The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) has started training Chinook aircrews to both the CH-47D and CH-47F standards using the recently-upgraded Chinook dynamic mission simulator at CAE's Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility (MSHATF) in the UK.
The simulator has been overhauled over the last two years by the company to support RNLAF Chinook training, which is scheduled to be carried out until 2018.
Primarily ensuring compliance with RNLAF's existing avionics control and management system (ACMS) Block 5 CH-47D and new Block 6 CH-47F Chinook helicopters, the upgrade also supports other CH-47F specific features, including missile warning sensors, radar warning receivers, chaff/flare dispense system, and digital automatic flight control system.
Netherlands Ministry of Defence Expansion Chinook Fleet programme manager major Franklin Groenewold said the familiarisation of pilots with the new CH-47F is essential for enhanced flight safety and mission effectiveness.
"CAE's MSHATF offers the ideal synthetic training environment for initial conversion training as well as advanced mission training,'' Groenewold said.
''With the comprehensive ground school and simulator training we get at the MSHATF, our crews are well-prepared and operationally ready for current and future missions."
CAE Aircrew Training Services managing director Andrew Naismith said, "Our aim is always to ensure the aircrews who train at the MSHATF experience training consistent with the aircraft they fly and relevant to current operations."
The RNLAF has recently acquired six CH-47F Chinook helicopters to supplement its existing 11 CH-47D Chinooks fleet.
Developed by CAE in consultation with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), the MSHATF features six full-mission simulators, including three CH-47 Chinook, two AW101 Merlin and one Puma, to provide the total spectrum of synthetic aircrew training.
The facility is currently run by the company under a 40-year private finance initiative (PFI) contract with the MoD.
Image: RNLAF and CAE officials at the company's Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility in UK. Photo: Copyright © 2012 CAE.