In an age of expensive fighters, expensive fuel, limited flight time, and cheaper computing power, high-fidelity simulators have become an important component of pilot training. L-3 Link Simulation and Training in Arlington, TX is a global leader in this segment, with a very strong position in fighter plane simulators, and their associated Mission Training Centers. They’re often partnered with another major contractor in those efforts. Boeing is L-3′s partner for F-16 Mission Training Centers, for instance, even though the F-16 is a Lockheed Martin plane.
In October 2011, L-3 Link received a maximum $469.5 million firm-fixed-price, cost reimbursement contract to support 183 of their their F-16 TS (training system) installations around the world for the USAF (33 global locations, incl. Hill AFB, UT), and F-16 customers Bahrain, Greece, and Jordan. The contract doesn’t involve any simulators, but “support” means more than just simulator maintenance, training operations that include other devices, and keeping up the associated databases of simulated objects. It also involves change management to install simulator upgrades if requested, and keeping each simulator remains faithful to changes and upgrades in the real F-16 fleets. The USAF’s ASC/WNSK, at Wright Patterson AFB, OH, manages this contract for ther USAF, and acts as the agent for its Foreign Military Sale clients (FA8621-12-D-6337).