Defense Innovation Unit Selects Vertex Solutions to Develop the New Multi-Place Mixed Reality Flight Simulator

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November 09, 2022
Defense Innovation Unit Selects Vertex Solutions to Develop the New Multi-Place Mixed Reality Flight Simulator

10 November 2022 (Niceville, FL) – Vertex Solutions, a leading developer of high-fidelity learning technology, including extended reality (XR) training, was selected by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to develop a reconfigurable Multi-Place Mixed Reality (MPMR) flight simulator. The MPMR flight simulator will replace the currently fielded Weapon Systems Trainers (WSTs) and save several times their initial fielding, modification, and sustainment costs, all while providing greater access to pilot training for students.

This is exciting news for the USAF, who will be able to train more pilots effectively, at a lower cost, to help address the pilot shortage!

“The MPMR flight simulator is the next step in training technology that is revolutionizing the aviation industry. Recently, we’ve delivered nearly 300 fixed- and rotary-wing Immersive Training Devices to the Air Force and Navy to help revolutionize pilot training. It’s exciting to now provide a multi-place mixed reality training solution that will build on that past success, provide greater access to pilot training, and pave the way for FAA certification of all XR devices.”

— Dennis Wikoff, President and COO, Vertex Solutions

The initial contract requirement is to deliver a TH-1H rotary-wing simulator for 19th Air Force’s Helicopter Training Next program within Air Education & Training Command (AETC). The unique modularity of Vertex Solutions’ design, however, allows DIU and Vertex Solutions to develop a capability that can be rapidly extended to multiple fixed- or rotary-wing aircraft configurations beyond the TH-1H.

DIU is the only DoD organization focused on accelerating the adoption of commercial and dual-use technology to solve operational challenges at speed and scale. Vertex Solutions’ Immersive Training Devices are a great example of dual-use technology that benefits both the military and commercial industry. This technology not only satisfies U.S. DoD pilot training needs but is directly applicable to commercial aviation training in passenger and cargo flight operations. Beyond meeting a mission-critical military training need, the MPMR flight simulator will provide a pathway to FAA certification for similar XR fixed- and rotary-wing training devices. 

For both DoD and commercial customers, traditional simulators, such as Operational Flight Trainers (OFTs) and WSTs, are costly to build and maintain, typically involve outdated visuals and terrain data, are less flexible to upgrade, and have fewer capabilities than XR trainers. This is where Vertex Solutions’ MR devices shine.

Combining the tactile feel of physical avionics panels that match what’s in the cockpit with the realism of improved and more cost-effective visuals, our MR trainers offer end users the most immersive training experience at a fraction of the cost. With this contract, the USAF will prove it’s possible to replace large, expensive, energy-intensive devices like the current OFTs and WSTs with Vertex Solutions’ smaller, more economical, and energy-saving MPMR flight simulators with no additional infrastructure costs.

“Vertex Solutions successfully completed a DIU prototype for the Pilot Training Transformation (PTT) program funded, managed, and sustained by the 19th Air Force, which has now been implemented and is being utilized as a training aide in the T-6A, T-38C, and TH-1H curricula as well as the Navy’s T-45C and T-6B. Vertex is now under contract to prototype a multi-place mixed reality flight simulator for helicopter training that provides a pathway to replicate the capabilities provided by legacy full-motion, high-fidelity simulators currently accomplished in the Weapon Systems Trainer (WST). Companies like Vertex Solutions and other contractors supporting the PTT program have played a vital role in transforming the way pilots train today."

—  Maj Alex Horn, Program Manager, Defense Innovation Unit (DIU)

Vertex Solutions is developing the innovative reconfigurable MPMR simulator under an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) contract vehicle. OTAs allow this and other projects to succeed in an environment that is faster to field—think having an “Easy Button” for contracting. Similar contracts in the past would typically take two to three years to bring the capability to the end user. This concept will deliver a prototype within one year from announcement of the solicitation, and a full solution (five devices) within a 19-month period of performance.

Contact Vertex Solutions to discuss how we can help you field an MPMR solution for your aircraft far faster than the standard acquisition process.

About Vertex Solutions

A woman-owned small business that has been providing award-winning training support services to the U.S. Government and private-sector firms for more than 25 years. We specialize in integrating the latest in learning science, hardware, and software to produce the most effective training possible. We are a prime contractor for DIU’s Pilot Training Transformation (PTT) program, where we’ve delivered more than 260 XR flight simulators and are already making great strides toward revolutionizing pilot training. The Navy has adopted these same simulators for their T-6 and T-45 training programs.

Vertex can help your personnel Learn Faster, Retain Longer, and Perform Better.

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