Rheinmetall and Thales have completed modernization of 20 flight simulators for the Tiger combat helicopter.
The contract was awarded to ARGE TATM (consisting of Rheinmetall Electronics GmbH and Thales AVS France SAS) in December 2014 through the Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en Matière d'Armement (OCCAR), an organization that fosters cross-border defence procurement cooperation in Europe.
With the completion of this programme, French and German armed forces are now able to train their crews in a virtual environment that ensures full-mission readiness and strengthens flight safety, Rheinmetall said in a statement on Tuesday.
The contract to modernize the simulators included modifying them to match current configurations of the original aircraft: the Tiger Hélicoptère d’Appui et Destruction (HAD) Block 2 (France) and Kampfhubschrauber Tiger UHT Step 2 Krypto (Germany).
In addition, two new simulators were installed in Phalsbourg, France within 10-month timeframe, bridging a training capability gap for the French 1st Helicopter Regiment.
Now that the modernization programme is complete, a total of 20 flight simulators are in operation at various locations: 8 full-mission simulators (FMS) and 12 cockpit procedure simulators (CPT).
The contract encompassed modernization of the software for the basic management system, the updated ETCM navigation system and the mission equipment systems, together with new cockpit hardware. Other measures included integration of the German Operational Support System (OSS), into the simulator for mission preparation and tactical training, coupled with modernization of the existing simulator technology by means of a new visual system, new visual data bases, new projectors for the display systems, and the replacement of obsolete computer technology.
The upgrade process culminated in a binational joint exercise at the École Franco-Allemande (EFA, binational school for aircrew training) in Le Luc, involving six simulated helicopters in twelve networked simulators.
The multipurpose Tiger combat helicopter is a sophisticated weapon system whose replication in a simulator makes immense demands on both hardware and software. At the school in Le Luc, the focus is on flight and weapons training, while in Fritzlar, Pau and Phalsbourg, the primary emphasis is on tactics.
Cooperation between Rheinmetall Electronics GmbH and Thales AVS France SAS continues with ongoing support of the 20 upgraded Tiger simulators.
“The updated system supplied by Thales and Rheinmetall offers full immersive conditions. It combines a genuine Tiger cockpit, accurate aircraft behaviour and a tactical environment reflecting current operational missions," declares Bertrand Cornet, Project Manager for Germany and France at OCCAR.