Today at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC), the world's largest military simulation show, CAE announced that it has completed a major upgrade to one of the CH-47 Chinook dynamic mission simulators located at CAE's Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility (MSHATF) in the United Kingdom, and the Royal Air Force (RAF) is now training its Chinook aircrews to the new RAF CH-47 Mk4 standard.
The simulator upgrade was done in parallel with the upgrades currently being performed on the RAF's CH-47 Chinook fleet as part of the JULIUS programme.
"The Chinook helicopter fleet plays a vital role in the Joint Helicopter Command's mission, and this upgrade to one of the CH-47 simulators is consistent with our objective to ensure training systems are concurrent with the platforms they simulate," said Wing Commander Al Dale, SO1 Simulation, Joint Helicopter Command, UK Ministry of Defence. "We continue to perform more training and mission preparation in a cost-effective synthetic environment, so it is absolutely critical our simulators and training systems stay at the leading-edge of technology and capability."
The UK Ministry of Defence originally placed a contract to upgrade eight CH-47 Chinook Mk2 helicopters, which was subsequently expanded to enable the JULIUS cockpit to be integrated into the remainder of the current total Chinook fleet of 46 aircraft. The simulator upgrade, performed by CAE under contract from the UK MoD Flight Simulation and Synthetic Trainers (FsAST) project team, includes the addition of forward-looking infrared (FLIR), a new moving map, and digitized instruments. In addition, upgraded on-board and ground mission planning systems will enable CAE to deliver more comprehensive tactical training to RAF Chinook aircrews.
"We completed the simulator upgrades in advance of the aircraft upgrades, thus enabling RAF Chinook pilots to test and evaluate the new aircraft systems in the simulator," said Ian Bell, Managing Director of CAE Aircrew Training Services. "This is an important upgrade for the RAF Chinook force and we are pleased that our long term partnership with the MoD allows us to continue adapting our training services. Our aim is always to ensure RAF Joint Helicopter Command aircrews experience contemporary training relevant to current operations."
CAE's MSHATF, owned and operated by CAE Aircrew Training Services under a private finance initiative with the UK MoD, is a purpose-built facility that provides training to the RAF and third-party operators of AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin, Boeing CH-47 Chinook, and Eurocopter Puma helicopters. The MSHATF 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 state-of-the-art tactical control centre.
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