FAAC’s Zone Acquisition Process (ZAP) software provides high-speed missile simulations capable of running much faster than real-time with limited resources. ZAP was initially conceived and developed in the late 1970’s as part of the Air Force MISVAL program designed to improve the missile launch envelope (MLE) information presented to F-15 and F-16 pilots. ZAP was the first program to successfully embed high-fidelity missile fly-out simulations in the on-board computer used for determining weapon employment zone parameters in real-time. ZAP improved the inherent accuracy of the information presented by more than 50%. In addition, ZAP enabled new information to be presented to the pilot relating to shot quality, post launch missile status, and the effects of target maneuvers.
ZAP relies on faster-than-real-time 5-DOF embedded weapon simulations to determine trajectory parameters. The ZAP trajectory simulations match the manufacturer’s engineering 6-DOF reference simulations. This results in highly accurate display information over the entire flight envelope. ZAP provides reliable shoot cue information and allows a meaningful allowable steering error to be displayed. After launch, ZAP computes the current time to impact using actual tracked target maneuvers and continually assesses the shot quality and provides indication of predicted end game success.
FAAC was formally integrated ZAP into the production F-15 Operational Flight Program. Using a Launch Zone Interface Working Group (consisting of aircrew, weapon manufacturers, The Boeing Company, and FAAC representatives), the entire weapon employment display concept was reviewed and replaced based upon the enabling ZAP technology. ZAP now provides the information to support Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground weapon employment displays.
ZAP has been well received by the F-15 aircrew and is considered to be a tactical advantage. From the initial F-15 implementation, ZAP has expanded to the F/A-18, F-16, F-16 Block 30, F-22A, and various FMS platforms. FAAC also works with Raytheon to provide the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter the ZAP equivalent software package known as the Airborne Missile Trajectory Event Modeler (AMTEM). With expansion to the various platforms, ZAP is often referred to as the Common Weapon Employment Zone (Common WEZ) software. Common WEZ goals include: Reduced costs to the taxpayer, Common weapon employment cues across platforms, and most importantly providing the warfighter with best possible information to take into combat.
- AIM-120 (A/B/C3/C4/C5/C6/C7)
- AIM-7 (F/M/MH)
- AIM-9 (L/M)
- AIM-9X (Blk I/Blk II)
- AGM-130 (A,C)
- GBU-15 (S,L)