2014 has been a good year for Thales, explained Vincent Megaides, the business line strategy director for Thales Training and Simulation at I/ITSEC 2014. He noted that Australia’s Army and Navy helicopter pilots will be trained using three Thales full flight simulators and a suite of other synthetic training devices as a result of a new contract to Boeing Defense Australia under the Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) program.
Thales will provide three (Level B although the company can do Level D as well) EC135 Reality H Full Flight Simulators (FFS), its modular, high-fidelity mission-orientated training system which is already in service around the world. It is comprised of a docking station and a dome-mounted visual system mounted on a six-axis electrically-operated motion system. This motion system features the new Hexaline system that uses only linear motion instead of hydraulic systems that include lifting the platform. Megaides said this is a more reliable solution.
Interchangeable modules representing the cockpit of each simulated helicopter can be slotted into the docking station, allowing the integration of cockpits from other helicopter types, such as the Dauphin, Ecureuil (AS350), EC 225 or S-92. For this Australian/Boeing win, Thales will supply its Meghas avionics suite for the 15 EC135 aircraft to be provided by Boeing.
The instructor station module provides an optimized view of the crew undergoing training. The direct-projection visual system offers a wide field of view (210° x 70°) combined with high-resolution geo specific imagery from the ThalesView NG image generator. The system’s database encompasses a range of specific exercise zones, enabling a broad spectrum of training environments to be reconstructed, such as mid- and high-altitude mountain zones, maritime zones (including offshore drilling platforms) and high-density urban areas.
Megaides also noted that a new training center has been established in Australia as well which will focus on commercial helicopter simulation working with Careflight.
In land-based simulators, Thales subsidiary XPI Simulation will now supply high-fidelity Scout Specialist Vehicle simulators to General Dynamic Land Systems, which will be used to support the British Army. This is a £20 million contract.
XPI will provide 28 high-fidelity complex driver simulators – a mixture of static and full-motion simulators – for training drivers on all six variants of Scout SV. The program will be the first of its kind in the UK; use of the ‘six degrees of freedom’ simulator has not previously been used within the British Army Land environment.