Air Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation (ACMI)
The Air Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation (ACMI) system is manufactured by Cubic Defence Applications of San Diego California. Cubic has been the supplier for Canadian Forces Air Combat Training Systems since 1982. The current ACMI training system was delivered in January 2000.
Range-less ACMI training systems provide fast-jet aircrew training in air to air, and air to ground operations and tactics. The system is untethered meaning it does not require the use of ground stations to track aircraft position; instead the system uses GPS technology to track and record aircraft position.
The ACMI training system uses Aircraft Instrumentation System (AIS) pods. These pods attach to an aircraft missile launcher and are powered by the aircraft's onboard power. Each pod is a complex array of modern avionics, electronics, and computer systems. It contains state of the art air data sensors, inertial manoeuvring unit, computers, radios and flight recorder systems. The pod uses data from these sensors and a GPS receiver to record aircraft flight parameters.
On the ground, display and debriefing systems are used by aircrew to replay their missions on the Individual Combat Aircrew Display System (ICADS). ICADS can also be used on Portable Debriefing Display Systems (PDDS) when aircraft deploy away from their home bases. The ACMI system is capable of providing simulated missile fly-outs, no-drop bomb scoring and real time kill notification. ICADS is a very flexible and powerful real-time monitoring tool. It is also the core tool used in After Action Review (AAR) analysis.
Cubic Field Services operates and maintains two ACMI training locations in Canada: 4 Wing Cold Lake Alberta and 3 Wing Bagotville Quebec. The ACMI pods are used on the Canadian Forces CF-18 aircraft and NATO CT-155 Hawk training aircraft. Visiting nations also carry the ACMI pod during exercises such as Maple Flag held annually in Cold Lake .
Countries from around the world use the same ACMI system as Canada. Some of these include the United States Air Force, Australian Air Force, Saudi Air Force, and Japan Defence Force; these systems are also operated and maintained by Cubic.
The ACMI system has the unique ability of combining different data sources and displaying them in the ICADS windows for both live monitoring and replay. Some examples of external sources are ground based radar systems, Surface Threat Electronic Warfare Systems and Ground Range Training Systems. This allows for a single presentation from multiple sources to maximize training value. This training capability is of great importance as more and more nations embark on combined military operations. Both Canada and Cubic are leading the way in live integrated air and ground range technology.