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From F-16 to F-35: Optimizing the Training of Pilots in the Royal Norwegian Air Force

Maria Fleischer Fauske () and Erlend Øby Hoff ()
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Maria Fleischer Fauske: Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, 2027 Kjeller, Norway
Erlend Øby Hoff: Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, 2027 Kjeller, Norway

Interfaces, 2016, vol. 46, issue 4, 326-333

Abstract: The Norwegian Armed Forces will soon make the largest investment in its history. It plans to spend $8 billion to replace the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s existing fleet of F-16 aircraft with 52 new F-35 aircraft. The Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) has undertaken multiple analyses to support the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation (NDLO) with the transition planning. During the transition period, Norway must maintain adequate fighter capability. The rate at which it can train new pilots and convert F-16 pilots to fly the F-35 will influence the cost and length of the transition period and the Air Force’s operational-readiness status. Although finding the optimal training rate for pilots is a difficult planning problem, we achieved substantial success by using an integer linear program to generate optimal plans. By using this model, we were able to investigate multiple scenarios for pilot training. We determined the earliest year that the Air Force could reach a fully operational F-35 fighter capability, the optimal ratio of new to converted pilots, and the number of pilots that FFI should train each year during the transition phase. Our results enabled FFI to generate a training plan that resulted in large savings and operational advantages compared to the previous solution, which did not employ operations research techniques for planning.

Keywords: integer linear programming; military planning; operations research; pilot training (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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