The US Navy’s next-generation air combat training system, the Tactical Combat Training System Increment II (TCTS II), obtained Milestone C approval on April 27, allowing the system to enter production.
Approved by Program Executive Officer for Aviation Common Systems and Commercial Services (PEO(CS)), Gary Kurtz, Milestone C clears the way for the TCTS II program to transition into limited production with Collins Aerospace Systems.
Developed and built by Collins Aerospace Systems and teammate Leonardo DRS, TCTS Inc. II is a scalable open architecture system that enables highly secure air combat between navy and air force aircraft.
Going into production of this capability comes after many years of work and planning done by the PMA-205 and Collins team. “I could not be more proud of this team’s achievement revolutionizing the way we train,” said Kurtz.
“This is an exciting time for the program and the Fleet as we start production on the next Tactical Combat Training System,” said Capt. Lisa Sullivan, PMA-205 program manager.
“The Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force all identified a critical need for a common, encrypted and multiple-level security range training system, and PMA-205 will be delivering TCTS Inc II to meet those requirements on schedule.“
The TCTS II training pod is the first to meet the services’ requirements and communicates with both airborne and ground equipment.
“The TCTS II system is also built with future growth in mind and includes key components to achieve Live, Virtual, and Constructive (LVC) capabilities,” said Sullivan.
LVC blended training is a cost-effective solution for developing and testing emerging technologies and is critical for providing aviators and weapon system operators with realistic mission rehearsal training for the complex challenges they might face during actual combat scenarios.
“The fleet has been asking for this type of capability for some time and we, along with Collins, have worked diligently to develop, test and mature this training capability, while maintaining schedule,” said Chuck Kaylor, PMA-205 TCTS II team lead. “Obtaining Milestone C approval is a culmination of our efforts.”
Performance and flight testing will be conducted by Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Three (VX-23) at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, in Maryland, on the F/A-18E Super Hornet.