Airbus Helicopters announced on November 22 it had completed factory acceptance of the final six EC135T2+ training helicopters at its Donauwörth facility for the Australian Defence Force’s Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS), being delivered under Joint Project 9000 Phase 7.
The HATS programme includes 15 EC135T2+ helicopters, flight simulators and training aids and a helicopter training vessel, equipped with a helicopter deck. The prime contractor for delivery of JP9000/7 is Boeing Defence Australia, with Thales Australia supplying the simulators and synthetic training devices.
Airbus Helicopters Head of Governmental Sales for Australia-Pacific, Peter Harris said: “Following contract signature in November of 2014, and in the space of only two years, we have trained the initial cadre of Boeing and Australian Defence Force aircrew and technicians, and all 15 aircraft have now been accepted.”
The helicopters are operated from HMAS Albatross at Nowra by the Joint Helicopter School, which trains pilots and aircrew members for both the Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy. Initial flying activities have already commenced at Nowra, with instructor training to begin in 2017 followed by the first trainee pilots’ course in January 2018. Nigel Pittaway