The 360 Tower Simulator replicates the operating environment of an actual control tower. (all photos : Sing Mindef)
Trainees at the Command, Control and Communications (C3) School in the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) can look forward to more realistic training, thanks to a new suite of simulator training systems, which closely mimics the operational Radio Detection and Ranging (RADAR) environment and that of a control tower.
These simulators are housed in the new C3 School Simulator Centre (SSC), which was officially commissioned by Chief of Air Force Major-General (MG) Hoo Cher Mou on 22 May.
The C3 SSC in the Air Force Training Command provides training for Air Warfare Officer (C3), Air Operations and Systems Expert, and Air Operations Specialist trainees.
Trainees used to be trained on an old simulator system that was introduced in the RSAF in 1998. However, due to continuous upgrading in technology and improvements in operational systems, there was a need to upgrade the training simulators as well.
An Air Warfare Officer (C3) trainee practising on a Radar Simulator. The recorded exercise can be downloaded onto the trainee's laptop for review.
"The RSAF continues to invest in the training of its people," said Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) N. Muralidharan, Commander of C3 School. "As such, with the set-up of the new simulator mimicking the real-ops system as closely as possible, that's going to help the trainees in their seamless transition to the operational units."
There are three types of simulators in the C3 SSC.
The 360 Tower Simulator replicates the environment inside a control tower, providing an all-round view of a simulated air base. The trainees are trained to handle aircraft take-offs and landings, circuit operations, including ground and vehicular movements within the air base.
The 180 Tower Simulator replicates the capabilities of the 360 Tower Simulator, but with a reduced field-of-view of 180-degrees.
The RADAR simulator facilitates training in both Air Traffic Control and Air Defence functions, such as airspace management and intercept control.
To enhance training, instructors have generated demo clips, using the new simulator systems for different scenarios and profiles that the trainees will handle during their course. Trainees can download them onto their laptops to learn at their own pace. The system allows for video recording of their practical exercise to enhance the quality of debrief.
Said Officer Cadet (OCT) Jasper Lim, who is among the first batch of trainees to use the new simulator system: "The learning curve has been steep, but the simulator and demo clips library serve as very good guides for us.
"I can also share my downloaded video recordings with my course mates (using the equipped laptop), and discuss how to conduct safe operations and find solutions for situations that we couldn't handle during the exercise."