Australia’s HATS achieves IOC
The Australian Defence Force’s Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) has successfully achieved initial operating capability (IOC), the Australian Department of Defence announced on 1 April.
Following successful testing of the individual aircrew training courses throughout 2018, the system was declared to have met all the conditions required to achieve IOC.
The training system, operating from 723 Squadron at HMAS Albatross in Nowra, New South Wales, replaces the navy’s Squirrel and army’s Kiowa training helicopters. It includes a complimentary set of full motion flight simulators, part task trainers and classroom instruction, along with 15 EC135 T2+ helicopters.
Christopher Pyne, Australia’s Minister of Defence, said: ‘At an acquisition cost of AUD $436 million, HATS has delivered a modern helicopter training system for defence which has the ability to train up to 144 helicopter pilots, aircrew and aviation warfare officers each year.
‘723 Squadron is staffed by navy and army aircrew, with additional instructors, support staff and aircraft maintenance provided by Boeing Defence Australia, who employ 108 contracted personnel in the Nowra area.’
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