Major General Kaluzinski outlines Poland’s jet trainer requirements

Contributor:  Andrew Elwell
Posted:  02/25/2013  12:00:00 AM EST
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Tags:   mft | training

Welcome Major General Kaluzinski, thank you for joining us. Could you please outline your role as the Polish Air Force Deputy Commander & Chief of Training and what it entails?

It is very hard to speak about one’s own range of responsibilities especially if it is as wide as mine because listing them, even in a random order, can make an impression that you are treating some of them as more important than other, but I will try to do my best. As everyone can suppose the role of the Polish Air Force Deputy Commander & Chief of Training is mainly connected with the broad issue of the Air Force training including specialised training provided to Air, GBAD and Radar units, staff exercises as well as every day military drill and Air Force soldiers’ physical fitness. I am also responsible for fulfilling NATO requirements and interoperability standards, supervising training methodology activities; developing new training concepts, programmes and methods as well as developing and implementing proposals and recommendations in order to improve the Air Force flight safety.

Could you please briefly outline the topics you plan to address during your presentation at the Military Flight Training conference in March?

Thanks to the invitation offered by the event’s organisers I will have the honour and pleasure to present a short briefing during the 12th Annual Military Flight Training Conference. My presentation will make the conference participants a bit more familiar with the Polish Air Force’s plans and goals connected with the new model of the Polish pilots training, which will let us effectively and economically prepare our student-pilots as well as to optimise the whole process of achieving the combat ready status in air operational units.

Are there any military flight training capabilities you would like made available to the Polish Air Force? Are you planning to procure any new trainers?

Taking into account my answer to your previous question I can say that it is almost obvious that if you want to build a new pilot training model you must acquire new capabilities, at least to some extent. The Polish Air Force’s most urgent training issue is to develop autonomous national capability for F-16 conversion, so plans connected with new trainers are subordinated to this goal.

The first “new trainer” which will be introduced into service is a domestically produced turboprop PZL-130 ORLIK Glass Cockpit. In fact this aircraft is a deep modernisation of the currently used PZL-130 equipped with an analogue cockpit. As the first training step the candidates will fly the “analogue” PZL - 130 in order to achieve basic pilot’s skills including VFR and IFR procedures. The next step will be accomplished on the PZL-130 airframe equipped with digital avionics (Glass Cockpit) and student-pilots will be taught how to perform basic tactical manoeuvres as well as how to fly tactical formations.

The second enabler, but in fact the most important one to reduce the skill gap and “pave” a “digital path” training for F-16 pilots is the Advanced Jet Trainer. The Polish Air Force plans to acquire up to 12 modern aircraft of such type as well as integrated logistics support, related training sub-systems (such as Full Mission Simulator, Squadron Level Simulator, CBT etc.) and initial training for instructor-pilots and ground crews. After a detailed analysis of potential possibilities to provide advanced training for the Polish pilots our requirements concerning the Integrated Training System (AJT level) are as follows:

  • Jet A/C (at least 1 engine)
  • Cockpit as closely as possible similar to the combat A/C (MFDs, HUD, HOTAS)
  • Training missions (day & night, VMC & IMC) simulated weapon training (A-A, A-G)
  • Advanced flying envelope (subsonic A/C with high manoeuvrability and excess of the thrust)
  • Safety, reliability
  • Low Life Cycle Cost

From the Polish Air Force’s point of view the acquisition of the Integrated Training System (AJT level) will help to guarantee the Polish Air Force Academy’s graduates entry-level skills to join the F-16 training and in effect it will let us to reduce the training cycle’s overall time and costs.

How important do you think simulation is today? Is it a viable training method and, since it so is cost-effective, does that mean it will be used more frequently in the future?

As an Air Force Commander is aware, the training provided to military aircrews is a very complex and lengthy process due to sophisticated aviation technology and wide range of tasks performed in the air. It requires an enormous range of knowledge from the participants as well as it being time and money consuming. Personally I find the simulation devices of different kind used today as a tool to save both time and money in this process. Simulators also give us a unique opportunity connected with the need to increase the flight safety level allowing to practice emergency procedures and obtain the required skills without any danger to the aircrew and aircraft. It is very hard to predict how the simulation will look in the future but taking into account the current pace of technology development I would go along with the view that it will be used more and more often in the air training process. Because at present we use equipment and devices such as 3D TVs or tablets which 10 or 20 years ago used to be a total fiction maybe in 10-years’ time we will be able to accomplish whole pilot’s air training on simulators, giving him or her the CR status and permission to execute the first real flight on a combat airframe, without the need to possess any real training aircraft or OCU. In fact nobody can be sure how the future will look like.

What about the joint networked simulation – how important do you think collaboration with other Air Forces will be in the future?

Currently the flight simulator training is an essential element of the whole aviation training and is an element which keeps on evolving due to the development of new technologies. One of the directions for the flight simulators is to increase capabilities connected with the potential to connect a group of simulators into a network and create a qualitatively new training device. I believe that this approach opens new possibilities in the field of air crew training. For example, when planning an exercise with different air units involved we would be able to execute a series of preparatory exercises for aircrews from different locations with the use of the squadron level flight simulators network, creating one joint virtual reality, saving money, time and in fact better preparing crews for real tasks. Of course at present the Polish Air Force does not have enough capabilities to connect more than 2 or 3 flight simulators into one network but we are aware of the possibilities connected with this issue and we are currently working on it. As far as the idea of collaborating with other Air Forces in this dimension is concerned we are open to all initiatives. Many countries are much more advanced in building joint networked simulation so I am sure that if any other Air Force or organization comes forward with an adequate proposal the Polish Air Force will be happy to accept it.

What are you looking forward to most about attending the Military Flight Training conference in March? What are you hoping to get out of the event?

The Military Flight Training Conference seems to be one of the most important conferences of this kind all over the world. I hope that taking part in it gives me a possibility to broaden my knowledge about current trends in the flight training, exchange and present my personal opinions on it as well as to make conference participants a bit more familiar with the Polish Air Force’s plans on the new model of the Polish pilots training. I think that an attempt to build or rebuild the national air training system which in fact is a constant process, but without being aware of the experiences gained by others, may lead to failure, so this conference is an occasion to hear the others and eventually adjust our plans.

Andrew Elwell Contributor:   Andrew Elwell

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