The use of simulators in the IAF is wide spread. In Ramon Airbase, two nearly exact copies of F-16I and “Apache” are used by technicians to practice maintenance, inspection and instruction mission
Simulators are widely used by aircrews in the IAF and are now in use of the technical division. Two almost perfect replicas of an F-16I “Sufa” and an “Apache” combat helicopter are used by the technicians of Ramon Airbase as simulators in all senses.
“The avionics (aerial electronic systems) technicians deal with several major fields such as fire control, communication systems and payloads. All electronic systems installed on the plane are under their responsibility”, explained Major Benny Cohen, commander of avionics division in the Ramon F-16I squadrons. “While practicing on an F-16I model, the technicians can get a clear image of the systems and test their usability as if they were dealing with a real fighter jet”.
The attack helicopters’ avionics division is equipped with the Israeli-developed HNU station which simulates the avionics systems of the “Apache” and “Apache Longbow” attack helicopters. “The system enables us to simulate problems in the avionics systems and learn how to fix them”, says SGM Moti who is in charge of the lab.
The technicians undergo theoretical and practical training conducted by career officers and NCOs and practice the installation and dismantling of various components and routine check-ups. “The station is first and foremost a strainer for faulty components. The technicians run the systems on the model and many times find that some of them need to be repaired. Almost every component intended to be installed on a plane passes this inspection”, says Major Cohen.
70% of the Instructions in Ramon are Practical
During their military service, the technicians acquire wide technical skills and gradually gain the ability to answer an increasing range of problems, an ability accompanied by great responsibility. Over the past year, the lessons were taken from the classroom to the “field” and the number of practical lessons has been dramatically increased. In Ramon airbase, for example, 70% of all lessons involve practical training.
“When dealing with aircraft maintenance, a demonstration conducted on a real plane is much more efficient then a theoretical explanation in a classroom”, explains Major Sharon Tsur who is in charge of the instructional field in Ramon Airbase. “From 2015, the technical division has reduced the quantity of frontal sessions. It is easier to understand something when you do it with your own hands”.