The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is to invest more than £90m to continue pilot training operations at Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility for another eight years.
The MoD’s procurement organisation, Defence, Equipment and Support, has extended a contract with CAE Aircrew Training Services to continue delivering training for Chinook, Puma and Merlin aircrews at the facility.
UK Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy future helicopter pilots will be trained to fly in emergency situations such as the effects of icing and rotor blade damage, the impact of gun or missile fire and electronic warfare, total electrics failure and fuel management issues.
The centre features six CAE-built dynamic mission simulators, three of which are for Chinook, two for Merlin and one for Puma.
It is also equipped with four computer-based ground school training classrooms and a Tactical Control Centre that allows for operational mission training.
UK MoD Defence Equipment and Support Air Support director Adrian Baguley said: “The importance of effective synthetic training cannot be underestimated and continues to play an increasingly important role in our overall training curriculum.
“The Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility has consistently delivered a high standard of quality training to the operators of our front line helicopter capabilities. This agreement continues to maintain the world-leading ground school and simulator training facility for our helicopter aircrews.”
The latest investment is expected to support 70 jobs at the helicopter simulation facility at RAF Benson in South Oxfordshire.