The UK Ministry of Defence is investing £80 million in new world-class equipment to help train the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy helicopter pilots and rear crews of the future.
A £51 million contract with Lockheed Martin UK will support Chinook Mk 6 training and a £29 million contract has been awarded to AgustaWestland to provide Merlin Mk 4/4a aircrew Synthetic Training Devices.
The simulators will be based at military bases in Somerset and Hampshire with the two contracts providing around 130 jobs, including for the construction of a new schoolhouse.
The equipment will provide a realistic representation of the operating environments the crews will fly in, and will enable them to practice manoeuvres and procedures safely and repeatedly to enhance their learning.
The contract with Lockheed Martin UK includes two years for the design and production of the equipment and the training facility, with a follow on 10-year training service support package.
Meanwhile, training for the pilots and rear crew of the Royal Navy’s Merlin Mk 4/4a helicopters will be provided through the use of new simulators at the aircraft’s Main Operating Base at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset.
As part of the contract, AgustaWestland has selected simulator specialist CAE to supply two Flight Training Devices, a Flight Navigation Procedures Trainer and a Rear Crew Trainer, which will be delivered from 2017 and installed in existing buildings.
Images: Lockheed Martin UK/Augusta Westland