Thales and Airbus will partner for the Australian Army and Navy’s joint Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) program, the companies stated Monday.
HATS will utilize some 15 EC135 T2+ helicopters, along with EC135 Full Flight Simulators (FFS) and a new flight deck equipped sea-going training vessel. Boeing Defense Australia (BDA) is the prime contractor for the new training system, partnered by Thales Australia, which will supply the flight simulators.
“Airbus Helicopters is very pleased that the Boeing and Thales team has demonstrated its confidence in our product by selecting the EC135 T2+ as their preferred platform, and we are delighted to be supporting them in the development of a new, modern helicopter aircrew training system for the ADF”, says Peter Harris, Airbus Head of Sales, Australia Pacific.
“The EC135 T2+ can be equipped with a full range of additional mission equipment and is similar to the multi-role and combat helicopters now in service with the ADF. This ensures a smooth transition for student pilots as they graduate from a training environment to Army and Navy frontline squadrons, including those equipped with new-generation Tiger ARH and MRH90 helicopters,” he said.
“By offering the EC135T2+ to the HATS Program, we are providing a cost effective platform that meets training, technical and safety requirements of the Program and the future needs of the Australian Defence Force,” said BDA’s HATS Program Manager James Heading.
The EC135 T2+ is a consummate military training helicopter, offering a glass cockpit with high visibility, a multi-axis auto-pilot, the performance and safety of a twin-engine helicopter replacing current single types, plus other advanced technologies to help instructors perform training missions safely and provide the ADF with the flexibility to undertake additional missions.