U.S. Air Force Joins Navy TCTS Inc. II Program to Field Next-Gen Air Combat Training Solution

The U.S. Air Force has joined the U.S. Navy’s Tactical Combat Training System Increment II (TCTS Inc. II) program, making it a collaborative effort to field a next-generation air combat training solution.

Developed and built by Collins Aerospace Systems, TCTS Inc. II is a scalable and flexible Multiple Independent Levels of Security (MILS)-based open architecture system that enables highly-secure air combat training between US and international aircraft, including advanced 5th generation platforms. Collins Aerospace is a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp.

By making it a collaborative effort, the Air Force leverages investments already made by the Navy to deliver a significant leap in training capabilities sooner and at less cost. The Air Force will call this the P6 Combat Training System (P6CTS), which will significantly improve training realism in simulated, highly-contested combat environments and allow pilots to ‘train as they fight’.

“This capability can’t be overstated. The TCTS Inc. II and P6CTS programs will enable joint tactics, techniques and procedures in a secure environment against a peer adversary threat, unlike anything the services have been able to do in the past. We’re excited about the potential,” said Heather Robertson, vice president and general manager, Integrated Solutions for Collins Aerospace.

P6CTS fills gaps from currently fielded air combat training equipment such as encrypted time, space, position information (TSPI), multi-level security, and mesh networking waveform enabling services to move faster toward next-gen capabilities that will increase mission readiness. This collaboration lays the digital foundation for bringing secure, cross-service air combat and joint Live, Virtual, and Constructive training to the U.S. and its allies in 2022.

With an open systems architecture that is conformant with the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) standard, TCTS Inc. II ensures interoperability between platforms, reducing test time and ultimately increasing rapid, affordable deployment of the solution.

Collins Aerospace recently announced the completion of the first pre-production TCTS Inc. II training pod, a key component of the solution that provides connectivity to and from the aircraft for data and weapons activity during training exercises. This pre-production maturity will enable early Air Force fielding of P6CTS to all 55 training ranges.

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle fighter jet equipped with P6 Combat Training System (P6CTS) training pod (called Tactical Combat Training System Increment II (TCTS Inc. II) by the Navy). A USAF F-22 Raptor fighter jet is in the background. Photo via Collins Aerospace.

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