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Marine F-35B Simulators Get True-to-Life Upgrades

Marine Corps Times // July 27, 2015

Marine F-35B joint strike fighter pilots can now fly realistic training missions without ever leaving the ground thanks to a recent upgrade to their simulators.

Pilots with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, which is expected to become the first operational F-35B squadron in late July, got Block 2B software upgrades giving their four simulators at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, the exact same capabilities as their real fighters.

“The software in the simulator now matches what is on the flightline, which is really what you desire," said Maj. Christopher Trent, VMFA-121's pilot training officer. "You don’t wasn’t a software variant older than what is on the flightline,”

Pilots had been using simulators with outdated software since the real aircraft are typically updated before training devices, Trent said. Now the software allows them to train as they fly, with expanded data sets and simulated weapons drops, according to Lockheed Martin.

“They give you the ability to replicate whatever threat — aircraft, ground defenses,” Trent said, including surface-to-air missile batteries, anti-aircraft artillery, tanks and personnel carriers, and enemy fighters with rocket-propelled grenades.

But above all, they allow pilots to fly over simulations of real-world cities.

Read the full article from Marine Corps Times.