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P-8A Poseidon Simulator: Complex Training, Reducing Cost

The P-8A Poseidon is an aircraft designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
The P-8A Poseidon is an aircraft designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

The P-8A Poseidon training system  provides a high-fidelity environment for U.S. Navy aircrew to learn the skills they need when encountering an adversary – all while keeping them safe.  

P-8A air and mission crews train at the Navy’s 165,000 square foot Integrated Training Center at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, which houses simulators, electronic classrooms and courseware delivered by Boeing.  Seventy percent of the training across the fleet is completed on the ground, including in the simulated environment, with the remaining 30 percent in flight.  

“I can do higher risk training, simulating scenarios such as weapons employment or engine loss, which are difficult to replicate in the airplane safely,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Andy Miller, Officer in Charge of the P-8A Fleet Integration Team. “We can achieve high-level, quality training, while also reducing the required infrastructure and overall costs.”  

Training occurs on two different systems, one meant for the flight station and another for the mission crew. Coupled together, the Operational Flight Trainer (OFT) and Weapons Tactics Trainer (WTT) form the Weapons System Trainer (WST), which allows the flight station and mission crew to rehearse all mission areas.  

“We get the bulk of the training done in the OFT and WST, which accounts for 70 percent of P-8A training across the fleet,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Curtis Phillips, Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadron VP-30. “That capability is tremendous. We have the potential in our current simulation model to further increase the fidelity of larger exercises against ever changing adversaries and capabilities. Missions are increasingly complex and, quite frankly, have become cost prohibitive to train for through routine live flying events.”  

NAS Jacksonville houses 20 trainers, and Boeing will install 16 more at the Navy’s facility at Whidbey Island, Wash. in 2016.

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