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Defense Innovation Unit Selects Vertex Solutions to Develop MPMR Flight Simulator
TOPICS & CATEGORIES
Vertex Solutions, a leading developer of high-fidelity learning technology, including extended reality (XR) training, was selected by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to develop a reconfigurable Multi-Place Mixed Reality (MPMR) flight simulator. The MPMR flight simulator will replace the currently fielded Weapon Systems Trainers (WSTs) and save several times their initial fielding, modification, and sustainment costs, all while providing greater access to pilot training for students.
This is exciting news for the USAF, who will be able to train more pilots effectively, at a lower cost, to help address the pilot shortage!
“The MPMR flight simulator is the next step in training technology that is revolutionizing the aviation industry. Recently, we’ve delivered nearly 300 fixed- and rotary-wing Immersive Training Devices to the Air Force and Navy to help revolutionize pilot training. It’s exciting to now provide a multi-place mixed reality training solution that will build on that past success, provide greater access to pilot training, and pave the way for FAA certification of all XR devices.”
— Dennis Wikoff, President and COO, Vertex Solutions
The initial contract requirement is to deliver a TH-1H rotary-wing simulator for 19th Air Force’s Helicopter Training Next program within Air Education & Training Command (AETC). The unique modularity of Vertex Solutions’ design, however, allows DIU and Vertex Solutions to develop a capability that can be rapidly extended to multiple fixed- or rotary-wing aircraft configurations beyond the TH-1H.
DIU is the only DoD organization focused on accelerating the adoption of commercial and dual-use technology to solve operational challenges at speed and scale. Vertex Solutions’ Immersive Training Devices are a great example of dual-use technology that benefits both the military and commercial industry. This technology not only satisfies U.S. DoD pilot training needs but is directly applicable to commercial aviation training in passenger and cargo flight operations. Beyond meeting a mission-critical military training need, the MPMR flight simulator will provide a pathway to FAA certification for similar XR fixed- and rotary-wing training devices.
For both DoD and commercial customers, traditional simulators, such as Operational Flight Trainers (OFTs) and WSTs, are costly to build and maintain, typically involve outdated visuals and terrain data, are less flexible to upgrade, and have fewer capabilities than XR trainers. This is where Vertex Solutions’ MR devices shine.
Combining the tactile feel of physical avionics panels that match what’s in the cockpit with the realism of improved and more cost-effective visuals, our MR trainers offer end users the most immersive training experience at a fraction of the cost. With this contract, the USAF will prove it’s possible to replace large, expensive, energy-intensive devices like the current OFTs and WSTs with Vertex Solutions’ smaller, more economical, and energy-saving MPMR flight simulators with no additional infrastructure costs.
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