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Air Force awards $70M contract for augmented reality system on training jet

The Air Force awarded a contract on Monday to integrate augmented reality onto the T-38 jet trainer, similar to the one pictured en route to a training range over the Gulf of Mexico. Photo by Master Sgt. Burt Traynor/U.S. Air Force
The Air Force awarded a contract on Monday to integrate augmented reality onto the T-38 jet trainer, similar to the one pictured en route to a training range over the Gulf of Mexico. Photo by Master Sgt. Burt Traynor/U.S. Air Force

Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Florida-based tech firm Red 6 has been awarded a contract worth up to $70 million to outfit a U.S. Air Force T-38 training jet with augmented reality.

The technology company, which specializes in synthetic air combat training, on Monday announced the Air Force contract, which will spread funding for the project out over five years.

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"This award is indicative of Red 6's commitment to deliver training solutions for the defense community," Daniel Robinson, founder and CEO of the company, said in a press release.

"We are excited to continue to grow our presence within the U.S. Air Force as we harness the power of our one-of-a-kind technology in support of the warfighter," Robinson said.

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The company said it plans to immediately start work on outfitting the T-38 Talon with the Airborne Tactical Augmented Reality System, followed by integrating the system onto a fourth generation aircraft, such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

The Red 6-created ATARS allows warfighters to observe and interact with synthetically generated entities superimposed on the flight helmet visor, according to the company.

"Red 6 is ushering in a new era of training, and with the support of the U.S. Air Force, we aim to deliver an extraordinary increase to readiness, proficiency, training capacity, and capability," Robinson said in the release.

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Robinson told Defense News test flights for the T-38 integrated with the ATARS system could take from six months to a year to start.

"It is a big, bold vision, but I think that big bold vision is really fast becoming a reality," Robinson said. "I think over the next 12 months, you're going to see something that no one can deny is absolutely transformational."

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