DOD picks Cubic for training system

The Defense Department last week selected Cubic Defense Applications for a $525 million contract to develop a next-generation air-to-air and air-to-ground combat training system.

The Air Force awarded the 10-year, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract June 4. It provides for the development and production of the P5 combat training system. The system is a "rangeless" air-to-air and air-to-ground training system that will support real-time air combat training for the Air Force and Navy.

The system consists of airborne and ground subsystems that are interconnected by multiple-access data receivers. The system enables pilots to perform tactical maneuvers and then receive debriefings on their performance.

The initial acquisition will be for four airborne pod subsystems, which will be followed by additional development and production of further subsystems, according to the Air Force.

A key element of the system is Cubic's Individual Combat Aircrew Display System, which lets pilots review training missions on commercially available PCs or laptop computers in a Microsoft Corp. Windows environment.

Gerald Dinkel, president and chief executive officer of Cubic Defense Applications, said the contract calls for a total of 27 Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Air National Guard training ranges in the United States, Europe and the Pacific. He added that the new system will enable the Navy to conduct at-sea instrumented training from aircraft carriers for the first time.

As the prime contractor, Cubic will provide overall program management, systems engineering and integration, ground processing, display and debriefing. IDT Metric Systems is a major subcontractor, providing the airborne instrumentation to collect and process in-flight data for post-mission debriefing, according to San Diego-based Cubic.

Cubic officials expect an initial $8 million to $10 million delivery order to be awarded immediately, and future funds will be obligated as individual delivery orders are issued. Work is to be completed by June 2014, according to the Air Force.

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