Procurement: Cheap Silicon Replaces Costly Oil


namespace prefix = o /?> May 22, 2008: The Israeli Air Force is trying to make a case for buying $160 million worth of flight simulators for their F-16I pilots. The current simulator inventory allows each pilot to work in the simulators about four times a year. The main purpose of these sessions is to train for situations that are too dangerous to do in actual aircraft. These simulators are very realistic, and their software library contains simulations for many rare, but potentially fatal, situations pilots could encounter. This includes night flying in bad weather, which is a particularly tricky bit of work, and the failure of various aircraft components.

But one of the arguments for buying eight more simulators (to support about two hundred pilots) is the price of fuel. With oil headed for $200 a barrel, it gets a lot more expensive to put pilots into the air for the 100-200 hours a year they need to maintain their superiority over other pilots in the region. In effect, it's cheaper to buy the simulators than to buy fuel. The pilots would only replace a small fraction of their air time with simulator time, and experience has shown that this approach does not lower skill levels.


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