Together we are strong - the simulation environment of the P-3C-Orion maritime reconnaissance aircraft enables the German navy to provide realistic and multi-faceted training for the entire eleven-man crew. CAE Elektronik GmbH has been in charge of the P-3C simulator in Nordholz since 2009. The training system provided there consists of two components: The Operational Flight Trainer (OFT) and the Operational Tactics Trainer (OTT). The systems – abbreviated OFT and OTT - can also be operated separately from each other, so that individual adjustment to the crew in the cockpit or the on-board crew is possible. The coupling of both systems allows the simulation of realistic naval tasks, in which the complete aircraft crew can train for a joint mission.
While in the OFT the cockpit crew can exercise many different scenarios from take-offs and landings to all conceivable emergency situations, the OTT located in the adjacent room offers the eight crew members in the rear part of the aircraft the opportunity to prepare for their complex missions.
The P-3C Orion maritime reconnaissance aircraft is used for long-range airborne surveillance at sea and for locating objects, for example submerged submarines. The eight aircraft of the naval pilot squadron, as well as the simulator are located in Nordholz.
With training for the entire cockpit crew CAE creates a single unit: the pilot, co-pilot and on-board technician make up one team. The Operational Flight Trainer is based on an exact replica of the aircraft cockpit of the P-3C Orion, which is mounted on a motion system that enables flight movements in almost all directions.
The five-channel vision system in combination with a high-resolution laser light projector generates such a realistic external view that during an exercise the pilots often no longer notice that they are not actually doing their training unit in the air but on the ground.
Each training session carried out in the simulator is accompanied by instructors. They use touch displays to control environmental variables, such as position or weather. Disruptive factors, such as aircraft component failures or emergencies can also be brought in. This way the simulation can train for many dangerous situations which, in reality, would only be limited or not possible at all.
A copy, yet still unique: naval pilots experience an exact replica of the fuselage of the P-3C in the Operational Tactics Trainer including all installations, which trains behaviour at the five different workstations located there. Here, the operators for the surface and underwater sensors are also positioned alongside the tactical officer and the navigation officer.
A cockpit reduced to the size of the pilot's workstation is integrated for non-coupled operation.
Each of the five workstations is monitored from its own console, which is located in an external room. From here, the instructors control the training scenarios to guide each individual operator optimally and individually.
During joint training within OTT or during the coupling of OFT and OTT, an instructor at the instructor console controls the common parameters.