The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is investing £51 million in a new synthetic training system developed by Lockheed Martin for the Royal Air Force’s Chinook Mk6 helicopter.
Lockheed Martin will design and build a purpose built training facility at RAF Odiham in Hampshire, the home of the Chinook fleet, that will prepare pilots and crew for deployment on operations.
Virtual reality technologies and simulators will enable crews to experience a wide range of training scenarios ranging from sorties in urban locations to embarked maritime operations. The facility will also include classrooms where aircrews will be trained in the specific flying, emergency and mission capabilities of the Mk6 aircraft.
Lockheed Martin already plays a key role in training MoD pilots through its role in Ascent, which is delivering the UK Military Flight Training Service pipeline, and by 2018 Lockheed Martin will have an extensive training footprint across the UK’s Military Aircrew fleet.
The 12-year contract to deliver synthetic training for the Chinook Mk6 crews will involve designing, building and managing the facility and introducing the training system. Approximately 12-16 employees from Lockheed Martin UK will also deliver a medium to long term support package to include maintenance and instruction at the RAF Odiham training facility.
Lockheed Martin UK Chief Executive Stephen Ball said: “This new, purpose built facility will use the very latest technology and simulators to replicate real-life operational scenarios and ensure RAF Chinook pilots and crew are trained to the highest standard. Lockheed Martin already has a proven track record in delivering effective training solutions to both civilian and military customers and we look forward to developing our relationship with RAF Odiham and the Chinook fleet.”
“Our experience of providing flight training capabilities to the MoD translated to a strong understanding of the program’s requirements, and we were confident we offer the best solution,” said Jim Weitzel, vice president, Training Solutions for Lockheed Martin’s Training and Logistics Solutions business. “We look forward to delivering a system that will help support the important role of the RAF’s Chinook fleet, and to continuing to support flying training across the UK military.”