A new Israeli made simulator for combat helicopters


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Flight simulators feature a major advance for air forces worldwide, not only in terms of pilots’ training and combat readiness, but also in terms of safety and efficiency. Better still, as take pick up some of the slack of actual flights, they mean substantial savings in fuel, operational costs, maintenance, and flight hours.

Air forces and HLS agencies and bodies worldwide have been joining the transition from primarily live flight training to a combination of simulated training and real flights. The burgeoning trend is also boosted by the technological breakthroughs the digital age has brought with it.

The new very advanced Helicopter Training System (HTS) developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is attracting a great deal of interest among helicopter operators. The company demonstrated its embedded (HTS) at the Mailly training center, France, Last year.

The ground-based demonstration replicated the firing of helicopter-mounted weapons (missiles, rockets and guns) towards moving targets. The training was monitored in real-time from the control building.

According to IAI HTS, a member of the EHUD embedded training family, offers low-cost high-value embedded pilot training with maximized safety features. The enhanced debriefing capabilities facilitate optimum utilization of flight hours and other valuable resources.

Live helicopter training is enhanced with virtual Electronic Warfare (EW) threats and simulated armaments that enable real-time hit and miss assessments of both live and virtual targets.

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The system is designed to allow advanced Joint Forces training by utilizing network interoperability with the EHUD ACMI (Air Combat Maneuvering instrumentation) and Combat Training Centers (CTC\CTSS) such as the Mailly center.

Training network interoperability allows real-time weapon simulation and common debriefing between helicopters, ground forces and fighter jets. For example, an attack helicopter can fire a simulated Hellfire missile on a tank, a fighter jet can intercept the same helicopter and air defense can fire a simulated missile on a utility helicopter.

The helicopters are able to train against live targets that range from a “pop up” target to vehicles to real surface-to-air missiles (SAMs). Hit/miss assessments will be generated in real-time based on the weapon algorithms. ‘What –if’ scenarios can also be performed during the debriefing.

Another option is to train against virtual SAMs which may also fire towards the helicopter. Hit/miss assessments can take into account maneuvers such as chaff and flares if these are released.

The airborne system is available in two configurations, both are now off-the-shelf products: Missile like enclosure (e.g. Hellfire) for attack helicopters (special fit for the Apache AH-64) and an internal box solution for utility helicopters.