CONTENT PREVIEW
C4iSR: Air

Pentagon seeks proposals for future Pilot Training Next prototypes

17 January 2020
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Key Points

  • The Pentagon has issued a solicitation to further its Pilot Training Next work
  • Desired technologies include network and data architecture and simulation environment

The Pentagon's Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) is soliciting proposals from industry to build upon the US Air Force's (USAF's) Pilot Training Next (PTN) experiment.

PTN is the USAF's effort to decrease the time and cost of pilot training without sacrificing the depth of learning. This commercial solutions opening's (CSO's) initial prototype will focus on training in the Beechcraft T-6A Texan II, the primary trainer aircraft for the US Air Force (USAF) and US Navy (USN). The Northrop T-38C Talon will also be an initial area of focus.

CAE's recently launched Sprint VR trainer is part of the company's TRAX Academy training continuum. The subproblems in this solicitation that CAE is addressing with the overall TRAX Academy are simulation environment, AI flight instructor, learning management system, and the cockpit environment solution. (CAE)CAE's recently launched Sprint VR trainer is part of the company's TRAX Academy training continuum. The subproblems in this solicitation that CAE is addressing with the overall TRAX Academy are simulation environment, AI flight instructor, learning management system, and the cockpit environment solution. (CAE)

Prototypes ready for initial test and evaluation by about September 2020 are highly desired. However, novel approaches requiring additional development that offer significant increases in effectiveness, suitability, or affordability will also be considered. Affordability, portability of the system, and technical maturity will all be considered as factors in the selection of vendors.

DIUx spokesperson Johanna Spangenberg Jones said on 13 January that the CSO is a very business-oriented contract that attempts to work at the speed of business with data rights and intellectual property (IP) that are negotiable. DIUx uses other transaction agreements (OTAs) to partner with both non-traditional and traditional defence contractors and non-profit research institutions to carry out prototype projects.

The Pentagon may award one or more awards based on the responses from industry. Spangenberg Jones said that it is possible that a single company responds with optimal solutions to the programme's subproblems but DIUx is leaving an opportunity to both company-negotiated and government-directed teaming arrangements. She declined to say how much money DIUx budgeted for this solicitation.

Any prototype OTA awarded for this programme may result in the award of a follow-on production contract or transaction without the use of further competitive procedures.

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