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IT²EC 2024: BAE Systems and VRAI partner to bolster fast jet pilot training

BAE Systems is integrating VRAI's simulation data capture and analysis software in a Hawk trainer simulator. The data will be compared with live Hawk training sorties to improve fast jet training. Pictured is one of the Royal Air Force's Hawk T2 trainer aircraft. (Benoit Denet)

BAE Systems has partnered with VRAI to leverage extended reality (XR) and artificial intelligence (AI) in order to enhance pilot training.

VRAI's HEAT data capture technology, which collates, analyses, and visualises simulator data, will be integrated by BAE Systems into a deployable Hawk jet trainer simulator to monitor and provide actionable insight on pilot performance, VRAI announced on 8 April at the International Training Technology Exhibition & Conference (IT 2 EC) 2024 held from 9 to 11 April in London.

This data will then be assessed with comparable information from live Hawk training sorties to help determine the optimum balance between live and synthetic training for pilots.

The project is funded through the UK Ministry of Defence's (MoD's) Defence Technology Exploitation Programme (DTEP), which works to foster collaboration between small and medium-sized enterprises suppliers with leading defence companies, the announcement detailed.

Pat O'Connor, the managing director of VRAI, informed Janes at IT 2 EC 2024 that the “initial integration of HEAT into the BAE Systems Hawk deployable simulator has been carried out. The next phase will see us focusing on gathering data from experienced aircrew to give us a baseline of data to compare with student performance. We would expect to begin gathering data in the near future and see results later this year. We will use the data we gather to further our own understanding of both live and synthetic training for fast jet pilots”.

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