ITEC 2017: German Navy Sea King FMS RFT
Following on from a major upgrade to the German Navy's Sea King Mk41 helicopter simulator at Nordholz naval air station, the device has now been declared ready for training (RFT) ahead of schedule.
Prior to the upgrade, Sea King training was conducted on a basic instrument flight rules (IFR) training device that was originally built by CAE in the mid-1970s. As part of the upgrade, the company performed a range of updates, including the addition of the latest-generation CAE Medallion-6000 image generator with common database (CDB) architecture, upgraded avionics for concurrency with the current helicopter, enhanced synthetic and tactical environment simulation software, new vibration system, an improved instructor operator station and a new brief/debrief station.
The company was brought under contract for the upgrade by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency in December 2015.
The upgrade is certainly 'major' as CAE transitioned older 1970s technology found in the IFR device into that required for a full mission simulator (FMS). The major driving factor behind the upgrade was that the German Navy wanted to move more training into the virtual environment to save operating hours on the ageing Sea King airframes.
'For almost 40 years, the Sea King [IFR] training device has provided valuable training, and now with the updates the Sea King full-mission simulator will continue to deliver critical training that enhances the readiness of the German Navy's Sea King aircrews,' explained Marc-Olivier Sabourin, VP and GM, Europe/Africa at CAE.
The German Navy is now able to conduct a number of training tasks in the Sea King FMS that were previously not possible in the older training device. These include ship deck landings, SAR search patterns and night vision goggle training.
'This project required very close collaboration with the German Navy and we are pleased to have delivered the upgraded Sea King full-mission simulator ahead of schedule,' said Sabourin
One interesting aspect of the programme was the inclusion of a CDB compliant database. The German armed forces have supported CDB for a number of years and its inclusion provides the opportunity to integrate the Sea King FMS into armed forces-wide networked exercises.
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