The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) has awarded CAE a CH-47 Chinook helicopter training expansion contract, under a combined military contract of $64m (C$100m).

Under the contract, CAE will first upgrade one of the CH-47 full-mission simulators at CAE’s medium support helicopter aircrew training facility (MSHATF) in the UK.

The upgrade will ensure concurrency with the air force’s current avionics control and management system (ACMS) block 5 CH-47D and new block 6 CH-47F Chinook helicopters.

RNLAF’s project leader for both the new-build CH-47F Chinook and simulator upgrade programme, LTC Cor van der Gaag, said that with all these features, the simulator would enable RNLAF pilots to train in the most advanced digital cockpit currently available for the Chinook helicopter.

With the simulator upgrade, the CH-47F Chinook training will expand to include a Terma-developed Chinook aircraft survivability equipment electronic warfare suite and an L-3 Wescam forward-looking infrared.

A digital automatic flight control system will also support training pilots to land in brown-out conditions, due to the simulator upgrade.

RNLAF Chinook aircrews will continue training at the MSHATF through 2018, and will gradually increase the training to at least 1,000 hours a year, following the simulator upgrade.