U.S. Navy LCAC
The U.S. Navy‚Äôs Landing Craft Air Cushioned Vehicle¬†(LCAC) is a high-speed, fully landing amphibious¬†craft, performing assaults and operational maneuvers¬†from ship to shore as well as across the beach.¬†Because the U.S. Navy LCAC is a crucial vehicle to U.S. Navy¬†missions, training devices built to support the LCAC‚Äôs¬†operations must match the quality of the craft itself,¬†along with refurbishments required to keep the fleet¬†operational into the next decade. To ensure that¬†training material for the LCAC remained relevant, the¬†U.S. Navy contracted UNITECH, now Lockheed Martin,¬†to transition the outdated Legacy training program¬†into a more encompassing training program. As a way¬†to reduce cost and risk, UNITECH teamed with DiSTI to¬†provide the virtual interactive training portions for this¬†endeavor.
Beginning in 2002, the U.S. Navy began to execute their¬†plan to update their training program by supplanting¬†the LCAC‚Äôs operator trainer through Desk-Top Trainers¬†(DTT). The Navy selected UNITECH to develop the¬†highly advanced supplemental training aids. UNITECH¬†turned to DiSTI to provide a combination of special¬†program management, expert software engineering¬†services, and innovative technology to the program‚Äôs¬†success. DiSTI provided the necessary tools and¬†services to create the virtual command module of¬†the LCAC for the DTT operator trainer. Approximately¬†two years later, the U.S. Navy instituted a Service Life¬†Extension Program (SLEP) requiring a comprehensive¬†trainer to simulate upgraded LCAC operations. At this¬†stage of development, the operator trainers were¬†able to utilize 50% of the original command module¬†content from the DTT, which created significant cost¬†savings for the program.
In the following year of 2005, the SLEP¬†required Maintenance Training specific¬†courseware for the LCAC, with the ability¬†to reuse 90% of the previous command.¬†During this time, the full Maintenance Trainer¬†and operator trainers were updated with¬†newer, high-fidelity graphics, including glass¬†displays. With the completion of the training¬†program‚Äôs transition in 2008, about 90% of¬†the maintenance trainer courseware was able¬†to be recycled with with modern applications¬†and state-of-the-art graphics.
To retain consistency and control costs, most¬†of the original virtual operator stations were¬†reused in phase of the update transition. In¬†order to accomplish this, software developers¬†at DiSTI created hundreds of reusable software¬†objects (RSOs) to realistically replicate the¬†detailed functions and behaviors of each¬†component within the LCAC.
DiSTI developed the high fidelity, photo¬†realistic courseware content that was¬†effectively blended into the existing courses,¬†which fully heightens the learning experience.¬†This courseware consists of instructor-led, alternative¬†technology-based instruction and laboratory¬†exercises, with all courses are web enabled, providing¬†performance-based assessments for each student. By¬†engaging the student, this training program offers the¬†ability to track student progress, resulting in continued¬†motivation to learn by the student.
The updated LCAC training program received¬†unprecedented training realism, significant cost¬†savings with the reusability and portability of¬†simulations, and reduced future training costs through¬†the RSOs recyclable nature.