Cobham Aviation Services and Bristow Helicopters joint venture, FB Heliservices, has agreed to provide helicopter flight training for the UK Ministry of Defence at RAF Shawbury, RAF Valley and Army Aviation Centre (AAC) Middle Wallop. The four-year, £193-million (approximately $303-million) contract carries two one-year extension options and will also service and support RAF Shawbury and AAC Middle Wallop.
The agreement expands FBH’s current Defence Helicopter Flying School (DHFS) support services contract, which has been in place for the past 15 years. FB Heliservices will utilize the school’s upgraded fleet of 34 Eurocopter AS350B3 Squirrels and 11 Bell 412EP Griffins for flight training. The company also maintains the helicopter fleet for DHFS, performing most of the extensive repair work at RAF Shawbury.
The contract “allows us to continue to work in close partnership with the UK Ministry of Defence and the Defence Helicopter Flying School to deliver military helicopter aircrew training,” noted Peter Richardson, FB Heliservices managing director.
Army students undergo training in battlefield support scenarios, low-level flight, night vision goggle (NVG) operations and tactics. RAF students receive training with ab-initio search and rescue, NVGs and tactical flight.
FB Heliservices also uses an FAA Level D Bell 412 simulator for training in IMC flying emergencies, malfunctions and tactical maneuvers. The simulator also features a full NVG-compatible cockpit.