skip to main content

Farnborough 2022: USAF stands up new combat training system

The P6 CTS TCTS II pod displayed at the Farnborough International Airshow 2022. (Janes/Giles Ebbutt )

The US Air Force (USAF) has established the P6 combat training system (P6 CTS) as its next-generation air combat training programme of record, Collins Aerospace announced at the Farnborough International Air Show 2022.

The system will replace the air combat manoeuvring instrumentation (ACMI) at an estimated 55 USAF training ranges. The USAF's priority is to integrate P6 CTS on fighter aircraft, followed by trainer, bomber, cargo, and other platforms, according to Collins.

The company's Tactical Combat Training System Increment II (TCTS II) provides a synthetic inject to live (SITL) capability by taking virtual (simulator) or constructive (synthetic) entities and injecting them into the live environment. This capability allows aircraft to sense their existence, along with any real participants, and reacts to them in the training event.

These entities can include ships or ground-based air defence (GBAD) units, as well as aircraft. TCTS II will interact with and simulate the threat warning systems on the aircraft, cued either by the aircraft-mounted system or from a ground station.

TCTS II has multiple independent levels of security (MILS) and cross-domain capability. The MILS capability is critical since much of the data generated by fifth-generation aircraft is classified and requires a secure environment. MILS enables data transmission at different classifications, allowing various users and players access to data at the appropriate level, which allows fourth-generation aircraft and coalition forces to participate in the same training event.

The initial TCTS II solution is pod-mounted, but company officials are developing an internally housed variant for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, said Shane Anderson, business development manager for Collins. โ€œThere is still a lot of work to be done on this,โ€ he said.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...