Simulation instructors to help plan IAF missions

Credit: IAF Website

Instructors to assist F-16 squadrons in designing missions and practices

Date: 23/05/2012, 1:28 PM     Author: Lilach Gonen, Tal Michael, IAF Website

Flight simulation instructors have extraordinary responsibility on their shoulders. They instruct hundreds of fighters, from inexperienced air crew members to the leading pilots of the Israel Air Force. They make sure that the pilots and navigators know how to fly through extreme weather conditions, deal with technical difficulties, and conduct emergency landings.

Now, as a result of their strong grasp of weaponry systems, several of the flight simulation instructors will receive another role: working with F-16 squadrons to help plan missions and practices.

The instructors at the Hatzor simulation center – where air crew members from all combat squadrons practice – are used to challenging crews and piling on difficult missions under severe conditions. “In planning the missions, the instructors deal with sophisticated weaponry daily,” explained Cpt. Omer, the instructional officer at the center. “Therefore, they know quite well how to locate the target and enter that information into the computers, and there’s no reason that they can’t do that in real operational activity.”

In recent years, the IAF has upgraded the use of autonomous weaponry, which focuses on targets according to aerial photos or satellite indication – “smart bombs” that allow for accurate target hits. Until now, each combat squadron’s weaponry officer, an air crew member, was responsible for entering the target information into the systems and preparing missions. With this change, however, the squadrons will also receive guidance from the simulation instructors. “They are capable of contributing a great deal in planning operational goals,” said Captain Omer.