US Air Force selects Collins for next-generation training system
The US Air Force chose Collins Aerospace’s Tactical Combat Training System-Increment II (TCTS II), developed in cooperation with Leonardo DRS, as the preferred solution for its P6 Combat Training System (P6CTS), which itself was established as a recording program. TCTS II has already entered development for the US Navy, and the Air Force’s selection reflects the service’s analysis of whether it had the capacity to grow to meet all of its future combat training needs. aerial while maintaining full interoperability with US Navy systems.
P6CTS is a program to completely replace existing instrumentation systems at 55 Air Force training fields. TCTS II is intended for installation initially on fighter types, but later for deployment on other platforms. In tactical aircraft applications, the system is typically carried in a slim pod that can be carried by a standard AIM-9 Sidewinder launch rail. The pod transmits aircraft telemetry and other data to ground stations, allowing a full picture of the training exercise to be presented and recorded for debriefing. For the stealth F-35, the system can be packaged in an appropriate form factor.
The latest increment allows the creation of live constructive virtual training environments (LVC) and includes ground threats. The system is highly scalable to respond to small-scale exercises through large-scale training with over 100 live participants, as well as virtual/constructive threats, which can operate across multiple ranges. The synthetic injection capability allows aircrews to train in realistic user-selected threat scenarios.
TCTS II offers seamless integration of fourth and fifth generation fighters, as well as other platforms. A standout feature is the inclusion of individual multi-level security encryption, which allows live participants with different levels of security classification to train together, in turn allowing approved coalition partners and sub – Red Air civilian contractors to use the system alongside US participants.
“Pilots will be able to train like never before with secure interagency air combat training and live virtual joint-build capabilities,” said John Sapp, vice president and general manager of integrated solutions at Collins Aerospace. “This program truly redefines the future of fighter training and preparation.”
TCTS II’s secure blended LVC capabilities have already been demonstrated in advanced technology exercises hosted by the Naval Air Systems Command. The system is expected to reach initial operating capability later this year at NAS Fallon, home to a number of adversary US Navy units, including the Fighter Weapons School (Topgun). Full-scale production for the Navy is expected to start in early 2023.