On behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence, the OCCAR multinational organisation for the management of European Collaborative Defence programmes has placed an order with Airbus Military to supply the UK’s first A400M Full Flight Simulator (FFS). The contract, worth about £50 million, also includes a Simulator Support System (SSS), enabling the capabilities of the simulator to be fully exploited for flight training and military mission rehearsal.
The simulator will be located at the RAF Brize Norton base, where all 22 UK A400Ms will be based, and will be delivered in spring 2014, ahead of the first delivery to the Royal Air Force later in 2014. The FFS will be maintained by a joint venture consisting of Airbus Military and Thales.
Airbus Military will procure the simulator from Thales Training & Simulation Ltd (TTSL), part of Thales UK, while Airbus Military supplies the aircraft parts and equipment plus a data & software package to enable the simulator to accurately replicate the A400M’s flight and mission characteristics. Airbus Military and Thales have been co-operating since February 2007 on the FFS and the Simulator Support System and A400M Training Services for France and UK.
The FFS employs state-of-the-art visual and motion technology developed by Thales with the simulator being developed and produced in Crawley, UK, sustaining 50 UK jobs and associated skills. The software & data package provided by Airbus Military and its industrial partners is developed on the basis of Airbus commercial practice as this reduces to a minimum the time taken for any A400M aircraft changes to be reflected in the simulators.
This will be the fourth FFS of the type to be produced – with the first ordered for Airbus Military’s International Training Centre in Seville, Spain, and the second and third ordered by France and Germany. Further FFSs are expected to be ordered by the A400M partnering nations, representing a significant investment in UK jobs and technology.
Source: Airbus, an EADS N.V. company (Paris: EAD.PA)
Date: Jul 9, 2012