First Australian EC135 goes live on military training contract

First Australian EC135 goes live on military training contract


Boeing’s Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) program is off to a flying start, with the first flight of its live training aircraft marking official transfer to the military aircraft register.

This was achieved following successful completion of an Airworthiness Board Review, and receipt of approval for a special flight permit from the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) Airworthiness Authority.

Set to achieve Initial Operating Capability in late 2018, the HATS program is responsible for replacing, upgrading and supporting the Navy and Army Helicopter Aircrew Training System at Nowra.

Boeing Defence Australia Director, HATS and Program Management, Terry Nichols, says that in passing these milestones, Boeing and the ADF will use the initial flying hours to develop the instructor workforce prior to testing and validating a range of planned HATS curriculum that will form part of the program’s delivery.

“As a company, we’re proud that the program passed the Airworthiness Board review. This outcome is a testament to the collaborative approach that was maintained by Defence and Boeing – allowing the aircraft to go on to secure a special flying permit. This is the result of the hard work of the many dedicated people on the program,” said Nichols.

“The program successfully achieving these milestones is especially important for Boeing, as it allows both Navy and Army to have confidence that we’re not just delivering a good development plan on paper, but gives clear indication that we’re on track to commence full operations in 2018.”

“With this information in hand, Boeing is able to provide Defence with a roadmap, which may assist the Commonwealth in making informed decisions around timing and process for transitioning existing legacy fleets.”

The HATS program training assets includes 15 Airbus Helicopters EC135 T2 helicopters and three Thales EC135 Reality H Full Flight Simulators.

On maturity, the Helicopter Aircrew Training System will train up to 130 students each year, including pilots, aviation warfare officers, air crewmen and sensor operators, in addition to qualified aircrew returning for instructor training.

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