Defence Minister Stuart Andrew has announced that British pilots will be able to undertake simultaneous, virtual exercises with US counterparts based across the Atlantic using new cutting-edge simulation technology…

Speaking on a visit to RAF Waddington, the Minister announced a £36m contract for simulation technology which can replicate up to three real-life scenarios simultaneously and independently of each other, allowing US and UK aircrew to experience the same battle environment and threats.

The capability, known as ‘Gladiator’, will give the RAF unprecedented training flexibility, enabling pilots to exercise capabilities, tactics and procedures that would be impossible in the live environment due to airspace, aircraft availability, or security constraints.

Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said: “This synthetic training technology offers the RAF a cost-effective, powerful and safe way to prepare our aircrew for the complex threats they will face on the battlefield. The UK-US defence partnership is already the deepest and most advanced of any two countries and now our pilots will be able to train for the frontline more closely than ever.”

The manufacture and design of the capability is expected to be completed within two years, with aircrew to start training on the equipment in autumn 2021. Initially, Typhoon pilots will be able to fly virtual missions alongside their counterpart aircrews in America and interact with UK and US Joint Terminal Attack Controllers who direct combat aircraft from an advanced ground-based position.

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