L-3 Link Simulation & Training announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly create an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Training Center with the University of North Dakota (UND) in Grand Forks, N.D. The UAS Training Center, which will be located on UND’s campus and Grand Forks Air Force Base, will be the first non-military educational institution in the U.S. to provide initial qualification and continuation training for operators of the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper aircraft. The training center will begin operations in March 2011.
L-3 Link Simulation & Training and the University of North Dakota have teamed to develop the first non-military UAS Training Center that will begin operations in March 2011. Sen. Byron Dorgan, at the podium, announced the joint initiative. “We’ve worked to make the Grand Forks area a national center for UAS activities,” said U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan. “This partnership is just another example of our goal becoming a reality. Those seeking to be Predator and Reaper UAS operators now have a unique opportunity to be trained in North Dakota, boosting high-tech UAS education initiatives right here in our state.”
L-3 Link Simulation & Training and the University of North Dakota have teamed to develop the first non-military UAS Training Center that will begin operations in March 2011. Sen. Byron Dorgan, at the podium, announced the joint initiative.
“L-3 Link Simulation & Training looks forward to building on its partnership with the University of North Dakota to create a premier UAS Training Center,” said Bob Birmingham, president of L-3 Link. “By providing a comprehensive curriculum and proven training technologies, which will include high-fidelity simulation of the Predator and Reaper platforms, the training center will be positioned to meet the increasing demand for qualified unmanned aircraft systems pilots and sensor operators.”
“We are excited about this next milestone in the development of the UND Center for UAS Research, Education and Training, which has been championed and supported by Senator Byron Dorgan as part of his Red River Valley Research Corridor initiative,” said Robert Kelley, president of the University of North Dakota. “We expect a fruitful partnership with L-3 Link Simulation & Training as we provide training to UND students in the world’s first major in unmanned aircraft systems.”
“The partnership between L-3 Link and the University of North Dakota represents a significant entrance into the world of UAS pilot and sensor operator training,” said Al Palmer, interim director of UND’s Center for UAS Research, Education and Training. “The world aviation community is going to take notice of this historic collaboration between these successful organizations.”
The training center will provide advanced unmanned aircraft systems training opportunities to UND students pursuing a bachelor of science in aeronautics with a major in unmanned aircraft systems operations. In addition, the training center will support other organizations’ training requirements to develop highly capable Predator and Reaper operators.
In its partnership role, L-3 Link will provide and maintain a high-fidelity UAS simulator in addition to training center instructor support. The UAS training device is configured to simulate the Predator or Reaper, combining ground control station hardware, simulation software and high-fidelity, correlated databases to create a fully immersive environment. Aircraft platform performance, sensors and weapons systems are precisely modeled to provide training in complex, real-world mission scenarios.
The University of North Dakota’s Center for UAS Research, Education and Training is a premier institution for UAS Research, Education and Training. The Center plans to leverage its 40 years of success in commercial aviation education to develop a world-class UAS training and research center in North Dakota. UND’s UAS Center recently initiated the first and only undergraduate program offering a bachelor’s degree in UAS Operations. The Center is also a key player in ongoing efforts to facilitate the integration of unmanned aircraft into the national airspace through on-going research efforts. In addition to academic pursuits, the Center hopes to provide a conduit to private industry for the commercialization of new UAS-related products and services that will create new jobs and dynamic opportunities at the forefront of the aviation industry.
L-3 Link Simulation & Training is a systems integration organization that delivers and supports training systems and equipment to enhance operational proficiency. The company’s current services include conducting front-end analysis; program design; simulator design and production; field support; aircraft logistics support; training and courseware support; and air traffic control training. It has major operations in Arlington, Texas, and other key bases of operation in Binghamton, N.Y.; Orlando, Fla.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Broken Arrow, Okla. and Phoenix, Ariz.
Headquartered in New York City, L-3 Communications employs over 67,000 people worldwide and is a prime contractor in aircraft modernization and maintenance, C3ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) systems and government services. L-3 is also a leading provider of high technology products, systems and subsystems. The company reported 2009 sales of $15.6 billion.
To learn more about L-3 Communications, please visit the company’s web site at http://www.L-3Com.com.
Contact: Rick Oyler
Link Simulation & Training