EDA to establish Multinational Helicopter Training Centre
The European Defence Agency (EDA) will establish a new Multinational Helicopter Training Centre (MHTC) in Sintra, Portugal, by the end of 2022.
Together with 18 of its Member States, the EDA will now develop the technical arrangement for the new advanced tactical helicopter training facility by the end of 2020.
EDA currently hosts three collaborative helicopter programmes, which fill a helicopter training capability gap in Europe and are a key component of operational capacity building. The three programmes are designed to improve European interoperability and increase standardisation of helicopter aircrews through the adoption of common training activities and the use of common tactics, techniques and procedures.
The agency’s Helicopter Tactics Course (HTC) focusses on improving the tactical ability of crews through an integrated training course of classroom and simulator instruction that is currently conducted at RAF Linton-on-Ouse in the UK.
The HTC provides a solid foundation for whole crew training and was later developed into the Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course (HTIC), which takes experienced aircrew and further develops their skills in a ‘train the trainer’ course, delivering advanced helicopter tactics and the Helicopter Tactics Instructor qualification. The HTIC includes a ground phase delivered in the UK, and a live flying element conducted in Sweden.
The third element of EDA’s helicopter activities is the Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP) which brings together multinational helicopter crews and an array of assets, including fixed wing, electronic warfare, ground troops and special forces, in an annual multinational training exercise covering the performance of complex missions in demanding environmental areas.
Over the next five years, the three courses will progressively be transferred outside EDA to the future MHTC. The MHTC will consist of office space for the technical, administrative and training delivery staff, simulator facilities and a dedicated accommodation block. In addition, it will also develop a more coordinated approach to European helicopter training and will try to harmonise national approaches and drive synergies with NATO doctrine.
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