in the central display unit, ground map radar, targeting pod, and maverick missile displays. Together with MetaVR 3D terrain and models, the eight-screen cockpit displays with native 4K (4096-by-2160) resolution offer combat pilots an immersive field-of-view that renders the out-the window virtual environment with near 20/20 visual acuity.
MetaVR created a virtual replica of Buckley AFB and the Greater Denver area for the Buckley AFB simulators in order to provide realistic training for pilots. Details including runways, runway lights, signage, geospecific control tower and buildings, and other culture were built using MetaVR Terrain Tools for Esri ArcGIS from 15-centimeter-per-pixel imagery of the airfield area, and geolocated on the terrain with VRSG Scenario Editor. For simulating night scenes, the terrain contains thousands of cultural light points of the airfield, Aurora and Denver.
The simulators are currently undergoing Initial Operational Capability, with operational training set to begin in the fall.
“The F-16C is one of the world’s most widely deployed combat jet fighters, with a service life expected to continue for decades to come,” Garth Smith, president of MetaVR, commented. “Equipping its F-16C Block 30 simulators with MetaVR’s VRSG is a vital part of keeping the US Air Force and Air National Guard F-16C training simulator capability in line with the real aircraft, enabling pilots to maintain currency in hyper-realistic environments to help ensure mission success.”
The installation of VRSG-equipped F-16C simulators at Buckley AFB follows the installation of F-16C simulators in the same configuration at Lackland AFB for the Pilot Training Next initiative and Tucson Air National Guard Base in the fall of 2018. Luke AFB in Arizona also recently renewed software maintenance for 62 VRSG licenses and one MetaVR Terrain Tools for Esri ArcGIS license for its F-16C Block 30/40 full-mission training simulators; while F-16 simulators at Homestead Air Reserve Base and Ft. Worth Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base have also recently renewed 22 VRSG licenses.