“Apache” simulator, manufactured by “LINK” company, was transferred to the IAF. The simulators is an important tool in training new pilots and is vital for maintaining operational competence
The “Apache” helicopters pilots have operated for long hours above the Gaza Strip during operation “Protective Edge”. They hovered above, covering ground forces with fire and defended helicopters that evacuated wounded soldiers out of the strip.
The “Apache” aircrews go through intense trainings prior to their operational activity including simulator trainings, in order to practice emergency situations.
The “LINK” Apache simulator was recently transferred to the IAF, after being used by the USA’s armed forces for decades.
Only 10 models of the simulator were manufactured since the 1980’s. Aircrews from around the world, alongside Israeli aircrews, that did not have their own simulators, used to arrive to the US and conduct the trainings there. Following the retirement of “Apache” helicopters in the US, the simulators were also taken out of action over the years.
A year ago, the last “Apache” simulator used by the Israeli Air Force and other air forces, stopped its activity. “The IAF did not want stop using the simulator, because it is a cornerstone in training new aircrews and is vital for maintaining operational competence”, explains Major Assaf, Head of Helicopters Simulating Department in logistics branch.
Therefore, the IAF asked for the simulator from the Americans. Until now, the simulator was positioned in Arizona and with the change of its owner it was moved. Due to high transportation costs, it was decided to keep the simulator in the US and After a year-long transferring process, the simulator is now in a different state in the US and operated by a non-military company.
On the Bright Side
The simulator is used to practice emergency situations and every “Apache” pilot is required to practice it at least once a year. Although the transfer was made in the absence of any other option, it also holds a number of advantages: The simulator will be more available now and the IAF will be able to use it whenever necessary.
In addition, the IAF will be able to implant new programs and system and even change its display systems. It is also possible that its cockpit configuration will be replaced with an Israeli one. These changes will improve the training of the Israeli “Apache” pilots.
As a result of its transfer, the simulator was not available for trainings for a year. During August, the simulator was reactivated and is now ready to train aircrews from the “Apache” “Magic Touch” Squadron.