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Qatar trains focus on huge upgrade

Posted 21 September 2018 · Add Comment

A major new training establishment is to be built in Qatar, as part of the support structure for the Gulf nation’s forthcoming massive build-up in military aviation assets. Alan Dron reports.

When Qatar starts to take delivery of its new fleet of NH90 helicopters in 2022, it will be faced with the problem of training crews for the European rotary-wing type and in keeping them up to speed through refresher training.
To address that situation, Leonardo Helicopters signed a contract at the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference (DIMDEX) in March with Canadian simulator and training specialists CAE to provide the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) with a comprehensive NH90 helicopter training facility.
The deal is valued at more than $115 million.
The QEAF has signed up with Leonardo Helicopters for 16 NH90 tactical transport helicopters (TTH) and 12 NH90 NATO frigate helicopter (NFH) variants.
The helicopters and associated equipment will cost a reported $3.7 billion and will be delivered between 2022-25.
The twin-engine, medium-size NH90 helicopter programme is managed by NH Industries, a company owned by Airbus Helicopters (62.5%), Leonardo (32%), and Fokker (5.5%).
Leonardo will act as prime contractor for the programme management with the QEAF and Airbus will be responsible for the final assembly and delivery of the 16 NH90 TTH aircraft from its facility in Marignane, France.
Leonardo will also be responsible for final assembly and delivery of the 12 NH90 NFH helicopters from its Venice – Tessera facility in northern Italy.
As part of the plan, Qatar will also receive 16 Airbus Helicopters H125 light single-engine helicopters in training configuration for operation by the Qatar Armed Forces Air Academy.
The deal is the latest in a cluster of recent major aviation contracts that will see the size of the QEAF expand massively over the next few years.
Whereas, at present, the QEAF’s main fighting strength is vested in 12 Dassault Mirage 2000-5 interceptors, the country has signed up for no fewer than 96 new front-line fighters – 36 Dassault Rafales, 36 Boeing F-15QA Eagles and 24 Eurofighter Typhoons.
The ramp-up in the size of the QEAF will require a corresponding leap in the training capabilities of the air arm.
As part of the NH90 contract, CAE will provide the training system for the European helicopters, including a training centre, plus a suite of simulators and training devices and training support services. These support services will include CAE providing academic (classroom) and simulator instructors to deliver the training to the QEAF. This will cover not only aircrew, but also maintenance personnel.
CAE will act as training systems integrator “to lead the overall design and development of a comprehensive training solution for Qatar Emiri Air Force NH90 helicopters”, said Ian Bell, CAE’s vice-president and general manager, Middle East/Asia-Pacific.
CAE will lead the design and building of a new training centre facility in Qatar. This will include CAE 3000 full-mission simulators for both the NH90 TTH and NFH variants, plus an NFH rear-crew trainer for training tactical coordinators (TACCO) and sensor operators.
The rear crew trainer will be capable of networking with the full-mission simulators to provide full-crew mission training.
The contract will also include CAE Simfinity NH90 integrated procedures trainers, a winch and door gunner trainer, plus a virtual maintenance training system classroom.
CAE will also design and develop a tactical control centre to be used for managing networked mission training exercises.
The CAE 3000 Series NH90 full-mission simulators, which will be certified to level D, the highest qualification for flight simulators, will feature a six degree-of-freedom electric motion system and high-performance vibration platform to replicate vibration cues critical to helicopter pilots; a high-fidelity CAE Medallion-6000XR visual system; and a direct projection 220-degree by 88-degree extreme field-of-view dome display.
The NH90 simulators will also feature the open geospatial consortium common database (OGC CDB) architecture, an international standard for the creation of synthetic environment databases. This common database software and standardisation will enhance synthetic environment database re-use and interoperability across the Qatar Armed Forces.
 

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