Simulation better prepares Navy aircrew

Published on Department of Defence (author)

Location(s): HMAS Albatross, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Albatross, Helicopters, Training Authority - Aviation

Thales site manager Mark Town operates the tactical part task trainer, one of the synthetic training systems in use at the Joint Helicopter School. (photo: Unknown)
Thales site manager Mark Town operates the tactical part task trainer, one of the synthetic training systems in use at the Joint Helicopter School.

The tactical part-task trainer used by students at the Joint Helicopter School is just one of the synthetic training systems in use.

The trainer simulates the physical environment and is used to prepare aviation warfare officers for further education in their role on the Seahawk.

It is also used for advanced training of sensor operators in some of the tactical employments of the aircraft as it simulates the technology and capabilities trainees will experience on an operational aircraft.

The introduction to the various sensors and using the devices in a simulated tactical environment at the school means students can train in a less time-sensitive setting at all hours, day and night, rather than using a helicopter.

Thales site manager Mark Town said the simulation equipment in the new Australian Defence Force Helicopter Aircrew Training System was programmed to represent the New South Wales region and ocean area in the vicinity of HMAS Albatross.

“We have also simulated allied and other force entities,” he said.

The system provides valuable training as it simulates a set of typical mission sensors and weapon systems for a modern, generic tactical helicopter used by military forces.

“These include radar and electro-optics such as the forward-looking infra-red, laser range finder and electronic warfare systems, as well as self-protection systems in the form of flares and chaff, as well as communication systems such as radio and data-link,” he said.

“Synthetic training significantly reduces the cost of training because it is done through simulation systems rather than in operational platforms or dedicated operational mission simulators.

“Students will be able to experience complex scenarios which are difficult to generate in the real world because of the costs of the assets required.”

Other synthetic training systems include virtual reality trainers such as that used for flight deck marshalling used to teach aircrewmen skills without the expense of operating a real aircraft.

Another aircrewman virtual reality trainer is also used to practise aircrewman hoisting, winch and hook procedures before progressing to live aircraft training.

This device also provides for training in cabin gunning procedures. There is also an elevated complete aircraft replica trainer which can be used for winch training and abandon aircraft drills.

Navy is increasingly using simulation to support training in all manner of scenarios with the ability for real-time feedback on decision-making.