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The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has inducted the first of two CAE-manufactured MH-60R Seahawk tactical operational flight trainers (TOFT) along with an MH-60R avionics maintenance/weapons load trainer (AM/WLT).

The US Navy awarded the foreign military sale (FMS) contracts to CAE in late 2012 and early 2013 to design and manufacture two MH-60R TOFTs and an MH-60R AM/WLT for RAN.

The MH-60R is a multi-mission helicopter that the navy uses for anti-submarine warfare and surface attack. It’s simulators will be located at HMAS Albatross near Nowra in New South Wales that houses the RAN’s Fleet Air arm.

Australian Defence Materiel Organisation navy aviation systems director general commodore Colin Lawrence said: "The MH-60R Seahawk will play a critical role as the Royal Australian Navy’s new naval combat helicopter, and our MH-60R training systems will be used extensively to help prepare our aircrews to safely and effectively accomplish a range of missions.

"We are extremely pleased with the level of quality and fidelity CAE has delivered in our broad suite of MH-60R training devices, and look forward to CAE’s continued on-site support services on the MH-60R programme."

While the MH-60R TOFT can be used by the navy as a training solution to provide a total aircrew mission training system, the MH-60R AMT/WLT will allow MH-60R avionics technicians to gain transition and readiness training.

"The MH-60R Seahawk will play a critical role as the Royal Australian Navy’s new naval combat helicopter."

The MH-60R TOFTs are comprised of an operational flight trainer (OFT) to train pilots and the weapons tactics trainer (WTT) to train airborne tactics officers along with rear-crew sensor operators in the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter.

The RAN’s MH-60R simulators will have the CAE True electric motion system, motion seats, 220-degree by 60-degree Barco visual display and the latest-generation CAE Medallion-6000 image generator.

The navy will be able to operate the MH-60R OFT and WTT as both standalone training devices or networked to become an MH-60R tactical operational flight trainer that provides a total aircrew mission training system.

Australia is set to acquire a fleet of 24 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters as part of the FMS programme.

CAE also announced that the Australian Defence Force Airworthiness Authority had certified the MH-60R TOFT to level d, which is the highest qualification for flight simulators.

Image: The MH-60R tactical operational flight trainer for the Royal Australian Navy. Photo: courtesy of CAE.