The completion of the upgrade to the Boeing Chinook dynamic mission simulator at CAE's Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility (MSHATF) located at RAF Benson, Oxfordshire, UK, has allowed the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) to train its crews on both the old CH-47D and new CH-47F aircraft.
The RNLAF operates both CH-47D/F models with delivery of the latter type beginning in 2012. Its Chinooks are a mix of CH-47Ds bought in the 1990s; six new builds and seven being bought from the Canadian armed forces. Two aircraft were lost and the decision to buy six new CH-47Fs was made in 2007.
"Training our pilots to become acquainted with the new CH-47F is essential for enhanced flight safety and mission effectiveness," said Maj. Franklin Groenewold, program manager, Expansion Chinook Fleet for the Netherlands Ministry of Defence. The newer aircraft use the Honeywell Avionics Control and Management System (ACMS) Block 6 cockpit avionics suite, instead of the older Block 5 version. Conversion training is required for crews moving between the CH-47D and CH-47F, not only for the avionics but also for new systems including missile warning sensors, radar warning receivers, chaff/flare dispense system, and digital automatic flight control system.
The upgrade took two years to complete with the RNLAF’s contract with MSHATF set to run through to 2018.
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