To help pilots and other personnel integrate the F-35 Lighting II fleet into operation, Full Mission Simulators at the Hill Air Force Base are using virtual reality and other high-tech tools to improve training and logistics.
The FMS system features a 360-degree visual display system and replicates all F-35 sensors and characteristics that are in a real cockpit. Military officials aim to give pilots a more realistic approach to learn controls before being sent into combat missions.
"The F-35 is going to be an incredible advancement in our capability as an air force, and the Full Mission Simulators present an environment to adequately challenge our pilots as they prepare for combat," said Lt. Col. George Watkins, Commander of the 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base.
There are almost 150 pilots and over 800 maintainers in the US Air Force that have successfully passed the F-35 Training System.
The F-35 program has endured a number of high-profile problems, such as out-of-control costs that alarmed the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The Department of Defense (DOD) is expected to evaluate long-term investment options for the F-35 program in the near future.