Cubic Global Defense announced on 20 September that Lockheed Martin has contracted it to deliver over 500 Air Combat Training System (ACTS) subsystems for the F-35 LIGHTNING II over the next four years, as part of production lots 12-14. Prior to deliveries under this order, Cubic and Leonardo DRS – its principal subcontractor – will have delivered over 500 low-rate initial production units.
The F-35 ACTS consists of the P5 Combat Training System (P5CTS) – a pod-mounted solution that relays Time, Space and Position in Information (TSPI) between participating aircraft during training sorties – and the P5 ground software. P5CTS enables real-time, live monitoring and recorded mission data for air-to-air, air-to-ground and surface-to-air training scenarios for post-mission analysis. However, unlike the previous wing-mounted P5 pods, the internal subsystem in the F-35 is placed inside the aircraft.
“Fifth-generation aircrew require a complex training scenario to prepare them for combat operations in a contested environment,” explained Cubic Global Defense President, Dave Buss. “With this next-generation air combat training system, F-35 fighter pilots can receive not only a dedicated training system to accurately capture exercise data, but [can] also have the capability to train with fourth-generation aircraft that carry [the] wing-mounted pod version of the P5 Combat Training System.”