CH-47F Chinook

L-3 Link Simulation & Training (L-3 Link) has received a contract modification to supply additional CH-47F Chinook operational flight trainers (OFTs) to the US Army.

Awarded by the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), the contract extension will see the company to supply two more CH-47F Chinook OFTs, as replacements for two previously used by the Flight School XXI programme.

L-3 Link has already supplied one CH-47F high-fidelity training device to the army, as part of a $31.8m contract awarded by CSC in June 2009. It began training Chinook aircrews in 2013.

L-3 Link Army programmes vice-president Gary Coleman said: "In addition to CH-47F aircrews gaining aircraft-equivalent training for all modes of flight, these high-fidelity simulators will provide the government a substantial cost savings compared to [the] instruction undertaken on an actual Chinook helicopter."

The new CH-47F OFTs are expected to be integrated with a high-performance visual display system, LED projectors and geo-specific databases, which will provide a realistic, high-fidelity virtual environment that immerses aircrews in dynamic training scenarios.

"The contract extension will see the company to supply two more CH-47F Chinook OFTs."

LED projectors provide higher resolution and brightness, with longer operational performance at a reduced maintenance cost.

The simulator is designed to enable aircrews to use their actual flight night vision goggles when conducting simulated night missions.

Managed and operated by CSC, Flight School XXI is claimed to be the largest helicopter simulation training programme in the world, with an annual intake of 1,200 new student pilots.

In addition, the programme trains approximately 1,600 rated army aviators on how to operate a new aircraft platform every year.

To date, L-3 Link has supplied 17 OFTs and 18 reconfigurable collective training devices for the programme.

Image: A US Army’s CH-47F Chinook multi-mission helicopter. Photo: courtesy of Gregory Frye.

Defence Technology