The US Navy has opened its new P-8 Maintenance Training Facility, equipped with Boeing’s suite of realistic, interactive training systems, at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida.

In 2014, Boeing was contracted by the US Navy to provide equipments for the facility. Under the contract, the company has designed and delivered P-8A aircrew training devices, electronic classrooms and courseware for the navy’s integrated training centre.

The centre will allow the navy to offer immersive training for those responsible for maintaining the P-8A Poseidon aircraft across the world.

“Our new P-8A maintenance training facility will provide the fleet with qualified technicians.”

The virtual maintenance training devices offer interactive, high-fidelity simulations, replicating actual mission systems software, while the hardware-based trainers are full-scale replicas of aircraft components.

The centre will allow navy maintainers to learn more than 1,000 procedures, using seven virtual maintenance trainers, 14 hardware-based devices, and an ordnance load trainer.

This realistic training will allow personnel to get familiarised with the aircraft and its systems, enabling them to engage into preventive, corrective and diagnostic tasks.

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US Navy P-8A maintenance training unit department head Robert Powden said: "Our new P-8A maintenance training facility will provide the fleet with qualified technicians equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to keep the P-8A aircraft flying for many years to come."

The P-8A, based on Boeing’s next-generation 737-800 commercial airplane, is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft designed to ensure maximum interoperability in the future battle space.

Capable of conducting broad-area maritime and littoral operations, the aircraft will use the flying boom, or the method of refuelling currently used by the US Air Force.

Image: The US Navy’s new P-8 maintenance training facility at Naval Air Station Jacksonville. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.