25/3/2012 Arie Egozi - israeldefense.com
IAI’s portable simulator is being used to train operators for various UAVs. "It saves instrument flight hours - which decreases wear and saves money," says a senior industry official
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has developed a portable simulator to train the crew operating various UAVs. With marketing efforts already underway, one agreement for exporting the simulator has already been signed. The simulator is built like an operational UAV ground station, with room for two to three UAV/ payload operators.
Tommy Silberring, General Manager of IAI's Malat division, explains that the request for the simulators is growing as more militaries are increasing their use of UAVs. “It economizes the flight hours for the instruments, which decreases wear and saves money.”
According to Silberring, the simulator can be adapted to train operating teams for various UAVs using software. Today, operators for IAI’s Heron UAV and Elbit’s Hermes-450 UAV use the simulator for training. Silberring says that the simulator reduces actual flight hours needed to train UAV operators. At the end of the process, he explains that approximately 90% of training is carried out with the simulator.
The simulator also solves the problematic issue of flying UAVs in crowded airspace. In many countries, including Israel, it is difficult to obtain permits to operate UAV training flights.
According to Silberring, the simulator also fulfills the operational need of multinational forces returning from Afghanistan with UAVs – most of which are Israeli-produced systems that must continue to be used.