Support: July 7, 2004


SOCOM's (Special Operations Command) air force (the 160th Aviation Regiment) will receive a breakthrough type of flight simulator this Summer. The (LASAR) (Light Assault/Attack Reconfigurable) CMS (Combat Mission Simulator) is a flight simulator for the 40 small MH (or AH) 6 Little Bird helicopters SOCOM owns. The simulator puts the full motion mockup of the helicopter cockpit inside a large dome, so that the pilots can look out the normally open doors to see what they would actually see. But what makes LASAR different is that it has a database and graphic system attached. This enables it to use digital pictures satellites or UAVs or aircraft to create three-dimensional graphics for the simulator. This process takes about two hours. The pilots can then rehearse an upcoming, or potential, missions in a very realistic fashion. LASAR can link with other helicopter simulators SOCOM owns, to allow for multi-helicopter mission training.

This MH-6 is military versions of the civilian MD-500. The SOCOM version weighs up to two tons and can carry six commandos, who sit outside on the skids. The MH-6 is small, and has a range of about 500 kilometers. The MH-6 has an extensive array of electronics on board, making it capable of operating at night and in any weather. LASAR allows for training at night and it bad weather, a favored condition for SOCOM missions. 


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