March 23 (UPI) -- Thales, in partnership with AMST, has begun work on the construction of a High-G force Training and Test Capability facility for Britain's Royal Air Force.
The centrifuge facility at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire will train RAF and Royal Navy pilots to counter the effects of G-forces on their bodies during combat missions. It is due to go online in October 2018.
Thales said it will provide instructors and maintainers to run the center once the building of the facility is completed.
"AMST are the world leaders in the design, manufacture and delivery of centrifuges and Thales brings experience of working closely with the UK MOD and delivering training services to the RAF," Thales project manager Mike Wallace said.
The new 42-ton centrifuge will accelerate from zero to 9-g in one second, at which point it will be travelling at 58 mph and rotating 34 times a minutes.
The centrifuge will feature a virtual cockpit display so that pilots can train under realistic conditions.
"You basically sat in the old centrifuge and went for a ride, but with the new facility they will be flying a simulated cockpit," Wallace said. "With this capability the pilots will better understand the processes required to deal with the accelerations while flying a combat aircraft and managing the mission systems, all at the same time."
The virtual cockpit displays can be swapped out for layouts representing the three different types of jet aircraft.