The Naval Aviation Training Systems and Ranges (PMA-205) and the F/A-18 and EA-18G (PMA-265) program offices have developed a sophisticated Live Virtual Constructive (LVC) training system that has the potential to revolutionize the way the Navy trains. The LVC training, commonly referred to as Link Inject-to-Live (LITL), is projected to save the Navy millions of dollars annually while improving readiness.

According to Capt. Kevin McGee, PMA-205 program manager, “The Link Inject-to-Live trainer enhances the F/A-18 and EA-18G training capability by enabling them with the ability to train against realistic air and surface threats…The capabilities LITL brings for both deployed and home station operations are quite impressive.”

An F/A-18E Super Hornet launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Credit: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Joseph Calabrese / U.S. Navy

The LITL training system injects high fidelity simulated air-to-air and surface-to-air targets into the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G weapon systems. This allows for extremely dynamic and complex training scenarios that can be presented to deployed aviators while reducing the administrative burden and cost of traveling to detachment sites for red air adversary support. The system is also cost-conscious and portable.

“In naval aviation, we train like we fight, and Link Inject-to-Live makes training more realistic and easier, so it’s a win all around,” said Cmdr. Sarah Abbott, PMA-265 F/A-18E/F deputy program manager. “This capability is a game changer.”

The two program offices have fielded LITL aboard aircraft carriers in support of deployed units, granting squadrons the ability to continue weapons and tactics training at sea. Weather conditions do not limit LITL and relieves squadrons from using live aircraft as adversaries while increasing sortie and training event completion.

In 2022, LITL was used for hundreds of events and thousands of sorties, which is an increase in sortie utilization from 2021. This increase is directly related to the fleet adding LITL events due to the significant increase in training fidelity provided by the system.

“The future use cases for LITL are really exciting,” said Chuck Terry, PMA-205 Aviation Training LVC and Strategy Department team lead. “We are currently testing connections to other platform simulators that will facilitate integrated training that will accelerate air-to-air training.”

The LITL program has the potential to provide significant positive impacts to training, paving the way for considerable changes to training syllabi. This innovative training system is expected to save the Navy millions of dollars annually while increasing readiness and effectiveness.

PMA-205 provides full life-cycle acquisition of naval aviation training platforms, general training systems, training range instrumentation systems, and distributed mission training centers to provide U.S. Navy and Marine Corps pilots, naval flight officers, aircrew, and maintainers with the training equipment required to provide lethal capability and operational readiness.

The F/A-18 & EA-18G Program Office (PMA-265) provides critical current and future capabilities in the form of total life cycle support management (cradle to grave) for the F/A-18A-D Hornet, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler weapons systems. PMA-265 is responsible for acquiring, delivering and sustaining the F/A-18 and EA-18G aircraft, ensuring mission success for U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviators, as well as international partners.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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