The Australian Army is to fully commercialise its rotary-wing flying training under a revised plan that includes retaining its Bell 206 Kiowa observation helicopters as training aircraft until 2015 following their withdrawal from frontline use in 2007-8.

A request for tender for the training project will be released this year, with a performance-based contract to be in place by the third quarter of 2006 to allow for service transition in early 2007. The new set-up will provide “civil-like” flying and maintenance training at the army aviation centre at Oakey, Queensland, plus loadmaster and search-and-rescue training.

The contract will exclude tactical helicopter flying, armaments and instructor training, the management and support of existing helicopter simulators, and aircraft maintenance. Contenders may include Australian Aerospace, BAE Systems Australia, Boeing Aus­tralia, Bristol Helicopters and Sikorsky.


Source: Flight International