EO/IR surveillance and targeting systems are always evolving, boasting new sensors (and more of them) and advanced functionality. In the past, systems could be operated to their full potential after just a few short flight hours, but today, systems like L-3 WESCAM’s MX15D can be configured with up to ten sensors and multiple digital features, which means operators require advanced training to familiarise themselves with the system and what it is fully capable of.

Newer systems are also often connected to a mission computer that directly interfaces with other onboard ISR equipment such as moving maps, radar and wireless transmission equipment. This offers a greater level of capability and continuously evolving mission profiles, but also costs time and resources. With such systems, it can take days to master the equipment’s complete functions and interactions.

Moreover, in a time when assets are limited and every flight hour is scrutinised for cost-effectiveness, the industry must ask how ISR operators can get the training they need to maximise the potential of their ISR suite without significantly affecting limited training budgets, aircraft and EO/IR system availability, or operational flight hours.

A proven approach is a combination of hands-on simulation training and professional in-class instruction from INSYEN and L-3 WESCAM. Drawing on expertise gained from working with the European Space Agency, INSYEN has created a training tool that simulates the complete operations and functionality of WESCAM’s EO/IR surveillance and targeting systems when configured with other key ISR mission equipment.

Provided by L-3 WESCAM’s team of professional trainers, the in-class simulation curriculum ensures that ISR crews can effectively conduct their mission training at a reduced cost compared with traditional on-aircraft training. The simulation training programmes have been designed for those new to operating and maintaining mission systems as well as experienced personnel who may require a refresher.