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Aviation simulation firm Red 6 lands first international customer

Red 6's visor-based training system allows pilots to fly in real airplanes against synthetically generated adversaries. (Red 6)

US-based aviation simulation startup Red 6 has lined up the first foreign customer for its visor-based Advanced Tactical Augmented Reality System (ATARS), which allows pilots to fly and manoeuvre in real airplanes against synthetically generated adversaries during training flights.

Red 6 will integrate ATARS on approximately 70 Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) Hawk trainer jets, Red 6 chief financial officer Maissan Almaskati told Janes on 22 April. ATARS will increase the RSAF's training opportunities because it allows outdoor training without needing real pilots to act as adversaries, Almaskati explained.

Red 6 expects to finish integrating ATARS on the first Hawk by late 2022 or early 2023. The integration work includes determining where to place the system's hardware and software on the aircraft and deciding how to direct power to the system. Replicating the process on subsequent Hawks will be easier and take less time, Almaskati said.

Once multiple Hawks are equipped with ATARS, Red 6's Combined Augmented Reality Battlespace Operational Network (CARBON) system will allow the jets to share information to create a common picture. Red 6 will later integrate its products on Saudi combat aircraft, such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, F-15, and Tornado.

The Saudi project calls for the Advanced Electronics Company (AEC), which is part of state-owned Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), to assist Red 6 with maintenance and other work “so that they effectively act as our local representation, local support in Saudi Arabia”, Almaskati said. The financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

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