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After rigorous testing, the Australia Defence Force’s (ADF’s) new Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) reached initial operating capability in March — delivering a world-class training environment for Australia’s future helicopter pilots, aircrew and aviation warfare officers.
Thales in Australia was subcontracted to Boeing to provide the synthetic and classroom training environment for various aircrew roles. Working together, Thales and Boeing designed the training system to prepare Australian Navy and Army aircrew for the transition into complex combat helicopters.
Thales delivered three Level B qualified reality H full-flight simulators, virtual reality trainers for marshaling and rear-crew training, and part task trainers and desktop trainer classrooms for tactical, sensor and communications training. Thales also delivered the Joint Helicopter School ICT system and the curriculum for a variety of aircrew roles.
In 2018 the ADF Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) acquisition program team was awarded the Essington Lewis Award recognizing excellence in collaboration between industry and the Department of Defence.
Defence Minister Christopher Pyne explained: “The HATS project overcame significant early delays to commence training on time, demonstrating what can be achieved when defense and industry cooperate closely.”
Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said that the HATS project is a great demonstration of how industry can collaborate to provide the most innovative and comprehensive support to the Australian Defence Force.
With final acceptance for the HATS capability being achieved on March 14, 2019, Thales in Australia is now in the position to continue to support the Australian Defence Force’s helicopter aircrew training. HATS is capable of providing training to up to 130 students per year, being a mix of pilots, aviation warfare officers, sensor operators, and aircrewmen.