Synth Wave: UK military embraces virtual training

With military pilot training shifting towards simulators and synthetic environments, Richard Thomas looks at the benefits and explores​ how the UK is adapting to this developing technology.

For much of the past decade, the UK military has been busy shifting its real-world pilot training into synthetic environments, looking to utilise simulators instead of expensive fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, whose precious flight hours are considered better spent elsewhere. To this end, it has spent hundreds of millions of pounds in a bid to reduce overall training costs and platform acquisitions, while prolonging aircraft service life.

Currently, around 50% of the RAF’s combat air training is conducted in virtual environments, with an expectation that this figure will have risen to 80% of all training being done synthetically by 2040. Indeed, in recent months, senior RAF officials have been keen to emphasise the need to embrace the age of digital training environments.

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