The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has invested £80m for new equipment to support future training of the Royal Navy and Air Force helicopter pilots and rear crews.
MoD has awarded a £51m contract to Lockheed Martin UK to support Chinook Mk 6 training. In addition, AgustaWestland received a £29m contract to deliver Merlin Mk 4/4a aircrew synthetic training devices.
Under the two-year contract, Lockheed Martin UK will design and produce of the equipment and training facility. The company will also provide a 10-year training service support package.
The Chinook Mk 6 synthetic training will be based in Hampshire, and will comprise two flight deck device simulators, a rear crew training device, and a suite of computer based training facilities.
The pilots will be trained on Merlin Mk 4/4a helicopters through new simulators in Somerset.
AgustaWestland has selected CAE to deliver two flight training devices, a flight navigation procedures trainer and a rear crew trainer.
CAE will deliver the equipments from 2017.
UK Minister of State for Defence Procurement Philip Dunne said: "We are providing our armed forces with one of the most capable and technologically advanced helicopter fleets in the world, and to complement this, it is essential that we also provide them with very best and latest training.
"Alongside essential flying experience, these world-class simulators will play a vital role in ensuring our people are capable, competent and ready to deploy on operations around the globe."
The equipment will simulate real operating environments, which will help the crews practice manoeuvres and procedures safely.
Image: A computer generated image of a Merlin Mark 4 helicopter. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin UK and Augusta Westland.