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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

CAE Awarded Tactical Trainer Contract for RAN Sikorsky MH-60Rs

By Andrew Drwiega, Military Editor

CAE Sikorsky MH-60R TOFT cockpit simulator. The Royal Australian Navy will purchase 24 MH-60Rs from Sikorsky with the first two deliveries scheduled for 2014.

In a spread of contracts valued at around $70 million announced by global simulation and training organization CAE, there is one requirement for the development of two MH-60R tactical operational flight trainers (TOFT) for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

The RAN will buy 24 MH-60Rs from Sikorsky with the first two deliveries scheduled for 2014. The contract originates with the United States through the foreign military sales (FMS) program. According to Gene Colabatistto, group president for military products, training and services, CAE in the U.S. will act as the prime contractor and system design house. The TOFTs will be full-motion flight trainers and used to instruct aircrew while a separate weapons tactics trainer (WTT) will be used for rear crew sensor operator training. Based on systems already designed for the U.S. Navy, they can be operated independently or networked to enable the full flight crew to train together. The TOFT will incorporate a true electric motion system, motion seats, 220 by 60-degree Barco visual display, and a Medallion-6000 image generator.

Once ready in 2015, the two systems will be delivered to the RAN training base, HMAS Albatross near Nowra, New South Wales. This is the home base of the RAN Fleet Air Arm.

Team Seahawk, which supports the U.S. Navy in its MH-60R program, is comprised of aircraft OEM Sikorsky, mission systems integrator Lockheed Martin, engine manufacturer General Electric, sensor supplier Raytheon and training supplier CAE. Subsidiary CAE Australia will help to customize the system through its existing access to Australian-specific common databases (CDB) already developed by CAE Australia for other programs.

This training award may strengthen CAE’s position as it awaits further developments of the Australian Defence Force AIR 9000 Phase 7 program, otherwise known as the Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS). This program should provide the Army and Navy with all its future rotary wing training needs, including live, synthetic and traditional classroom training. CAE is partnered with AgustaWestland and BAE Systems.

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