For Immediate Release: June 22, 2011
By Geoff S. Fein, Office of Naval Research
ARLINGTON, Va.—The P-3 Aircrew Tactical Team Trainer (PACT3), developed with funding from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), will be honored June 22 for improving anti-submarine warfare skills.
"The competition across NAVAIR for these awards is keen, and being recognized in this particular category is a clear statement that your work and dedication is appreciated,” said Rear Adm. Randy Mahr, commander, Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) Aircraft Division.
The PACT3 Integrated Product Team (IPT) will receive Naval Air System Command’s (NAVAIR) National Commander’s Award in the Science and Technology category for the accelerated development of an integrated Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) trainer for deployed P-3 aircrews, according to the nomination package. The award, which recognizes the work of 50-60 people, will be given to the PACT3 team June 22 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Md.
A mix of Navy and private contractors worked on the trainer and ONR provided the Rapid Technology Transition funding to form the capability, said Harold Hawkins, an ONR program manager.
PACT3 was developed using ONR Rapid Technology Transfer (RTT) funding.
“It demonstrates to our Navy partners that we can quickly and efficiently deliver technologies that are of value,” Hawkins said.
In response to an April 2008 urgent-needs request from the Navy’s Commander Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, the PACT3 IPT, working with other Navy units and private industry, developed a solution that bridged a critical training gap for P-3C crews forward deployed.
Although originally developed 40 years ago as an ASW patrol aircraft, the P-3C Orion has undergone extensive modifications and upgrades to give the aircraft anti-surface and command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
The combined impacts of increased demand for non-ASW missions and an aging fleet resulted in a marked decrease in ASW skills for the aircrews, said Jonathan Glass, a project manager at the NAWC Training Systems Division, Cross Warfare Directorate in Orlando.
Based on a requirement to deliver a training simulator, with PC based systems, that could address improving aircrews’ ASW skills, all within 24 months, the IPT developed the PACT3.
“It was a significant effort to get it done in a short amount of time,” Glass said.
Although P-3C aircrews currently have access to high fidelity simulator facilities, the systems are immobile and located at P-3 CONUS Fleet concentration areas.
“[PACT3] is a deployable device. This will allow aircrews to do ASW while forward deployed, to keep up those skills,” Glass said.
Not only will PACT3 improve ASW capabilities, it also has the potential to impact the total ownership cost of training by reducing flight hours and sonobuoy (aircraft deployed sonar system) expenditures, according to the August 2008 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
Since its January 2010 critical design review milestone, several demonstrators have been built and provided to the Fleet Project Team for testing and evaluation. In January 2011, the PACT3 training device demonstrated and met all of the ONR RTT MOA exit criteria at NAS Jacksonville, Fla., to meet the requirements for transition, Glass said.
PACT3’s sponsors, Commander Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Group and the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft Program office, has asked for eight additional systems to be delivered to Navy commands with ASW interests, beginning in October, Glass said. The PACT3 will transition and enter the P-3 training device inventory and be managed by NAVAIR’s Aviation Training System office.
About the Office of Naval Research
The Department of the Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps' technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.