US Army receives additional MAST systems from AAI

2 August 2012 (Last Updated August 2nd, 2012 03:45)

The US Army's Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO-STRI) has taken delivery of additional man-portable aircraft survivability trainer (MAST) systems from AAI Test & Training.

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.

“It provides users a high-fidelity, challenging, live MANPADS training experience on the ground, supporting aircrew safety through understanding of tactics, techniques and procedures.”

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.