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IT²EC 2022: Lockheed Martin progresses F-35 trainer programme

Lockheed Martin is open to discussions with customers for its MRT LITE trainer (pictured). (Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin's F-35 Mission Rehearsal Trainer Lightning Integrated Training Environment (MRT LITE) system is configurable for all three F-35 variants (F-35A conventional take-off and landing variant, the F-35B short take-off/vertical landing variant, and the F-35C carrier variant) and is available with the latest unclassified software, according to company representatives.

The company is open to discussions with customers to discover what timelines would suit their requirements, Erik Etz, who handles F-35 Training Systems at Lockheed Martintold Janes at the International Training Technology Exhibition & Conference (IT²EC) 2022.

The platform was developed and funded internally, but was also influenced by customer requirements from both the US and international partners seeking a smaller footprint device, he said.

Lockheed Martin also recognised that there was an increasing demand for additional training capacity from their customers, as a result of the growing number of F-35 operators, he noted.

He said that the MRT LITE is a small-footprint trainer that shares a common hardware/software design with the Full Mission Simulator (FMS), but with a limited visual system.

In a separate announcement, Lockheed Martin noted that the MRT LITE is far smaller than the FMS. With 90% less hardware, up to eight MRT LITE systems can fit in the facility space allotted for an FMS.

Raashi Quattlebaum, vice-president of F-35 Training and Logistics at Lockheed Martin told Janes that a significant aspect of the platform is its transportability and affordability compared with the FMS.

The MRT LITE has both cockpit and desktop versions.

The total cost of the platform was not disclosed, although Etz said that customers would be able to purchase several for the price of one FMS.

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