The European Defence Agency (EDA) has revealed that 14 founding nations have signed a technical arrangement (TA) to establish the multinational helicopter training centre (MHTC).

The signing marks the beginning of the technical and logistical build-up of the centre at Sintra Airbase in Portugal.

The TA, signed on 28 June, defines the organisation, missions and responsibilities of the MHTC.

The 14 nations are Belgium, Cyprus, Austria, Greece, the Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland, Serbia and the Netherlands.

Following the latest signing, EDA will build up the infrastructure in Sintra and establish a contract with a service provider for the training simulator and instructor capacities provision to support the MHTC’s activities.

According to the EDA, the centre will become a reference for multinational military helicopter training and will manage EDA’s three existing training programmes for an initial duration of 15 years.

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The programmes include Helicopter Tactics Course (HTC), Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP) and Helicopter Tactics Instructor Course (HTIC).

The centre will have a fully renewed infrastructure and will be established at the same location as the existing EDA’s training centre.

It will be permanently manned with a team of ten international staff, under the supervision of MHTC Steering Board.

Once open, the MHTC is expected to provide at least 37 weeks of helicopter tactics training a year.

The MHTC project was launched in August 2019 and it is expected to achieve initial operational capability (IOC) by the end of next year.

Before the IOC is achieved, EDA will gradually transfer the supervision role to Portugal, which is the MHTC host nation.