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ADF down-selects three helicopter training systems

30th May 2013 - 15:03 by the Shephard News Team

The Australian government has shortlisted three helicopter training system proposals as part of its Project Air 9000 Phase 7. The project will provide a new helicopter aircrew training system to meet the future rotary wing training needs of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Dr Mike Kelly named Australian Aerospace, Boeing Defence Australia and Raytheon Australia-led teams as those shortlisted from the responses to the request for tender issued in early 2012.

The three teams will now enter the second phase of the evaluation, which will include the development and evaluation of final proposals. A decision on the successful bid is expected by mid-2014, with training expected to commence in 2016/17.

Air 9000 Phase 7 aims to deliver a Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) to provide a rotary wing training capability for the Australian Navy and Army. The system will encompass elements of live, synthetic and classroom aviation instruction.

Ultimately, the project aims to overcome the broadening gap between the current rotary training systems and the advanced operational helicopters in the current and planned future ADF inventories, including 22 Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopters, 47 MRH90 multi-role helicopters, 24 Seahawk Romeo maritime combat helicopters, and seven CH-47F Chinook medium lift helicopters.

The ADF also plans that the joint training system will allow the retirement of 40 Kiowa helicopters operated by the army and 13 Squirrel helicopters operated by the navy.

It will comprise a combination of light twin-engine helicopters, with options for basic and advanced avionic systems; a mix of synthetic training devices (simulators and part-task trainers); new training, administration and warehousing facilities; and integrated through life support. An Aviation Training Vessel will also be supplied as a component of the new training system through existing Defence Maritime Support arrangements

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