The UK's CAE Aircrew Training Services (CATS) has received a more than £900,000 ($1.4 million) contract to update simulator software in support of training personnel to operate the Royal Air Force's Boeing CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters.
Installed at the Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire, the RAF's dynamic mission simulators for the Chinook are to receive updated defensive aids system software under a deal outlined in a Ministry of Defence contract notification on 18 October. The award was placed late last month, this reveals.
The RAF's current Chinooks (two pictured below in Afghanistan) are being extensively upgraded under the Project Julius effort involving Boeing, Qinetiq and Thales, with the effort bringing them to the improved HC4 configuration. Fourteen new-build aircraft will also be delivered to expand the fleet from 2015.
Opened in 1999 under a potentially 40-year private finance initiative deal, the CATS-run training school at Benson has six full-mission simulators: three for the Chinook, two for the AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin HC3/3A, and one for the Eurocopter Puma.