SENER and Babcock have put the final point to the life extension program (PEVH AB-212 in its Spanish acronym) for the Third Squadron of the Spanish Navy, in a ceremony held at FEINDEF, the international defence and security exhibition (Madrid from 29th to 31st May), in front of one of the seven AB-212 helicopters that are part of this program, exhibited at SENER’s stand in FEINDEF. In the ceremony, Spanish Admiral Chief of Staff of the Navy (AJEMA) Teodoro López Calderón, SENER Vicepresident Andrés Sendagorta, and Babcock Spain CEO Ángel Rodero, took part.
During the event, Teodoro López Calderón referred to the experience accumulated in recent years in the development of this program (AB 212), which will allow projects of similar characteristics to be undertaken with greater guarantees, which may even mean the opening of a line of business within a broader business strategy.
Likewise, Andrés Sendagorta of SENER declared “This is a program carried out in a model way between the Spanish Navy, the Ministry of Defense and the industry, in which our engineers have been able to fully interact with the end user and, therefore, have a firsthand knowledge about the client’s needs. In this way, we have been able to provide the best solutions in a fully collaborative environment. In short, the commitment assumed by SENER and Babcock has led to the delivery of a well-finished product to the Navy. ”
Finally, Ángel Rodero from Babcock stressed that “This program has been a source of pride for Babcock Spain, for our helicopter Maintenance and Modernization Center in Albacete and for our Engineering Department for having been able to lead, together with our partner, the industrialization of a complex program by its very nature, but also by the effort we have all made to ensure that the Third Squadron continued to fulfill its mission wherever it was required during the execution of the Program itself. I firmly believe that the Spanish industry has been up to par with the support of the DGAM and the Navy, and that this Program is also a very good example of the essential alignment of industrial capabilities and military capabilities, which ultimately require our Armed forces”.
Advanced equipment and avionics
Under this program, carried out in a joint venture by SENER and Babcock, the PEVH AB-212 program has meant the upgrade and deliver to the Spanish Defence Ministry’s General Armaments and Materials Department (DGAM in its Spanish acronym) of seven Spanish Navy AB-212 helicopters that became operational in 1974. Thanks to the addition of advanced equipment and avionics s this program, the Navy has been able to extend the useful life of its seven helicopters by at least 15 years and now has an upgraded squadron capable of operating on several Navy vessels undertaking low and medium range missions, unrestrictedly within controlled air spaces, both military and civil, in compliance with all requirements under the new regulations, including IFR operations.
The life extension program has given them new features such as surveillance radar, EO/IR Vision system, self-protection and self-defense systems (ballistic protection, missile warning system MAWS, and a Gatling type defensive weapon), GPS navigation system with moving map, and cargo hoist. Equally, the update of the helicopter power generation systems including restructure and replacement of wiring, and replacement of navigation, avionics systems and engine instrumentation for a glass cockpit, NVG compatible, integrated mission system and the modernization of communications systems.
As part of the Joint Venture, SENER has carried out the global management of the program, and has centralized the design and integration engineering works, providing all the necessary documentation for the manufacture and installation of the modification, as well as all the necessary analyzes and evidences for certification and, in particular, safety analysis. SENER has also been responsible for the production support, definition and validation of the development and functional verification tests, as well as the solution of incidents detected during the certification phase.
In turn, Babcock’s Design and Certification team has been responsible for the design and integration of certain systems, as well as the industrialization process and ground and flight certification tests. Babcock has also been in charge of the National Aerospace Technical Institute (INTA in its Spanish acronym) certification process. To that end, Babcock’s Design and Certification team has succeeded in obtaining new certifications from INTA that will enhance military aircraft operations, with the option to fit armor plating as well as military tactical communications. Among other features, these new certifications also include improved cockpit digital screen displays and an acoustic warning that improves operational safety over water.
The upgrade has taken place at Babcock’s Aeronautical Maintenance Center in Albacete (Spain), a global benchmark in modification of both civil and military fleets.
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