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CAE USA has secured a Project Level Agreement (PLA) to design and develop the initial prototype HH-60W virtual reality/mixed reality (VR/MR) aircrew trainer.

Known as Jolly Green II, the HH-60W is the US Air Force’s (USAF) new combat search and rescue helicopter.

To develop the HH-60W VR/MR aircrew trainer, CAE USA is collaborating with non-traditional defence contractor and rotary-wing support equipment specialist Armick.

CAE USA president and general manager Ray Duquette said: “This is an exciting development project that will leverage several cutting-edge digital technologies to create a new and unique training device for full-crew mission training.

“Playing a role in helping prepare specialised rescue forces to conduct the combat search and rescue mission is an honour, and we are thrilled to be selected to add this capability to the overall HH-60W training curriculum.”

The prototype HH-60W VR/MR aircrew trainer will be developed for the USAF’s Air Combat Command (AMC).

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AMC manages the critical combat search and rescue (CSAR) and personnel recovery operations for US military services and allies.

The HH-60W VR/MR aircrew trainer will comprise some physical components such as cyclic and collective grips and gun mounts.

These components are integrated with a virtual reality (VR) cockpit and rear compartment of the helicopter.

CAE said that the HH-60W VR/MR aircrew trainer can be easily deployed as a mission rehearsal system.

It will be delivered to Moody AFB in Georgia, US, in mid-2022.

The PLA has been awarded under the System of Systems Security (SOSSEC) consortium’s AFLCMC Consortium Initiative (ACI) Other Transaction Agreement (OTA).

SOSSEC manages the US Department of Defense (DoD) agencies’ OTAs to perform prototype projects.