Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems, in Akron, Ohio, has purchased SGI Onyx 3000 series high-performance graphics supercomputers for use in the next five F-16 pilot training systems it will supply to the U.S. Air Force. The pilot training systems, part of the U.S. Air Force F-16 Mission Training Center (MTC) program, perform the same multi-role functions that F-16 fighter aircraft perform in combat missions.

This multimillion-dollar deal will double the number of Air Force F-16 Mission Training Center (MTC) simulators from five to 10. The U.S. Air Force currently trains F-16 pilots in MTCs at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., and Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Each F-16 pilot training system within an MTC simulates typical F-16 tactical formations and operations and can be linked through U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command's distributed mission training system with other participants in simulators such as Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft.

"These F-16 simulators with SGI Onyx 3000 visualization systems meet the needs of customers like the U.S. Air Force, who require a high-end image generator for photo-realistic, out-the-window visual scenes to support air-to-air and air-to-ground scenarios in a 360-degree environment," said Charles McCoy, Lockheed Martin F-16 MTC program director.

The realism provided by the SGI Onyx 3000 series visualization system, which generates photo-specific terrain, vegetation and physical infrastructure, is a big step forward in flight simulation. F-16 pilots can now train with real visual cues rather than low-resolution, polygonal shapes of mountains, streams and physical infrastructure. The F-16 MTC program also features new dimensions of realism, including a 360-degree visual system and a variety of 3D, high-intensity threat environments.

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