Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland’s North American government business unit, along with Bristow Group, Doss Aviation and Rockwell Collins announced that they are in discussions to form a consortium to develop a turn-key solution to address the rotary-wing pilot training needs of U.S. military and government customers.
The solution would provide for total life-cycle support and cost management around the Philadelphia-built AW119Kx, the best-in-class single engine aircraft well-suited as a versatile platform for pilot training. The services-based support solution would include provision of training helicopters, simulators, ground instruction, fleet management and maintenance of the aircraft.
This support model offers a distinct advantage to military and government customers in that they no longer have to incur the significant costs associated with acquiring this new technology fleet, nor the infrastructure to support it.
“This solution will lift the financial burden of buying — and ease the burden of supporting — commercial aircraft for government and military customers with pilot training needs,” said Robert LaBelle, CEO of AgustaWestland North America. “It will allow them to focus their vital resources on core military missions instead of investing unnecessarily to recapitalize a total end-to-end pilot training system. With the contribution of other consortium partners, this solution will also capitalize on AgustaWestland’s experience in delivering turn-key support and training solutions on a global basis in both the commercial and government markets.”
“Bristow understands the complex nature of government and military customer requirements,” said Jonathan Baliff, Bristow Group President and CEO. “At a time when governments face increased pressure for efficiency and risk management, we can provide outstanding, world-class service that delivers value for money. Bristow’s reputation for safety leadership and our experience in managing one of the world’s largest helicopter fleets includes providing training and support services to military and paramilitary customers in several regions of the world, including for the UK search and rescue (SAR) contract on behalf of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency. Together with our consortium partners, we can bring state-of-the-art aircraft with advanced technologies, our industry-leading operational capabilities and training experts to deliver the best possible solution for our customer.”
“The solution would be custom designed in partnership with the customer,” said Randy Davis, CEO of Doss Aviation. “Each component could be scaled to the customer’s needs.”
“Customers can leverage the experience and proven capabilities of our team of industry leaders who provide aviation services for military and commercial customers worldwide,” said Charles Hautau, Senior Director, Rockwell Collins.
The four companies developing the solution are leaders in their respective industries with extensive experience in pilot training, fleet management, operations and maintenance. AgustaWestland is one of the world’s most innovative manufacturers of rotary-wing aircraft, training, and support solutions. Bristow Group is a global leader in fleet operations, maintenance, and pilot training, including the world-renowned Bristow Academy. Doss Aviation is a U.S. leader in fixed and rotary-wing pilot and flight training for the U.S. Army and Air Force; and Rockwell Collins, a global leader in avionics equipment, flight simulation systems and services.
The AW119 is a modern helicopter built and assembled at AgustaWestland’s U.S. facility in Philadelphia, PA.
The prospective solution set was announced today at the U.S. Navy League’s Sea, Air, Space exposition in Washington, D.C. The solution has been briefed to the U.S. Navy to address its future pilot training needs.