US Air Force Test Center Looks for Visual Display Systems for F-35A JSE

By Frank Wolfe | July 21, 2021
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An F-35A Lightning II taxis down the flightline in a Beast Mode weapons configuration on July 22 last year at Luke AFB, Ariz. The weapons configuration consists of six inert GBU-12 bombs, four mounted onto the wings and two loaded into the weapons bay, as well as an AIM-9X air-to-air training missile. The U.S. Air Force said that the Beast Mode weapons configuration provides F-35 B-Course student pilots with the additional training and experience needed for potential combat sorties (U.S. Air Force Photo)

The U.S. Air Force Test Center (AFTC) under Air Force Materiel Command wants industry input on Visual Display Systems (VDSs) for the Air Force Joint Simulation Environment (JSE) for the service’s F-35A by Lockheed Martin.

AFTC is looking for the submittal of white papers over the next month on VDS solutions for the Air Force JSE, which is to expand upon F-35 JSE to support high-end modeling and simulation for other current Air Force platforms, such as the Lockheed Martin F-22, and future platforms.

The 412th Air Wing’s Electronic Warfare Group at Edwards AFB, Calif., “has a requirement for [VDSs] to support the Threat and Friendly/Virtual Air Threat (TAF/VAT) Joint Simulation Environment (JSE),” per a business notice last week. “A VDS is defined as an out-the-window (OTW) display screen, image projectors, auto alignment and calibration system, mechanical edge blending solution, and support structures and interfaces. The VDS contractor will integrate all the VDS components.”

“The Air Force is seeking innovative solutions with regards to the fidelity and Field-OF-View (FOV) of the proposed VDS within this call,” per the notice. “The solution offered will need to consider the human factor relationship or the physical relationship of the primary components of the simulator. The important aspects to retain are the physical relationships of the pilot eye.”

Humberto Blanco, AFTC’s Joint Simulation Division Chief, wrote in a July 19 email that “VDS provides a high fidelity display in support of high fidelity TAF/VAT simulation.”

In response to this article, the F-35 Joint Program Office on July 20 said that the F-35 JSE “is located at Patuxent River where Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) is the lead system integrator, responsible for integrating F-35-In-A-Box (a Lockheed Martin product) with complex threat models from several government organizations.”

“The U.S. Air Force Test Center action referenced…is not in support of the F-35 JSE,” the JPO said. “Rather, it is for an Air Force JSE which will support F-35 and other USAF platforms for high-end modeling and simulation in the future.”


This article was first published by Defense Daily, a sister publication to Avionics. It has been edited. Check out the full version here

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