AMPTHILL, England, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin UK has opened a simulation facility for pilots and engineers of F-35 Lightning II fighters assess the aircraft's mission system and software.
"By simulating battle scenarios, users are able to get a realistic understanding of how the F-35B will operate," the company said. "The virtual cockpits, networked together to emulate multi aircraft operations, allow military personnel and industry to test how the software responds to a variety of situations.
The Virtual Analysis Laboratory is located at company facilities in Ampthill.
Lockheed Martin said a dual purpose of the center is to use the VAL output to tailor how the Britain intends to operate the aircraft and help develop software upgrades for F-35Bs.
"This purpose-built simulation facility for the F-35B will enable the MOD (Ministry of Defense) and industry to maximize the aircraft's capabilities specifically for the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force," said Stephen Ball, chief executive of Lockheed Martin UK. "Establishing the F-35 VAL in the UK will prove invaluable as the program matures and its highly classified nature means users will be able to replicate real life operational situations and put the mission system to the test in realistic scenarios."
The "B" F-35 is a short takeoff and landing variant of the aircraft.