Airbus Helicopters welcomes approval of new aircrew training system

EC135 T2+ helicopter the "ideal training platform" for new Army, Navy pilots

HMAS Albatross, Nowra, Australia, (PresseBox) - Airbus Helicopters has welcomed the Australian Government's formal approval of a new Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Under the JP 9000 Phase 7 HATS project, a new joint helicopter training program for both Army and Navy aircrew will utilise some 15 EC135 T2+ helicopters, along with EC135 flight simulators and a new flight-deck equipped sea-going training vessel.

Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) is the prime contractor for the new training system, partnered by Thales Australia which will supply the flight simulators.

"Airbus Helicopters is very pleased that the Boeing and Thales team has demonstrated its confidence in our product by selecting the EC135 T2+ as their preferred platform, and we are delighted to be supporting them in the development of a new, modern helicopter aircrew training system for the ADF", says Peter Harris, Head of Sales - Australia Pacific.

"The selection of the Airbus Helicopters EC135 T2+ twin-engine, glass cockpit, helicopter is an excellent choice of an ideal training platform, along with the Thales full-motion EC135 flight-simulators," Mr. Harris said.

"The EC135 T2+ can be equipped with a full range of additional mission equipment and is similar to the multi-role and combat helicopters now in service with the ADF. This ensures a smooth transition for student pilots as they graduate from a training environment to Army and Navy frontline squadrons, including those equipped with new-generation Tiger ARH and MRH90 helicopters".

BDA's HATS Program Manager James Heading said the Boeing and Thales team conducted a rigorous evaluation of available twin engine helicopters to identify the aircraft that best met the Commonwealth's training system goals.

"By offering the EC135T2+ to the HATS Program, we are providing a mature and cost effective platform that meets training, technical and safety requirements of the Program and the future needs of the Australian Defence Force," said Mr. Heading.

The EC135 T2+ is a consummate military training helicopter, offering a glass cockpit with high visibility, a multi-axis auto-pilot, the performance and safety of a twin-engine helicopter replacing current single types, plus other advanced technologies to help instructors perform training missions safely and provide the ADF with the flexibility to undertake additional missions.

The nearly 1,200 EC135 helicopters now delivered have clocked up over three million flight hours world-wide. The helicopter is part of successful training systems in Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Japan, and is in service in Australia with the Victorian and New South Wales police forces.

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Airbus Helicopters

Airbus Helicopters, formerly Eurocopter, is a division of Airbus Group, a global pioneer in aerospace and defense related services. Airbus Helicopters is the world's No. 1 helicopter manufacturer and employs more than 23,000 people worldwide. With 46 percent market share in civil and parapublic sectors, the company's fleet in service includes some 12,000 helicopters operated by more than 3,000 customers in approximately 150 countries. Airbus Helicopters' international presence is marked by its customer centers and participations in 21 countries, and its worldwide network of service centers, training facilities, distributors and certified agents. Airbus Helicopters' range of civil and military helicopters is the world's largest; its aircraft account for one third of the worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. The company's chief priority is to ensure the safe operation of its aircraft for the thousands of people who fly more than 3 million hours per year.

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