October 17, 2021
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Enhancing readiness
NGC demonstrates virtual air refueling

In a first for the US Air Force, an industry team led by Northrop Grumman Corporation has successfully conducted a high-fidelity virtual aerial refueling demonstration, networking geographically dispersed flight simulators and providing a realistic simulation of an air-to-air refueling process.

During the demonstration, Northrop Grumman connected a pilot in a C-17 transport flight simulator in Texas, an operator in a KC-135 tanker flight simulator in Florida and a boom operator in the Boom Operator Weapons Systems Trainer (BOWST) simulator in Okla, with all three simulators operating simultaneously via the Mobility Air Forces (MAF) Distributed Mission Operations (DMO) test network.

An active-duty C-17 pilot and a KC-135 boom operator flew the missions, performing closure, contact, bank turns and disconnect to demonstrate real-world critical interaction between the three simulator platforms. The missions also included the use of standard visual references, radio communications and the tactical air navigation system, or TACAN.

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