Boeing, Thales pick EC135 for training
Boeing Australia and Thales Australia report they are bidding for an Australian military contract for helicopter crew training.
Their preferred training vehicle: Eurocopter's EC135, a twin-engine aircraft often used for law enforcement and medevac missions but also used for helicopter crew training in Germany, Japan, Spain and by law enforcement agencies in two Australian states.
Kim Gillis, managing director of Boeing Defense Australia said the decision to use the EC135 was made after thorough flight and ground assessments of the aircraft's suitability for initial training and as a lead-in for training for larger helicopters.
"The aircraft's support base, both locally and internationally, presents a significantly lower cost of operation than other aircraft in its class, reducing project-establishment and through-life-support risk," Gillis added.
"For Phase Seven of the Australian Defense Force Project AIR 9000 Helicopter Aircrew Training System, the two companies would combine Boeing's experience in air crew training with Thales' simulation technologies.
"Boeing and Thales's individual expertise and shared strengths, as well as a strong working relationship spanning more than 15 years, have enabled the design of a truly integrated, cost-effective, low-risk aircrew training solution for the (Australian military)," Gillis said.
Source: BRISBANE, Australia, 30 January 2012 - Security Industry / United Press International News (www.upi.com)
Photo: Boeing Defence Australia and Thales have selected the Eurocopter EC135 as the centerpiece of their bid for an ADF training helicopter. (Photo by Gerard Frawley / http://australianaviation.com.au)
Photo Story: Boeing/Thales settle on EC135 for ADF bid
Boeing Defence Australia and Thales will offer the Eurocopter EC135 as a training platform to the ADF for the Air 9000 Phase 7 – Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) project.
The Boeing/Thales offering will compete with several other platforms, including a variant of the AgustaWestland AW109, offered by BAE, CAE and AgustaWestland, and the Bell 429, offered by Raytheon and Bell Helicopter.
Air 9000 Phase 7, with an expected value approaching $1 billion, is intended to procure a training system for all Army and RAN helicopter pilot. A request for tender for the project is expected to be released this month.
In a statement, Boeing said the EC135 was a “proven, low-risk solution” that was already used in training systems in Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Japan, as well as in Australia with the Victorian and New South Wales police forces.
“Thorough flight and ground assessments of the EC135 and its suitability for both ab initio training and as a lead-in trainer to more complex and larger helicopters made it clear the EC135 was the optimum platform to meet the ADF’s requirements,” said Boeing Defence Australia managing director Kim Gillis. “The aircraft’s support base, both locally and internationally, presents a significantly lower cost of operation than other aircraft in its class, reducing project-establishment and through-life-support risk.”