Lockheed Martin has marked the completion of the first F-35 Lightning II Full Mission Simulators at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.
The air station will be home to the first operational Marine Corps F-35 squadrons worldwide.
Two of six planned Joint Strike Fighter FMS systems have been installed on site. The FMS installation and software completion will allow pilot familiarization and transition scenarios to begin later this year.
“The importance in simulation to the program is twofold – cost and effectiveness. Due to the fidelity of the simulators, approximately 50 percent of the core syllabus flights for the F-35 program are accomplished in the simulator,” said Lt. Col. Dwight DeJong, director of the Joint Strike Fighter Site Activation Team for MCAS Yuma. “This becomes extremely cost effective with realistic training that is independent of the weather, maintenance and range availability that can challenge daily operations.”
The FMS includes a high-fidelity 360-degree visual display system and is the highest fidelity trainer in the F-35 pilot-training-device suite, accurately replicating all F-35 sensors and weapons deployment.
“The progress in delivering training, sustainment and support equipment in preparation for aircraft operations at Yuma demonstrates our commitment to ensuring Marine Corps aviators remain at the tip of the spear,” said Mary Ann Horter, vice president for F-35 sustainment at Lockheed Martin’s Global Training and Logistics business unit. “The people, platform and continued performance will solidify MCAS Yuma as one of the most advanced operations facilities in the Marine Corps.”
MCAS Yuma will host five F-35 squadrons and one operational test and evaluation squadron. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 will be the first operational F-35 squadron on station.