Skidaway Institute of Oceanography
Research About US Education Faculty Publications R/V Savannah
 SABSOON - Existing Navy System 

Since the 1980s the U.S. Navy has operated aircrew training facilities similar to those popularized in the movie Top Gun. One of these Tactical Aircrew Training Systems (TACTS) is located in the coastal waters off Georgia, covering a 115 km x 50 km area of the middle to outer continental shelf, roughly 6000 km^2. It consists of a grid of eight platforms that are similar to small oil rigs. There are two styles of platforms, four-legged master platforms and three- legged remotes. This unmanned facility exists to provide rapid (realtime) tracking of military combat aircraft on the flight range, and permits instructors onshore to observe and interact with pilots on the range during exercises. U.S. Navy TACTS ranges are operated by the Warfare Assessment Station of the Naval Surface Warfare Center.

The range consists of 6 remote towers arranged in a rectangle, with 2 master stations in the center of the northern and southern halves of the range. The two master towers and R2 are 4-legged platforms. There are two decks on the towers; the instrument deck is approximately 70 feet above water and holds a large environmentally controlled room, a diesel generator, and a photovoltaic cell array. The helicopter deck is 20 feet above the instrument deck, and extends 50 feet beyond the instrument deck to the north. It is large enough to hold two helicopters. The 100 foot communications tower is on the south end of the helicopter deck, and two 20 foot extensions hold wind generators.

The other towers are 3-legged platforms. The instrument deck is smaller on these rigs and holds only the photovoltaic array. The helicopter deck is of similar size but presently there are no wind generators at these towers. Communications electronics are housed in a large shed on the helicopter deck. On most of the 3-legged platforms the communications tower is 50 ft tall.


Text Only Version

• Skidaway Institute of Oceanography • 10 Ocean Science Circle • Savannah, GA 31411 • USA • (912) 598-2400 •
Copyright © 2016 Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. All rights reserved.