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AFTC Joint Simulation Environment becomes reality

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Christine Saunders
  • Air Force Test Center Public Affairs

Air Force Test Center broke ground on the 52,000 sq. ft. Joint Simulation Environment facility at Nellis AFB, Nevada, Nov. 5 during a ceremony hosted by the 412th Electronic Warfare Group.

The $27.5 million, state-of-the-art, energy efficient building is the first of two planned JSE modeling and simulation facilities set to house operations, engineering, maintenance and logistics personnel.

The JSE will enable rapid development for future platforms and improve testing of current weapon systems that will enhance multi-domain operations in ways physical testing cannot achieve.

 “Today, we break ground on the first of several facilities that will take JSE from concept to practice—from vision to reality.  Future capability development leaders will look to this event as a leap forward in well-integrated live, virtual, constructive test and advanced training.  I’m very proud of the team for moving this critical capability forward,” said Maj. Gen. Chris Azzano, Air Force Test Center commander.

The JSE at Nellis will support up to 20 high-fidelity simulators and associated equipment to enable multi-platform, multi-domain developmental testing, operational testing and high-end advanced tactics and training. 

“The Air Force is breaking ground on a new building but also ‘breaking ground’ on a bold initiative for a government-owned and government-operated test and training capability, not only for the Air Force but also for the DoD and for the entire nation,” said Maj. Gen. Jim Sears, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Commander.

The first JSE systems will be focused on the F-35 and F-22, but the flexible open-architecture design will allow the incorporation of other aircraft and weapons systems in the future.

 “AFOTEC proudly stands with the JSE team to acknowledge this historic event and we pledge to continue working to ensure JSE accurately reflects the reality of the fifth generation fight so that it can reveal performance capabilities, limitations, and vulnerabilities of F-35, F-22 and other platforms.  Well done to the entire JSE team!” congratulated Sears.

JSE builds on AFTC’s 70-plus year history of pushing boundaries and innovation to deliver best value solutions to customers that meet their fiscal and schedule constraints.

“Technology trends drive what Dr. Roper recently called the new digital reality,” said Col. Jay Orson, 412th Electronic Warfare Group commander. “Wherein digital engineering, agile software development, cloud computing and advanced security practices all point to the value of capabilities like the Joint Simulation Environment.”

Recent advances in smart adaptive technology have challenged the test community’s ability to accurately test using open air ranges.

“The JSE will enable high end threat replication that can be denser and more real than anything we can fly in the open air,” said Orson.

The JSE is an example of AFTC’s partnership with the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis AFB and AFOTEC to accelerate change within the United States Air Force at the start of the developmental testing cycle.

Construction of the facility is scheduled to complete in June of 2022 and reach initial operational capability in 2023.

Construction for another $34.4 million JSE facility located on Edwards AFB is set to commence in February 2021.

The Edwards facility will focus on developmental test and evaluation.