AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that it has signed a contract with the European Defence Agency for the provision of an Interim Helicopter Tactics Training Service. In this Category B EDA programme the Czech Republic, Hungary, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom (the contributing Member States) have formally agreed to collaborate in the procurement of this training service. The training will help prepare contributing Member States’ helicopter crews for joint deployment on allied military operations at the same time as they develop their own indigenous tactics training capabilities. AgustaWestland had been awarded a first contract by EDA in 2008 to conduct a feasibility study into Helicopter Tactics Programme (HTP) for nations deploying on multinational operations and a second contract in 2009 for a HTP Implementation Study.
The first course of the latest contract will be delivered this year, with a total of 20 courses delivered over the following two years, at a dedicated facility in the Empire Test Pilots’ School at MoD Boscombe Down, United Kingdom. This innovative training applies the latest developments in gaming technology to deliver a high fidelity virtual environment for helicopter crew mission training. The founding principle is to deliver whole crew training based on recent operational experience, which has underlined the key part played by every crew-member in delivering operational effect. The training equipment provides student stations for the pilot, navigator, engineer and the rear crew, and also includes the provision of a cabin door gun. The synthetic environment is based on VBS2, which provides a high fidelity representation of the operational environment while allowing for distributed simulation. Therefore, the simulators can be reconfigured to provide a highly representative training environment for crews operating the AW109, Mi-171 and other helicopter types. The training system will provide individual, joint, collective and coalition training for contributing member states’ helicopter crews in a common synthetic environment. Courses will run for three weeks and include theory lectures and the practical application of the tactics, techniques and procedures, distilled from current and past operations. The course is designed to provide a common understanding of the mission tactics required to be successful in current operations. It can also be adapted to meet individual and specific national requirements.
John Ponsonby, Senior Vice President Training, AgustaWestland said, “We are both delighted and honoured to be part of this multinational programme, supporting coalition helicopter crews in their pre-deployment training for operations. As part of this unique provision, AgustaWestland has combined the latest training technology with experienced instructors, in order to deliver a training service that is highly credible, yet flexible enough to meet the needs of all national training requirements.”
Andy Gray, Helicopter Project Officer at the EDA said “This is a prime example of pooling and sharing in action. The collaboration between these six nations has significantly reduced cost and de-risked future national programmes, whilst still delivering high value and tangible benefits. It is an exemplar for future multinational initiatives.”