L-3 Link Simulation & Training has completed new visual system upgrades of the US Navy’s F/A-18 Tactical Operational Flight Trainers’ (TOFT) cockpit systems.

The new upgrade features a high-definition 360° visual system for the F/A-18 TOFT cockpit system.

The TOFT upgrades include projectors, mirrors and image computers to provide a visual perspective similar to that of an aircraft, including night vision goggle training for the pilots and naval flight officers.

Naval Aviation Training Systems F/A-18 training systems integrated product team lead lieutenant commander Brian Baller said that the new visual package will improve target identification capabilities and provide more clarity to simulated carrier landings.

The TOFTs will also be equipped with new motion cueing seats that simulate aircraft weapons employment, taxiing, take-off and landing, and motion simulation such as positive and negative gravitational forces.

The Naval Aviation Simulation Master Plan (NASMP) study reports evaluated that the physical and functional requirements of visual perception and motion cueing of the training systems will increase F/A-18 simulation training effectiveness, and promote increased performance and mission readiness.

Naval Aviation Training Systems Program Office (PMA-205) program manager Capt. John Feeney said: "The goal at PMA-205 is to ensure our war-fighters are proficient and effective before they even step into an actual aircraft."

The low-cost, easily transportable trainers are capable of virtually eliminating life cycle costs to maintain aircraft concurrency.

The F/A-18 TOFTs are designed to train pilots in carrier take-offs and landings, electronic countermeasures, air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons delivery, low-altitude flight and emergency procedures.