Thales Australia has successfully completed a modernisation of the Australian Army Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter’s full flight mission simulator (FFMS).
Working in collaboration with prime contractor Airbus Group Australia Pacific and Australian Army Aviation, the company upgraded the simulator’s visual display system (VDS).
According to Thales, the upgrade ensures that the dual-dome simulator has the highest levels of ‘out of the window’ realism of any Tiger FFMS in the world, and was completed ahead of schedule to help minimise simulator downtime.
Specifically, the upgrade included the addition of the latest generation BARCO F35 projectors, while the image generators (IG) were also replaced with a PC-based IG designed by Thales using XENON computer hardware.
The new projectors and IGs were seamlessly integrated with the current host computers and visual display platform, providing the crews with 240° vertical by 85° horizontal field of view.
Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said: "Thales is committed to ensuring that Army Aviation crews receive the highest standards of training, and we will continue to keep these simulators at the forefront of technological performance."
Simulinc accreditor and director Mick Stone said: "I’m impressed with the new visual presentation. It is much brighter, the colours are clearer and the overall focus is much improved."
During the final stage of the upgrade, the simulator passed its recurrent fidelity check, which is required to maintain the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) FSD-1 Level 5 (Level D equivalent) accreditation.
Said to be the highest achievable level, the accreditation enables the Australian Army to conduct cost-effective training in the safety of the simulator, which is located at Oakey Army Base in Queensland.
A part of the Australian Tiger acquisition programme (Air 87), the Tiger FFMS replicates the Tiger helicopter’s two separate cockpits, including one for the pilot and the other for the Battle captain, and can be operated either coupled as one virtual aircraft or independently.