Air Force Eyes Northrop-Built ICBM Control System for Training Missile Operators

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The U.S. Air Force plans to deploy a Northrop Grumman-built training system to help train operators handling intercontinental ballistic missiles built to launch from aircraft, Defense News reported Wednesday.

The Air Force expects to receive the Airborne Launch Control Systems at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska next month to replace a prior training platform that was damaged by floods in 2019. The ALCS nuclear weapons platform is meant to provide operators with an alternative for ground-launched missile control centers. 

Lt. Col. Matthew Hlivko, commander of the Air Force's 625th Strategic Operations Squadron, said the ALCS platform includes 3D graphic display technology as well as hardware and software designed to support next-generation training environments for students and operators.

Hlivko noted that his squadron has begun initial qualifying classes using the virtual platform and is slated to conduct another class at Offut AFB in May.

The Air Force looks to eventually acquire a full tactile ALCS training platform, according to the report.

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