The UK Ministry of Defence has announced an over £90 million investment in a new helicopter simulation centre to help train the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy helicopter pilots of the future.
The MoD’s procurement organisation, Defence, Equipment and Support, has extended a contract with CAE Aircrew Training Services for another 8 years to continue delivering training for Chinook, Puma and Merlin aircrews at the facility in South Oxfordshire.
The equipment provides a realistic representation of the operating environments the crews will fly in, including emergency situations like the effects of icing and rotor blade damage, the impact of gun or missile fire and electronic warfare, total electrics failure and fuel management issues.
The contract will deliver training for Chinook and Puma aircrews until the Puma planned out-of-service date. Training for the Merlin Mk3 will continue at the facility for at least two more years as the Royal Navy transitions from the Mk3 to the Mk4 helicopter.
The centre is equipped with six CAE-built dynamic mission simulators (three Chinook, two Merlin and one Puma), four computer-based ground school training classrooms and a Tactical Control Centre that allows for operational mission training.
Adrian Baguley, Director Air Support at the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support, said:
“The importance of effective synthetic training cannot be underestimated and continues to play an increasingly important role in our overall training curriculum.
“The Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility has consistently delivered a high standard of quality training to the operators of our front line helicopter capabilities. This agreement continues to maintain the world-leading ground school and simulator training facility for our helicopter aircrews”.
CAE USA issued a statement Thursday that it is disappointed with the decision of the US Army following the protest on the initial entry rotary-wing instructor support services contract. “CAE USA is disappointed with this decision from the United States Army, and following a debrief will determine next steps, which could include further protest,” the statement says
CAE has won multiple defence contracts valued at more than C$175 million to provide simulation products, training services and in-service support for global military customers. These contracts, awarded during CAE's first quarter of fiscal year 2018, involve programs that highlight CAE's position on major platforms and its Training Systems Integrator strategy
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Gavin Williamson was appointed as Britain's new defence secretary after his predecessor Michael Fallon resigned over a sexual harassment scandal. Williamson has the difficult task of cutting the United Kingdoms defence expenditure, keeping forces levels at their optimum while at the same time increasing Britains defence exports which have been hit by falling procurement in its traditional market, the Middle East
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