The US Army's Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO-STRI) has taken delivery of additional portable aircraft survivability trainer (MAST) systems from AAI Test & Training.
The new 51 low-rate initial production (LRIP) units add to previous nine first article systems delivered by the company in late 2011, as part of a $10.6m contract awarded under the army's Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Omnibus Contract II vehicle.
Awarded in April 2011, the contract includes four optional years and has a potential for 300 systems at a total value of $43m.
AAI senior vice president and general manager Robert Peters said that the system has been developed using the company's experience in aircraft survivability training, flight line testing and long-range, electro-optic and infrared test and training equipment.
"It provides users a high-fidelity, challenging, live MANPADS training experience on the ground, supporting aircrew safety through understanding of tactics, techniques and procedures," Peters said.
Equipped with a light-emitting diode ultraviolet emitter threat simulator to replicate launch characteristics of a man-portable air defence system (MANPADS), the MAST is used by the aircrews to test their responses against surface-to-air missile (SAM) threats during live training sorties.
Capable of generating a threat declaration in the aircraft cockpit, the system mimics a surface-to-air missile engagement sequence, such as seeker lock and break lock, according to environmental and situational conditions.
The system combines a weapon effects simulation system to disclose the MAST location following its firing, and allows for force-on-force and force-on-target training at manoeuvre combat training centres and aviation unit home stations.
SAM engagements, recorded by the system during exercises, are used for after-action reviews and also for debriefing aircrews.
MAST is also interoperable with the AN/AAR-47 and AN/AAR-57 missile warning systems, as well as the aircraft instrumentation systems, such as the multiple integrated laser system and the AH-64D Longbow Apache tactical engagement simulation system.