Military Flight Simulators Today

Ian Strachan provides an overview of military flight simulators and training equipment. He also makes an argument that 'g' and 'anti-g' is neglected in many fighter jet full mission simulators. In 2007 there were about 1470 military flight training devices worldwide with either a motion platform and/or a visual system. These range from dome-based Full Mission Simulators (FMS), to Unit Level Trainers (ULT), some of which have only one visual display window. See a listing by aircraft type in MS&T’s Military Flight Simulator Census, published in MS&T 3/2007.

Some 750 (51%) of these aircraft training devices are in the USA. Not surprisingly the list is headed by the US Air Force with about 400, followed by the US Navy with about 140, US Army with 90 and the US Marine Corps with 50. About 60 others are shared between the Navy and Marines and the remainder are for the US Coastguard and at a number of civil-owned training centres that carry out military training. No other country comes close, France being next with about 70, Germany and the UK with around 60 each and then Canada with 30. Below this come a number of countries with about 20 each. These are Australia, Brazil, Italy, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Taiwan. There must be quite a few military simulators in the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Russia. However, figures here are difficult to find, although the Nanjing Research Institute for Simulation Technique (NRIST), the Penza Simulation Bureau in Russia, and no doubt other manufacturers, have made quite a number of simulators for their own militaries. Other than the countries mentioned above, some 40 other countries have smaller numbers of military simulators.

The Builders

L-3 Link is the lead manufacturer with just over 220 military flight trainin