Poland to Procure F-16 Simulators

F-16C sim. Image: L3 Harris
F-16C sim. Image: L3 Harris

The Armament Inspectorate of the Polish MoD has begun a procurement procedure aimed at the acquisition of four tactical F-16C/D Block 52+ simulators, with the optional acquisition of a single extra example also envisaged. The negotiation will have five slots for the bidders and 90% of the bid rating is going to be based on the economic criterion.

The offer submission deadline for this procurement expires on 15th September while delivery and setup should be finalized within 28 months from the conclusion of the agreement. The new simulators are to replicate the current configuration of the Polish jets (M6.5 upgrade implemented within the framework of the famous JASSM procurement).

Apart from the option of the employment of the JASSM and JASSM-ER missiles, the package also introduced numerous MMC (Multi-Mission Computer) software changes.  The computer is thus capable of processing data quicker and of handling options such as the Universal Armament Interface (UAI) that allows for easy integration of new generation guided munitions on the jets fitted with that interface.

The Polish F-16s also received the IFF system compatible with Mode 5 or spoof-resistant GPS. Meanwhile, the Link 16 data exchange protocol update increases the bandwidth and enhances the situational awareness of the crew and security of the communications. This would also allow the Polish F-16s to work in a net-centric setting or to exchange data with the F-35s.

The new simulators that the Armament Inspectorate wants to procure are to allow for full replications of new capabilities, providing habitual and emergency procedures training, or training within the scope of combat engagements or aerial refueling. What is more, it is also required for the simulators to comprehensively prepare the airmen for combat sorties, including tactical element flying. Not only are the simulators to allow for training of 4 (or even 5) pilots in joint execution of combat sorties, they are also expected to work with other simulators, within a common network. In the future, this would make it possible to conduct joint training of the Polish F-16 and F-35 crews, or even to hold multinational exercises.

The new simulators are to replace the equipment procured with the F-16 jets back in 2003, within the framework of a contract that, apart from the jets and the maintenance infrastructure, also covered the establishment of training infrastructure - a single mission simulator, two squadron-level training devices, and two ground procedure simulators.

Notably, back in 2018, a market analysis took place, concerning the acquisition of a “tactical flight simulation simulator system for the F-16C/D Block 52+ aircraft”. The analysis involved 7 entities, as follows: ETC-PZL Aerospace Industries Sp. z o.o.; L-3 Technologies Inc.; Elbit Systems Aerospace; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Kenbit Sp.j.; Poland-US Operations Sp. z o.o.; Parasnake.